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McDonald’s USA Reveals Changes to its Classic Burgers

September 26, 2018

Classic Burger Lineup

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Announcement marks next major milestone in company’s journey to build a better McDonald’s

McDonald’s USA announced today that its classic burgers have no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors and no added colors from artificial sources. The pickle contains an artificial preservative, and customers are able to skip it if they prefer. These ingredient changes affect all 14,000 U.S. restaurants, marking this the next major milestone in McDonald’s food journey and another way the company is helping customers feel good about the food they're enjoying.

The classic burgers include the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Big Mac.

“From switching to 100% fresh beef* in our quarter-pound burgers, cooked right when ordered,  to removing artificial preservatives in our Chicken McNuggets, and committing to cage-free eggs by 2025, we have made significant strides in evolving the quality of our food,”  said  Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s USA President. “We know quality choices are important to our customers, and this latest positive change to our classic burgers demonstrates our committed journey to leading with the customer and building a better McDonald’s.”

As of today, nearly two-thirds of McDonald’s national burgers and sandwiches contain no artificial preservatives, artificial flavors and no added colors from artificial sources. Our pickle contains an artificial preservative, so customers may skip it if they prefer. To achieve this change, artificial preservative(s) were removed from McDonald’s real American Cheese, Big Mac Special Sauce, the regular bun, the Quarter Pounder bun (also known as the sesame seed bun), and the Big Mac Bun.

“We understand that now more than ever, people care about their food – where it comes from, what goes into it and how it is prepared – and we are committed to make changes to our menu our guests feel good about,” said Linda VanGosen, McDonald’s Vice President of Menu Innovation.

The removal of artificial preservative(s) from the classic burgers is the latest in McDonald’s U.S. customer-driven initiatives. Previous commitments include sustainably sourcing all McCafé coffee by 2020, and transitioning to cage-free eggs in US and Canada by 2025. By 2020, McDonald’s has also committed to sourcing a portion of its beef from its top 10 beef-sourcing countries from suppliers participating in sustainability programs aligned with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef principles and criteria.


*Available at most restaurants in the contiguous US. Not available in Alaska, Hawaii and US territories.

**Comparison based on the number of burger and sandwiches on the national Menu Board on August 1, 2016 and September 26, 2018 that contain no artificial preservatives, flavors and no added colors from artificial sources.


About McDonald’s
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to nearly 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds