Processed foods have gotten a bad reputation over the years. However, what counts as processed foods varies and you’ll find countless definitions.

Generally, processed foods are any foods that have been changed from their original state. Often, fast food restaurants fall into this category. To find out if McDonald’s does this, keep reading!

Are McDonald’s processed foods in 2024?

All of McDonald’s patties are created off-site in a facility designed explicitly for the company in 2024. Therefore, most would consider McDonald’s foods to be processed. McDonald’s burgers contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients. In fact, they contain only beef, salt and pepper and do not contain the annoying ingredients usually associated with processed foods.

For more information on how McDonald’s prepares its food, keep reading!

Is McDonald’s meat processed?

The definition of “treaty” varies. Therefore, it depends on your specific definition. That said, McDonald’s burgers are created in a factory and then sent to stores.

Thus, they are often considered “processed”. However, McDonald’s burgers are made from 100% pure beef cooked and prepared with salt and pepper.

With this, the company does not add any “artificial” ingredients, fillers, or preservatives. For freshness, the burgers are frozen.

Therefore, the lack of preservatives may prevent them from counting as « processed », depending on who you ask. Of course, McDonald’s doesn’t count its burgers as processed.

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How are McDonald’s hamburgers made?

How are McDonald's hamburgers made?

When customers ask if McDonald’s burgers are processed, they often ask how they are made. Generally, hygiene is important in McDonald’s food service facilities.

Additionally, there are no preservatives in meat, so factories must be careful about contamination by viruses and bacteria.

Additionally, all employees must wear protective equipment and wash their hands thoroughly before handling meat.

The only bulk items used are metal, as the burgers pass through a metal detector at the very end. Therefore, if something falls, they can detect it.

First, the meat is checked to make sure there are no bones. Usually, large pieces of meat arrive at the factories.

Also, the bones are supposed to be removed, but the meat is double-checked to make sure there were any.

Once the meat is checked for bones, it is placed in extremely large containers. These containers are used to transport meat to the grinding station.

Here the meat is ground into the right consistency. Then all that ground meat goes to a machine that shapes the burgers into the right shape.

With this, to avoid using binders, the company uses a mixture of fresh and frozen meat.

This unique combo allows the burger to maintain its shape while still being malleable enough to shape.

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Additionally, to prevent bacterial growth, everything is extremely cold. Some burgers are tested to ensure the fat content is 20%.

That said, to ensure proper cooking, all burgers must have exactly this fat content.

As soon as they are finished processing, the burgers are frozen and placed in bags and boxes.

Before leaving the factory, the burgers go through a metal detector to ensure nothing has been dropped or misplaced in the burgers.

Are McDonald’s hamburgers real?

Yes, the company only uses 100% real meat in its burgers. Therefore, McDonald’s burgers are about as real as it gets.

Plus, they don’t contain any binding agents to help the burger maintain its shape.

During processing, the only ingredients added to the burger are seasonings, which help enhance the flavor.

Fortunately, there are no preservatives, so the company’s health standards must be extremely high.

What are McDonald’s hamburgers made from?

McDonald’s doesn’t add much to its burger patties when creating them. That said, most additions are made in-store, depending on the burger you buy.

Once upon a time, the company used a variety of seasonings in its burgers. However, McDonald’s now only seasons them with salt and pepper.

Of course, this seasoning is done during the preparation process. Beyond salt and pepper, McDonald’s burgers don’t contain anything else.

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To learn more, you can also read our articles on where McDonald’s sources its chicken, if you can reheat McDonald’s burgers and sauces at McDonald’s.


McDonald’s processes almost all of the company’s foods in different facilities, so most people consider processed foods.

However, many of the troublesome ingredients associated with processed foods are not found in McDonald’s foods.

For example, McDonald’s hamburger patties are made with only beef, salt and pepper; no preservatives or artificial ingredients are added.

Visit Les Gourmandises for more information.

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