What Cheese Does Mcdonald’s Use? Let’s Find Out

Cheese is one of the essential ingredients in some of the best McDonald’s foods, like burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. But have you ever wondered what cheese does McDonald’s use? Well, let’s find out the answer.

Is McDonald’s Cheese Real

McDonald’s uses American cheese slices, a processed cheese made with 60% cheddar cheese and 40% other ingredients. The other components include milk, cream, water, sodium citrate, salt, cheese cultures, citric acid, enzymes, soy lecithin, and food coloring. 

There has been a controversy on the internet about McDonald’s cheese. Some claim that McDonald’s cheese is not natural. However, the official McDonald’s claims that the essential ingredients in their cheese slice are natural and safe to eat. The nutritional information of various menu items will also claim that McDonald’s uses safe ingredients in making their food items.

If you want to learn more about McDonald’s cheese and its origin, keep reading the blog. You will discover the absolute truth behind all the controversy. 

Is McDonald’s Cheese Real?

What Cheese Does Mcdonald's Use

Yes, McDonald’s cheese is real, but it’s not 100% pure. The cheese is made from a blend of cheddar cheese and other ingredients. The other components include milk, cream, water, sodium citrate, salt, cheese cultures, citric acid, enzymes, soy lecithin, and food coloring. 

The cheese that McDoanld’s uses on their cheeseburgers is made from cheddar cheese. Their famous American cheese is also made from cheddar cheese and includes other ingredients such as washed curd cheese, Colby cheese, and granular cheese.

The reason why some people call it fake cheese is because McDoanld’s American cheese includes sodium citrate, which is an emulsifying salt that is used to keep the cheese creamy. But now we know, McDonald’s cheese is not fake and the cheese has some other ingredients that make it more flavorful.   

What Kind Of Cheese Does McDonald’s Use? 

McDonald’s generally uses processed American cheese in their hamburgers, cheeseburgers, sandwiches, and other menu items. This cheese is known for its mild flavors and smooth texture. 

Their cheese is a blend of 60% cheddar cheese and 40% other ingredients, which includes salt, butter, milk, emulsifying salts, natural cheese flavoring, and food coloring. 

However, the cheese added to McDonald’s burgers and sandwiches may vary in different countries. It depends on the food standards the government may have set for them.

Additionally, McDonald’s cheese is 100% safe for vegetarians, but if you are a vegan, then you should avoid the cheese at McDonald’s. The cheese includes milk which is not a vegan-friendly ingredient. Apart from that, if you are allergic to dairy products, you must avoid cheese at McDonald’s. 

Ingredients In McDonald’s Cheese

McDonald’s cheese includes other ingredients beyond just American cheddar cheese. Here is a complete list of ingredients used in McDonald’s cheese:

  • Milk 
  • Butter 
  • Water 
  • Whey powder
  • Food coloring
  • Natural cheese flavoring
  • Soy lecithin
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium citrate 

This list lets you know the exact ingredients used in their cheese. Out of all these ingredients, emulsifiers and butter are essential for adding texture and color to the cheese. 

Who Makes McDonald’s Cheese?

McDonald’s obtains cheese from two major suppliers across the globe. Two of their long-term cheese suppliers are the Great Lakes Cheese Company in Hiram, Ohio, and La Crosse Plant. 

The Great Lakes cheese company has been a long-term cheese supplier to McDonald’s. They provide around 18 million pounds of cheese annually and supply it to 13,000 McDoanld’s restaurants. 

The Great Lakes Cheese has around 67,000 cows producing 1.1 billion gallons of milk yearly. The milk is used to make cheese, which is then shipped to various McDonald’s restaurants nationwide.   

Can You Buy McDonald’s Cheese Slices?

Unfortunately, you cannot buy cheese slices from McDonald’s. The cheese used in their burgers, and sandwiches is made specifically for their usage only. 

Moreover, the cheese slices they use are produced in large quantities and are packaged and shipped directly to McDonald’s restaurants. The only way to enjoy McDonald’s cheese is by ordering their cheeseburgers and enjoying the taste of cheese.

McDonald’s Cheese Controversy

McDonald's Cheese Controversy

Two customers sued McDonald’s for $5 million, claiming that McDonald’s overcharged them for quarter pounders they ordered without cheese. McDonald’s offered a quarter and quarter pounder with cheese at different prices. 

But later, they removed the option to order a quarter pounder without cheese and only offered a quarter pounder with cheese. When the customer placed an order through a mobile application, McDonald’s charged the same price for the quarter pounder even when the cheese was removed. 

So, the customer argued this violated antitrust laws by trying to charge a higher price for the quarter pounder and sue the fast-food chain.

However, McDonald’s argued that customized prices for unique orders would need to be clarified for their employees and lead to mistakes. The judge agreed to the point and dismissed the lawsuit.


If you love McDonald’s cheese and would like to enjoy it, it’s safe to eat. The cheese only includes natural ingredients and is entirely safe to eat. Although, you cannot buy cheese from McDonald’s as they do not sell it. You can always enjoy the cheese slices in your burgers and sandwiches. 

You would like to read many other things, such as the type of fish used for Fillet-O-Fish, the kind of eggs McDonald’s uses, pickles that McDonald’s uses, and whether McDonald’s uses peanut oil or not. Read them and know the background story of McDonald’s ingredients.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of cheese does McDonald’s use on their burgers?

McDonald’s uses American cheese on most of their burgers like Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. American cheese is processed cheese made from cheddar cheese, milk, whey powder, emulsifier salt, and other ingredients.

Does McDonald’s use real cheese?

Yes, McDonald’s uses real cheese, however, the cheese is not 100% real cheese. It’s a blend of cheddar cheese, emulsifying salt, whey powder, milk, water, and other ingredients.

Does McDonald’s use mozzarella cheese?

Yes, McDonald’s uses mozzarella cheese on specific items such as Chicken McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches.

Is McDonald’s cheese Vegetarian?

Yes, McDonald’s cheese is vegetarian. The processed cheese slice only includes vegetarian ingredients so it’s safe to eat.

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