Recently, McDonald’s announced a major change to their Quarter Pound. By next year, the foods will contain fresh instead of frozen beef patties.
The frozen to fresh switch has been hyped as the “most drastic menu change in decades.” These changes come from a consumer’s demands for fresher ingredients. Similar to this, many other brands such as Wendy’s and Five Guys, advertise the facts that their burgers are never frozen.
However, while fresh meat appeals to consumers, it also carries risks. A similar risk includes the infamous E. coli outbreak at Chipotle. There are many concerns about the risk of increasing foodborne illness by switching from frozen to fresh.
“If we do not handle the meat perfectly, there is the opportunity for bacterial invasion of our product,” a person wrote.
“An uncaring employee [could do] something that puts the entire system at risk,” said another.
Chains like McDonald’s have minimized these risks by having produce chopped in central kitchens where it can be tested for microbes.
However, by switching to fresh patties, McDonald’s is adding a small amount of human fallibility back in.