McDonald’s is best known for its cheap food and fast cooking times. However, there’s just something about getting a burger in 30 seconds that makes many question the origins of their food.

Fortunately, there hasn’t been much controversy surrounding McDonald’s food. Still, many can’t help but question the fish (which surely can’t be real, right?). Take a look below to find out everything you need to know about McDonald’s fish!

Is McDonald’s fish real in 2024?

McDonald’s is using real Alaska pollock for all of its fish in 2024. The fish is caught just off the coast of Alaska, hence the name. Then it is made by a supplier into the square-shaped patties needed for Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. Additionally, this company only uses sustainable sources and is picky about suppliers.

Keep reading to learn where this fish comes from and the process McDonald’s uses to choose its suppliers!

What is McDonald’s fish made from?

Virtually all of McDonald’s fish is made from wild Alaskan pollock. That said, the company works hard to choose sustainable sources that help the environment.

About 20 years ago, McDonald’s began working with Conservation International, whose goal is to protect the long-term fish supply.

By working with this partner, McDonald’s could source its fish from sustainable suppliers.

Today, the company continues to serve only sustainable fish certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

In other markets, McDonald’s works with different partners to ensure the fish is sustainable.

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Using sustainable fish means the company does several things. First, McDonald’s knows exactly where its fish comes from (and so do you).

In the United States, all McDonald’s fish comes from the eastern Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska.

Additionally, McDonald’s supports fisheries that generate little waste and have low bycatch. Additionally, McDonald’s aims to use as much of each fish as possible.

Do McDonald’s fish fillets contain real fish?

Yes, McDonald’s is extremely picky about the fish the company uses in its food. Therefore, all Filet-O-Fish sandwiches use real Alaska Pollock.

Additionally, this company only uses sustainable fish, so they have to follow many different guidelines. For example, fishing should produce little waste and catch few non-target fish.

While this is great for the environment, it also means that future fish supplies are protected.

Therefore, when you order a fish sandwich at McDonald’s, you can be sure that the fish is of high quality and its catching does not harm the environment.

Is Filet-O-Fish vegetarian?

Is Filet-O-Fish vegetarian?  McDonalds

Traditionally no, Filet-O-Fish would not be suitable for a vegetarian diet.

That said, the sandwich is made with real Alaska pollock, which vegetarians generally don’t accept. However, this is not necessarily always true.

Some vegetarians eat fish. Therefore, this sandwich would suit those vegetarians – for the most part.

However, this sandwich includes cheese. However, the cheese is vegetarian, as it does not contain any animal meat.

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Additionally, the sandwich is fried in vegetable oil, making it vegetarian. That said, McDonald’s uses this same oil to fry its chicken products.

There may therefore be cross contamination. Usually, most vegetarians don’t worry about the low level of cross-contamination.

But, if you’re allergic to meat, that may be a different story.

How does McDonald’s prepare fish fillet?

All McDonald’s fish fillets are made with Alaska pollock. That said, these fish are only caught twice a year.

After being caught, the processor cleans the fish and freezes it immediately, which preserves its freshness.

Then the fish are transported to an approved supplier. Technically, it is this supplier who makes the fish fillets. These fish are cut to size and otherwise prepared for the store.

In each restaurant, the kitchen staff fries the fish fillet for each order. These fish fillets are kept frozen in the store to preserve their freshness until fried.

In most cases, this process is the same from location to location. However, the provider may vary by location.

As you might expect, McDonald’s tries to use suppliers near each store, improving the freshness of the fish.

Is McDonald’s fish fillet fried?

Yes, McDonald’s fries its fish fillets the same way as chicken. Additionally, McDonald’s uses the same oil to fry their chicken.

Therefore, there is some cross-contamination, which can be vital for people with meat allergies.

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By frying the burger, the company significantly reduces cooking time, which is vital as the company is very keen on reducing wait times.

Additionally, other menu items were removed simply because they took too long to cook.

After all, it only takes seconds to prepare the average McDonald’s food. Therefore, cooking the fillets would simply take too long.

What oil does McDonald’s use for fish?

All fried McDonald’s items are fried in the same oil. The company actually doesn’t change the oil on every item, so there can be cross contamination.

Typically, this oil is a blend of canola oil – usually this company tries to use oils that are “healthier” and inexpensive. Additionally, the oil must be suitable for frying in the first place.

To learn more, you can also read our articles on sauces at McDonald’s, where McDonald’s sources its chicken, and what fish does McDonald’s use.


McDonald’s uses Alaskan Pollock for all their fish. This fish is caught just off the coast of Alaska by licensed suppliers.

Then it’s transferred to factories that process the fish into perfect squares for Filet-O-Fish.

Based on this information, McDonald’s uses real fish in all of its fish sandwiches. Plus, this fish is sustainably sourced and the company is rather picky about who sources it.

For example, McDonald’s works closely with nonprofit organizations to select the most sustainable suppliers.

Visit Les Gourmandises for more information.

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