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How McDonald’s Canada makes its fries

skeptics freeze dried real potatoes

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#1 Hum

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 23:28

In the latest installment of its transparency campaign, McDonald's has released a video to try and convince skeptical Canadians that its famous french fries are indeed made out of real potatoes.

In the "behind-the-scene tour from the farm all the way to the fryer" video, Scott Gibson, manager of McDonald's supply chain, helps explain how the potatoes are harvested, sorted and prepped to be fried.

Gibson explains that the fries are "cut and they're never formed." It might be interesting to know that to make the fries uniform in color, preservatives are applied, and then they're deep fried for about a minute before they're freeze dried, bagged and shipped out.

Finally, the fries hit McDonald's stores, where Gibson uses a demonstration to answer the question: "Why is there soooooo much salt on the fries?"

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#2 Enron

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 23:35

It was very interesting to learn aboot how the Canadians process their fries. Makes me wonder what's different about the American ones though.

#3 Growled

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:12

That is interesting. I never thought they were made from real potatoes either.

#4 PhilTheThrill

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:28

As far as I could tell they are just potato. They definitely aren't "formed" as the fries can be wildly different in size and shape. Vegetable oil - true. Amount of salt used from the shaker - true. Best time to experience how the fries should be is just after the switch from breakfast to regular menu (usually about 11am) And if you are able to find out, go on the day they change the oil in the fryers. They'll be the cleanest, crispiest fries you'll get.

The reason some fries might be super salty is that the fry station collects some grease from the fries and over the day this catches excess salt and it builds up. This then transfers to some fries and makes them really salty. Workers should have the sense to take the fry scoop and scrape the excess away every hour or two or get some paper towel and wipe out the excess. Lots of them don't though. I used to make a point of doing it because it can get way too salty. The night shift workers should be dismantling and cleaning the station each night. It breaks down into about 4 or 5 pieces. The under tray is a sight to behold after a day of fries going through. It's literally a few kilo's worth of brownish grease mixed with salt that goes through the tiny slits in the main tray throughout the day.

(I used to work for McDonald's and spent many a night cleaning the station.)

#5 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:41

I like McDonald's meals - they're consistent, they're tasty and they're reasonably priced. They're also relatively healthy if you factor the size of the meal into your daily calorie allowance, although the Big Tasty with Bacon large meal with non-diet coke works out to around 1,700 calories which is grossly excessive. Thankfully I live in the UK, which has better quality ingredients than in the US (our coke doesn't use high-fructose corn syrup and our beef never contained pink slime).

I never assumed the fries were processed but it's good to see confirmation videos like this.

#6 rippleman

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:42

It was very interesting to learn aboot how the Canadians process their fries. Makes me wonder what's different about the American ones though.

i have lived here for 38 years now. Not once have I ever heard anyone say the word "aboot". I have heard Americans reference more then once. Where does this come from? Just a USA thing? Are you thinking of Australians or British maybe?

#7 xpablo

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:42

I've noticed that there is nobody that keeps track of how much salt is on the fries. When I worked at Rotten Ronnie's there would be a person who would be in charge of the deep fryers
then they would go on break or end of shift and somebody else takes over then the next person doesn't see any salt on the fries and adds some more and some people have no clue as too how much salt should
be on the fries.

McDonald's Canada never answered my question as to why the menu prices vary so much within the same city.

#8 OP Hum

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:47

^ Noticed that at a Wendy's too.

A second worker would come along, and robotically add another dose of salt.

Apparently they weren't planning to eat any fries. :x

#9 -Razorfold

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:55

It was very interesting to learn aboot how the Canadians process their fries. Makes me wonder what's different about the American ones though.

I don't know but one thing I have noticed is that McDonalds tastes a lot better in Hong Kong than it does in the US, a lot less greasy too.

If I had to guess though it's because of lobbying and laws. Coca-cola is made with high fructose corn syrup in the US (thanks to lobbying and corn farm subsidies) whereas the rest of the world gets coke made from real sugar.

^ Noticed that at a Wendy's too.

A second worker would come along, and robotically add another dose of salt.

I've noticed that too, at first I thought it was just limited to one Wendy's but tons and tons of them do it.

#10 Synthetic

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:12

(I used to work for McDonald's and spent many a night cleaning the station.)

We're McDonald's brothers now :) though I worked there over the summer back in 1996.

#11 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:22

McDonald's Canada never answered my question as to why the menu prices vary so much within the same city.


McDonald's operates in the same way as Subway, in which different stores are operated by different franchisees. They can have separate promotions and entirely different prices, even in the same town. Sometimes different franchises can even carry different products and even individual managers within a franchise can choose different tertiary products (though the core products are required to be carried by all stores). In addition some locations have considerably higher rent, which is why many stores in prime locations and places like airports are noticeably more expensive.

The stores may all look the same on the surface but they can be run very differently.

#12 billyea

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:49

I'd like them to answer how they can sell a Junior Chicken, which is basically a McChicken without fancy garnishes, for much cheaper than a McChicken.

#13 alphamale

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:37

i worked at mcdonalds for a number of years. corporate would send in guys that checked everything from tempatures, product rotation, sharpness of tomato slicers and on and on. they are owned by owner operators but corporate watches everything they do so when you travel and visit mcdonalds the experience is the same. if you get a cowboy that does not listen to what mickey tells them they dont grow and the corporate watcher comes real often. if the cowboy does not get the message and comply they will take the restaurant away and sell it to someone who wants to play ball the right way. i can not remember what they called that guy. maybe a consultant. one of the few compnies you can trust with your food. they control everything.

#14 +warwagon

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:47

Those fries look very YUMMY! To bad I'm on a low diet :(

#15 splur

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:39

Wait, why are they so specific about it being Canada? What does McDonald's elsewhere do? lol... scary.

i have lived here for 38 years now. Not once have I ever heard anyone say the word "aboot". I have heard Americans reference more then once. Where does this come from? Just a USA thing? Are you thinking of Australians or British maybe?

Go to Newfoundland, you'll hear it. Apparently we ALL talk like that.



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