I really appreciate the fact that you add real Beef Flavoring to your fries. Wonder if there are any nasty prions in that flavoring.
Where's the Beef? It's in Your French Fries
There's no denying it: McDonald's admits to using beef flavoring in its french fries.
Anand Kulkarni of Los Angeles used to be a regular at McDonald's. So was his colleague, Hitesh Shah. Both men, software engineers at Innovative Software Consultants, Inc., were raised as vegetarians in India and planned to remain so all their lives, for both religious as well as ethical reasons. That's why they didn't think twice about walking into their local McDonald's and ordering a veggie burger, french fries and a soda, a modified version of the "Happy Meal" for kids. After all, the veggie burger contained nothing more than a toasted bun with tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, onion and cucumber pickle. And the French fries were nothing more than potatoes fried in vegetable oil. Perfectly kosher, right?
Or so they thought, until Shah, a Jain, read an article recently that the french fries at the fast food franchise contain beef.
Distressed that he had unwittingly violated his religious beliefs, Shah e-mailed McDonald's customer service department, asking it pointblank whether its french fries contained beef, and if they did, why was it not listed as an ingredient.
"Thank you for taking time to contact McDonald's with your questions regarding the ingredients in our french fries," responded Megan Magee of the company's Home Office Customer Satisfaction Department via e-mail.
"For flavor enhancement, McDonald's french fry suppliers use a miniscule amount of beef flavoring as an ingredient in the raw product," Magee wrote.
"The reason beef is not listed as an ingredient is because McDonald's voluntarily (restaurants are not required to list ingredients) follow the 'Code of Federal Regulations' (required for packaged goods) for labeling its products.
"As such, like food labels you would read on packaged goods . . . ., the ingredients in 'natural flavors' are not broken down. Again, we are sorry if this has caused any confusion."