What Cheese Does Mcdonald’s Use (In Their Cheeseburgers)

McDonald’s is perhaps the world’s most well-known fast-food company. It has over 38,695 restaurants worldwide, shared between 120 countries!

However, success and fame often go hand in hand with infamy, and McDonald’s has seen its fair share of scandals.

Perhaps the most infamous of all is the Iceland cheeseburger display, which has led a lot of people to question the exact components and quality of McDonald’s cheese.

What Cheese Does McDonald’s Use (In Their Cheeseburgers?)

What exactly is McDonald’s cheese? Is it plastic? Does it spoil? Is it safe to eat?

If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.

We are here to set the record straight about all things cheesy (McDonald’s style), so read on to find out more about your top fast-food classic. 

What Ingredients Make Up McDonald’s Cheese?

McDonald’s uses processed cheddar – but its own unique blend.

However, it is not 100% cheddar cheese like you might think. In fact, only 60% of it is!

The other 40% is other ingredients, such as (in no particular order): water, whey powder, salt, butter, milk protein, emulsifying salts, food coloring, and cheese flavoring. 

However, depending on the food standard and requirements in different countries, the cheese in McDonald’s cheeseburgers may vary. 

What can be guaranteed though, is that McDonald’s cheese contains dairy.

A while back, there was a rumor that their cheese was not “actually cheese” thereby making it vegan. This is false.

The cheese used in their cheeseburgers is not suitable for vegans because it does contain dairy products. 

Where Does Mcdonald’s Cheese Come From?

So where exactly does McDonald’s cheese come from?

Well, McDonald’s uses personal suppliers for their cheese. It is made by factories and native farmers from each respective country.

By using this method of supply, McDonald’s ensures they’re complying with standard code, providing jobs, and helping the economy. 

Where Can You Buy McDonald’s Cheese?

Unfortunately, you cannot buy McDonald’s cheese in any supermarket or grocery store. You also cannot buy it directly from their suppliers.

However, you may be glad to hear there are some similar tasting cheeses out there! 

Your best chance of finding a similar cheese is by buying processed cheese, which you can find on so many supermarket shelves! Look for pre-sliced, burger cheese, such as Krafts cheese. This will bring you closer to the real thing. 

Is McDonald’s Cheese Plastic?

In short, no.

While the slices are wrapped in plastic to ensure they do not stick together, McDonald’s does not use plastic cheese for their cheeseburgers. While it does contain some additives, rest assured that plastic is not included. 

The appearance of the cheese, and the reason people may think it is plastic, is due to the natural cheese flavoring and food coloring present in the cheese.

The smooth texture is given to the cheese thanks to the added butter, milk proteins, and emulsifying salts.

McDonald’s does add extra ingredients to their cheese, including (in no particular order) cheese culture, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, soy lecithin, citric acid, enzymes, acetic acid, sodium pyrophosphate, and sorbic acid.

The sorbic acid acts as a preservative for the cheese, which can be seen on menus for McDonald’s. 

Many traditional kinds of cheese all around the world use some preservatives. These additives are within food regulations and do not make McDonald’s cheese plastic.

What Cheese Does McDonald’s Use (In Their Cheeseburgers?)

Can McDonald’s Cheese Grow Mold?

We all know the story…an anthropologist bought a cheeseburger and fries from McDonald’s in 2009. The burger was placed in a container and left to show signs of decay. To this day, none have ever been found. 

The preservatives and cold temperature have allowed the burger to look as fresh as the day it was made.

Although, McDonald’s claims the burger’s appearance is due to the lack of moisture, and not the preservatives they use in their food. 

Whatever the answer is, McDonald’s cheese does not appear to be able to grow mold (not yet, anyway.)

However, that is not to say that it won’t go bad!

McDonald’s cheese does eventually go bad, and like with any other food, it has an expiration date that should not be exceeded. Always remember you should not eat food that has gone bad, even if it looks or smells okay. 

The Future of Ingredients At McDonald’s

McDonald’s began to make changes to their ingredients back in 2016, following the fallout from the aforementioned cheeseburger case. They decided to make plans to move away from artificial preservatives in their food.

It has been a slow process, but they have made some progress in assessing each ingredient for every item of food and removing some of their artificial preservatives. Their chicken nuggets are a great example!

However, McDonald’s has yet to remove artificial preservatives and coloring from their cheese.

So, they still have a long way to go. It should be said, though, that McDonald’s is a big player in this field of making food healthier, and where they go, other fast-food companies are sure to follow!

The Nutritional Value of McDonald’s Cheese

One slice of Mcdonald’s cheese is around 50 calories. Fat makes up 35 of them. In total, there are 3.5 grams (g) of fat in a slice of McDonald’s cheese, 2.5 of that fat is saturated. However, there are no trans-fats present. 

A slice of McDonald’s cheese is worth around 2.5% of the calorie intake of the average person. Additionally, one slice of McDonald’s cheese contains around 230 milligrams of sodium and 15 milligrams of cholesterol. 

We won’t sit here and pretend that McDonald’s is the healthiest choice.

But we won’t say it’s something you should avoid altogether. Unhealthy foods can be enjoyed on occasion as part of a balanced diet. And one thing you can’t deny is that a McDonald’s cheeseburger is convenient, affordable, and something to enjoy! 

Please note that this is merely a guideline, and you should always seek and follow advice from a health care professional. 

What Cheese Does McDonald’s Use (In Their Cheeseburgers?)

Final Thoughts 

McDonald’s cheese is sourced from independent suppliers and cannot be bought by anyone else. In one slice of their cheese, you will find 60% cheddar, and 40% other ingredients, such as milk proteins, butter, emulsifying salts, etc.

You will also find many preservatives, which is something McDonald’s has committed to changing.

So, while their cheeseburgers are not the healthiest food option out there, they sure are tasty, affordable, and can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.

Jess Smith
Latest posts by Jess Smith (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.