VIDEO: See How McDonald’s Hamburgers Are Made

10/14/2014 at 01:37 PM ET

McDonalds Hamburger
Courtesy McDonald’s

Have you ever questioned what’s really in a fast food burger? And after those stories about “pink slime” chicken, we don’t blame you.

To confront customer concerns about the quality of ingredients in their foods, McDonald’s released a new video Tuesday showing, step-by-step, what goes into the chain’s beef patties.

As part of its new “Our Food, Your Questions” series, the company hired former MythBusters star Grant Imahara to tour its Cargill plant in Fresno, Calif. and document the process. (McDonald’s also released a similar video earlier this year about the making of Chicken McNuggets.)

Here’s how it goes: The meat (which operations supervisor Jimmy Renden points out is 100 percent beef trimmings) is first inspected and then put into a grinder. “[The beef] comes from familiar cuts that you may know like chuck and round and sirloin,” McDonald’s company director of quality systems Rickette Collins told ABC News, the first news outlet allowed to film the food plant process. “Just like you get at the grocery store [when] you buy 80/20 blend.”

After the beef is ground, it’s formed into patties, frozen and shipped to McDonald’s locations to be cooked on-site. There is even a guy whose job is to taste test the burger for quality.

McDonald’s officials say they process 400,000 pounds of meat per day this way. Collins assures viewers: “Beef in. Beef out.”

Watch the video above to see a burger go from plant to plate.

—Michelle Ward

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FILED UNDER: Burgers , Food , Food News , Restaurants

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Showing 14 comments

Runner on

McDs may seem like great food after watching this video but this is what you need to know. It is everything else in that big mac that is unhealthy. Don’t believe me, search for yourself. Also, that may be USDA inspected meat but it isn’t exactly top notch lean meat. That being said, something tells me most burger joints have crap in their versions too. I only know one that provides hormone free, grain fed patties. One last thing – if nothing else they are experts in PR – they hired a guy that is believable, convincing, and likeable.

Gretchen on

I rarely eat burgers anywhere, but when I do, it’s at a locally owned burger place in our neighborhood. We know what kind of beef they use, we can see the kitchen and watch them cook the food when we order. I will say, however, I’ve never had a negative experience at McDonald’s, and I think they get a bad rap from the masses, because it’s easier to blame them than to take responsibility for your own overeating. I don’t care where i get a burger, if I get the double meat and cheese with everything, it will be calorie laden. If I order the size burger I would make at home, leave off the mayo and ketchup, put my own mustard on it, and have it served with a small order of fries or baked chips, I’m well within my calorie limit. Sometimes my spouse and I split a juicy angus burger with mushrooms and cheese, and an jr. order of fries. People are responsible for what goes down their throats, as long as there is more than one place to eat…you can always eat at home, too.

John on

Minced muscles, blood vessels, sinew and fat. Each burger contains the DNA thousands of cows. Keep trying to pretty up the truth, McDonalds, but your murder burgers are literally cow mousse.

James on

The beauty is that if you don’t want a “murder burger”, you can go somewhere else and leave the rest of us alone to enjoy heavenly McDonald’s!!! I love freedom!

Jessica on

I just want to know how come a burger and fries from McDs can be left out for months (even years) and not grow moldy???? How do you explain that? All that happens is a glaze over the bread. Very strange. For that reason, I’ll pass on this PR infused video.

x on

@Jessica
It is due to the size of the burger and how quickly it dries out. The experiment has been done with patties ground from a single hunk of beef and the results are almost identical to the McDs burgers.
http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/11/the-burger-lab-revisiting-the-myth-of-the-12-year-old-burger-testing-results.html

Anonymous on

I’m glad I quit eating mcdonalds 2 years ago.

Anonymous on

I hate McDonalds hamburger👎🍔👅👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎💔💔💔💔💔💔👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎

Anonymous on

Ya everything looked good and all. They showed us the step by step process of how the patty is made but it does not explain why so many people who have ate there food have died from cancer. Also, it didn’t show how the animals were raised and if the animals that we eat were healthy or not, idk… I mention this because if they don’t raise the animals correctly or grow there crops with out any bug killer, then it shouldn’t be so unhealthy

Anonymous on

This proves nothing other than people will be convinced by anything they saw on TV. We went into a meat plant, or what looks as such. We’re introduced to a some workers, all of which have very prepared responses to our questions. The people sound so rehearsed and the cheerful disposition of them makes it even less believable. Nobody is excited or passionate about turning out frozen ass, low quality burgers for McDonalds in a meat plant, not to mention I think we missed a few of the steps. It’s like the Wizard of OZ, this whole campaign by them. We need a system set in place that can truly hold companies, corporations and business’ accountable. Instead we have to take McDonald’s fucking WORD FOR IT when it comes to the quality of their own product and just to keep us completely sure they threw in a 7 minute video of some meat plant and what seems like an actor or two…Money is the reason we exist. Everybody knows it, it’s a fact, kiss kiss.

Colin Clark on

This proves nothing other than people will be convinced by anything they saw on TV. We went into a meat plant, or what looks as such. We’re introduced to a some workers, all of which have very prepared responses to our questions. The people sound so rehearsed and the cheerful disposition of them makes it even less believable. Nobody is excited or passionate about turning out frozen ass, low quality burgers for McDonalds in a meat plant, not to mention I think we missed a few of the steps. It’s like the Wizard of OZ, this whole campaign by them. We need a system set in place that can truly hold companies, corporations and business’ accountable. Instead we have to take McDonald’s fucking WORD FOR IT when it comes to the quality of their own product and just to keep us completely sure they threw in a 7 minute video of some meat plant and what seems like an actor or two…Money is the reason we exist. Everybody knows it, it’s a fact, kiss kiss.

John on

Murder Burger? what is fish? Murder Fish? Pork Murder pig? LOL I will take a cow over a salad anytime. Yum. Cows were not put here for people to admire somethings were put here believe it or not to eat. If they’re good for carnivorous animals they’re good for us.

jack on

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jack on

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