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What’s the Deal with McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets?

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I’m sure you’ve seen a news report or two that McDonald’s has made changes to their chicken and Chicken McNuggets. This is the latest in a number of changes to items on their menu. So what exactly is the deal with the chicken and other menu items?

In an effort to make sure this info is exactly right, I’m just going to post straight from the press release:

McDonald’s USA today announced a number of moves across its menu as the company continues to evolve. This includes:

  • removing artificial preservatives from several items which also don’t have artificial colors or flavors, including its iconic Chicken McNuggets. Across its breakfast menu, the pork sausage patties and omelet-style eggs served on McGriddles, Bagel and Biscuit breakfast sandwiches, along with the scrambled eggs on its breakfast platters, also now have no artificial preservatives.
  • rolling out new buns this month that no longer contain high fructose corn syrup, including the buns used on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sandwiches. The Artisan roll introduced in 2015 never contained high fructose corn syrup.
  • completing a major commitment to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine* nearly a year ahead of schedule.

In total, these changes touch ingredients in nearly half of the food on McDonald’s menu.

So what does this all mean?

With this change, the Chicken McNuggets have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives AND are made with chicken that are not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine. But remember, it’s not just the McNuggets. McDonald’s has been making changes across the menu for months as part of a massive project and commitment to meet customer requests and needs.

“More than ever, people care about their food – where it comes from, what goes into it and how it’s prepared,” said Mike Andres, president, McDonald’s USA. “We’re making changes to ensure the food we’re proud of is food our customers love and feel good eating, and we remain committed to our continuing food journey at McDonald’s.”
McDonald’s originally set out to achieve its antibiotics chicken commitment by March 2017. Through a collaborative effort with its suppliers and farmers on a large scale, the company was able to make this change a reality and bring it to its customers nearly a year ahead of schedule. Now every chicken item McDonald’s serves is made from chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine, including its new Chicken McNuggets.

“But it’s still … McDonald’s.”

Yes. Yes, it is. And I, for one, am thankful it’s still McDonald’s and tastes amazing. McDonald’s is making these changes and offering healthier options as part of an ongoing commitment to YOU. These are options you can feel good about feeding your family. It’s all about moderation and choices. And I LOVE the option of swinging through the McDonald’s drive-thru to grab a meal for the family when we are running around like crazy people. It’s easy, fast and a fun treat to enjoy!

Want to try the new Chicken McNuggets and taste for yourself? McDonald’s has given us a handful of coupons for a free six piece Chicken McNugget. Leave us a commitment and I’ll send you one! I’ll post when we are out of coupons.

McD Food Journey-FactSheet[2]

The rest of the press release:

“I applaud efforts such as those undertaken by McDonald’s in close collaboration with its suppliers and poultry farmers, to greatly reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in its animal agricultural food supply chain,” said Dr. H Morgan Scott, professor of epidemiology in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University. “McDonald’s and its suppliers have worked to identify appropriate alternatives for sustaining broiler flock health while implementing protocols to ensure that animal welfare is not compromised. Sourcing decisions by industry leaders such as McDonald’s have great potential to positively influence appropriate antibiotic stewardship in food animal sectors around the world.”
These changes are the latest in a series of actions McDonald’s has taken across its restaurants and kitchens, such as:

  • making an industry leading commitment in September 2015 to source 100% cage-free eggs by 2025 in the U.S and Canada. According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than 100 companies have since announced their commitments to do the same, showing positive impact across the industry.
  • refreshing McDonald’s premium salad blend in June 2015 by replacing iceberg lettuce with fresh romaine, baby spinach and baby kale, and making further enhancements in June 2016 with the addition of Tuscan red leaf lettuce and ribbon-cut carrot curls. The freshly prepared Premium Salads offer at least 2.5 cups of vegetables.
  • revitalizing its classic Egg McMuffin, moving from margarine to 100% real butter*, and continuing to serve a fresh cracked Grade A egg at the center of it all.
  • sourcing milk in its low fat milk jugs and Go-GURT® low fat yogurt from cows not treated with rbST*, an artificial growth hormone.
  • introducing Buttermilk Crispy Chicken in August 2015, made with 100% chicken breast filet, real buttermilk and a blend of spices including black pepper, garlic and onion powder. This followed the introduction of Artisan Grilled Chicken in March 2015.

McDonald’s continues to innovate its menu to include new tastes and ingredients that customers are looking for, such as turkey sausage, guacamole made with real Hass avocados, Sriracha and freshly prepared pico de gallo as part of local tests and regional introductions.
“From our test kitchens to what we serve in our restaurants, we’re zeroing in on how to bring new flavors and choices some never seen before on our menu to customers across the country,” said Chef Jessica Foust, RDN, director of culinary innovation, McDonald’s Corporation. “Our focus on culinary innovation at McDonald’s is essential as we continue to evolve.””

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