Fake claims about McDonald’s ingredients are recirculating on Facebook

29 June 2022
What was claimed

McDonald’s lost its case after years of trying to conceal that its burgers are 100% beef, as only 15% is beef and the remaining 85% is not.

Our verdict

There’s no evidence of such a case or findings against McDonald’s in the UK. McDonald’s confirmed it uses 100% beef in its beef burgers in the UK.

What was claimed

The council of Islamic justice has withdrawn its guarantee certificate as it also found that even the spices, ketchup and mayonnaise are mixed and made from grease of pork.

Our verdict

McDonald’s UK does not claim to offer specifically halal options, but we can find no evidence its vegetarian sauces or spices contain pork grease.

An old Facebook post that makes a series of claims about McDonald’s has been recirculating.

The post, which was first shared in 2018, claims that the fast food chain “lost its case after years of trying to conceal that its burgers are 100% beef” and that “It has now been found guilty as only 15% is beef and the remaining 85% is not even good for consuming but for dogs.”

It goes on to warn people that McDonald’s is “anti-Islamic”, claiming that the “council of Islamic justice” withdrew its “guarantee certificate” for the chain after finding “the spices, ketchup and mayonnaise are mixed and made from grease of pork.”

Attached to the post is an image of a sign purportedly informing McDonald’s customers that the chain’s coffee contains french fry grease.

None of this is true. 

McDonald’s beef

McDonald’s confirmed that in the UK all of its beef patties are 100% beef. 

Full Fact was unable to find any evidence that the restaurant chain was “found guilty” of falsely claiming it used “100% beef”.

Suitability for Muslims

While some McDonald’s franchises, especially those in countries where the majority of the population is Muslim, do offer halal certified meat options, McDonald’s franchises in the UK do not, though they confirmed to Full Fact that they have previously conducted a halal trial in a restaurant in Southall, west London.

The Facebook post appears to suggest that McDonald’s food which would be assumed to be permissible by Muslims (such as the vegetarian products) are in fact not halal because they contain pork grease.

It’s not clear in what country the post is claiming that these findings about McDonald’s were made, but we can find no evidence that they apply to McDonald’s in the UK.

McDonald’s UK ketchup and mayonnaise-based products are not listed as containing pork grease, though we couldn’t find any specific information about their spice ingredients. McDonald’s tomato ketchup is approved by the Vegetarian Society as is its Vegetable Deluxe sandwich, which contains the chain’s mayonnaise-based “sandwich sauce”. (McDonald’s UK doesn’t actually offer a standalone mayonnaise).

This shows that McDonald’s sauces do not contain pork fat. Vegetarian products would generally be permissible for Muslims, unless they contained alcohol, which these do not. 

We’ve emailed the International Islamic Council of Justice (which might be what the post meant by the “council of Islamic justice”) to ask if it has ever issued or withdrawn a “guarantee certificate” to McDonald’s.

This post is the latest in a long line of popular conspiracy theories and urban myths about McDonald’s ingredients, including its “100% beef” advertising, which other fact checking sites have previously written about.

Fake sign

As Snopes has previously reported, the sign shown in the post claiming there is grease in McDonald’s coffee is digitally altered, and not real, as revealed by the fact that the telephone number on the sign is actually the number for KFC customer service.

Image courtesy of Emil Huang

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.