U.S. burger chains buying foreign beef?-Truth!

U.S. Burger Chains are Buying Foreign BeefTruth!

Summary of eRumor:

The writer of the eRumor accuses McDonald’s and Burger King of making the unpatriotic decision to start purchasing beef from foreign sources and urges a boycott.  

Another version adds to this by saying that some of the beef is being purchased from South American.

The Truth:

Burger King says this is nothing new and that it has been purchasing beef from Australia and New Zealand for years.

McDonald’s says it is conducting an experiment to use beef from Australia and New Zealand, but it is a small test involving less than 1 percent of its beef purchases.  

Contrary to the eRumor, there is a documented shortage of lean beef in the United States, according to McDonald’s, and that is why they are doing the test.

In a statement sent to TruthOrFiction.com, McDonald’s says it is the biggest buyer of beef in the U.S., using more than one billion pounds per year.  (Burger King is second biggest.) McDonald’s says that any foreign beef purchased is 100% USDA-approved and inspected.  According to the statement, most major quick service restaurant chains including Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr. have used or are now using a significant percentage of imported beef, up to 50 percent.

In the second version (below), the writer says that McDonald’s is claiming that there isn’t enough beef in the U.S. to serve their needs.  That is not exactly accurate.  McDonald’s is saying there is a shortage of lean beef.  Also, in the second version, the burger chains are described as buying beef from South America and then the writer criticizes some of the standards regarding beef in South America.  None of the major chains has said anything about buying beef from South America.

last updated 07/16/02