Does McDonald’s Use Real Chicken?


One of the products that McDonald’s is known for is its chicken items. Some of the chicken items available at the popular fast food brand include Chicken Nuggets, McChicken, Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Spicy Deluxe Crispy Chicken, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and many more. 

All of these chicken items are made from the base chicken, with each variation possessing different ingredients and additions. In this article, we will discuss the nature of the chicken used in these chicken items and if they are real. 

Does McDonald’s Use Real Chicken in 2022?

All of McDonald’s chicken items are made from 100% chicken. Chicken McNuggets are made with 100% white meat and are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They are served with a marinade that helps keep their flavor and fun shapes.

This statement was made on McDonald’s Chicken and Sandwiches FAQs page. Opens in a new tab.This information is refreshing and reassuring. 

However, research by independent bodiesOpens in a new tab. and individuals shows that the amount of this ‘real chicken ‘ used in Mcdonald’s chicken items is really low. These researches show that the content of real chicken in many of these products is below 50%. 

Check and see if popular fast food chain uses real chicken:

What Does McDonald’s Put in Their Chicken?

Despite using real chicken for its chicken items, McDonald’s uses fillers for many of its chicken items. The real chicken used in its products is only a certain percentage while the remaining ingredients, also known as fillers, take up the remaining percentage. 

McDonald’s itself is a bit forthright with the ingredients that make up the fillers used for its chicken items. For instance, the popular McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets contain fillers or ingredients such as Vegetable Oil which could be any Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Corn Oil, and Hydrogenated Soybean Oil. 

There is also the Enriched Flour content that contains Niacin, Riboflavin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, and Bleached Wheat Flour. Other filler ingredients also contain Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Lemon Juice Solids, and Spices.  

There are other chemical compounds used in these fillers. Some of them include Calcium Lactate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, and Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, and many others. Most of these chemical compounds are components of other ingredients. 

The percentage of these fillers in McDonald’s chicken is a bit on the high side. While we could not get the official percentage from McDonald’s, independent researchers found that the percentage of the real chicken is less than 50% which means that the fillers take up a percentage higher than 50%. 

Does McDonald’s Raise Their Chickens?

Despite using millions of chickens for making different products, Mcdonald’s doesn’t raise its own chickens. The fast-food brand also doesn’t have a poultry farm.

The statement from the company’s FAQs page is that the fast-food brand gets its chicken from suppliers with bases in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Arkansas.  

A large chunk of the chicken used in its chicken items is supplied by a company known as Keystone Foods. The company is a large food processing company that delivers beef, fish, and chicken to many fast-food brands in the world, including Mcdonald’s.

The US operation of Keystone Foods supplies about 300 million pounds of chicken to the fast-food giant every year. 

Does McDonald’s Have Plant-Based Chicken?

McDonald’s do have plant-based products, but these products don’t include chicken items. Recently, McDonald’s rolled out a set of products known as McVeggies or McPlants.

 As the names imply, these options are plant-based, and recently passed quality tests in McDonald’s Australia. With the success of these products, it is clear that the brand is gravitating towards meeting the increasing demand for plant-based products. 

However, it will be important to state that none of these plant-based products include the chicken item menu. The McPlant and McVeggie products are focused on creating an alternative for the beef item menu such as burgers. 

The Australian McVeggieOpens in a new tab. product is a combination of plant-based options which include corn, peas, onions, and carrot. This burger is then served on a bun made with cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce, and pickles. The McPlant productOpens in a new tab. includes plant-based meat items which include a substitute for chicken, burgers, and other items. 

There was also the PLT Burger option tested in the Canadian outlets some years back. This burger type had a plant item, Lettuce, and tomato component. However, Mcdonald’s has since stopped testing the PLT burgers with zero plans of later continuation. 

However, there are no plant-based options available yet in the US, although one of McDonald’s officials stated to a news outletOpens in a new tab. that there are plans underway and these plant-based options will surface in the US as soon as there are customer demands for it. 

What Does McDonald’s Do to Their Chicken?

According to the official release from the brand’s FAQs page, McDonald’s carefully selected the part of the chicken that goes into its chicken items.

The parts of the chicken used include the breast, tenderloins, and rib. White chicken meat cut from these parts is then mixed with marinade to add flavor to it and also help them keep their fun shape. 

After the mixture, the popular four shapes of chicken nuggets get formed. These shapes are coated in batter, light tempura batter to be precise, before partially frying and later freezing to preserve the flavor.

You should know that all of these processes happen by the processing stage. Once these chicken nuggets get to McDonald’s outlets, they get fully fried. 

Is the Chicken at Mcdonald’s Highly Processed?

In a similar fashion with other fast-food brands, McDonald’s processes its chicken before selling Chicken Nuggets or any other chicken item.

However, it is hard to say that these chickens are highly processed. According to the statementOpens in a new tab. by the brand, its chickens are received frozen from its suppliers. 

All the brand does is thaw them, and process them as explained in the previous section. 

Is It Safe to Eat McDonald’s Chicken?

Mcdonald’s is a fast-food business, and one of its products includes chicken items. Fast food has been ruled dangerous to human health with some serious and health consequences. 

However, Mcdonald’s has made moves to reassure the public that its products are safe and risk-free. While there may be some truth in that, it is not advisable to make Mcdonald’s chicken items the core of your meal every day. 

Does McDonald’s Use Fake Chicken?

McDonald’s doesn’t use fake chicken for its products. This is clear from the details provided on the brand’s FAQs page. Its chicken items are made from 100% real chicken. 

Brian A.

Brian has always loved the dining experience, a talent he inherited from his family, who already succeeded in the restaurant business. Throughout his years of managing various cultural restaurants, Brian has extensive knowledge in restaurant industry.

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