Category Archives: Fresh Beef Patties

McDonald’s Transitions to Fresh Beef Patties

Fast food behemoth McDonald’s has announced that it will change its Quarter Pounder so that it will use fresh beef patties in lieu of frozen ones. This announcement comes after over a year of pilot attempts in Dallas, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is regarded as the most drastic change to the chain’s menu in decades. The move is likely a move to stay competitive with rivals like Wendy’s and Five Guys who actively advertise that their meat is never frozen.


While fresh meat is certain appealing it also comes with risks, such as the rampant cases of E. coli at Tex Mex chain Chipotle. In a survey of 27 McDonald’s franchisees, some admitted they worried about the elevated chance for contamination, chances that have previously been minimized through very tight procedures for handling food. One benefit of frozen beef patties is that they are less likely to foster the growth E. coli. Industry analysts remark that because the risk of fresh beef patties is so small when brought against McDonald’s tight measures against contamination that it should not be a concern.


The worry over E. coli in fast food has been a major issue ever since an outbreak in 1993 at a Jack-in-the-Box and subsequent lawsuits forced the fast food industry to change its approach to hygiene and contamination awareness. Purveyors of fresh beef like Wendy’s have extensive supply chains and auditing protocols to handle the product that have served as enough of a model for competitors like McDonald’s to justify the transition to fresh over frozen. Despite all of its confidence, McDonald’s is not transitioning its entire burger menu to fresh beef. Only its iconic Quarter Pounder burger will be served with fresh beef; all other meat items will be served then as they are now, frozen.


As to when the fast food behemoth will expand its fresh meat offerings beyond the Quarter Pounder, the company has only cryptically stated that they have only begun their endeavor to overhaul their offerings. Furthermore, they have said that they are expediting the manner by which they source and serve food.