A Tour of McDonald's Horrifying Mechanized Meat Factories

Illustration for article titled A Tour of McDonald's Horrifying Mechanized Meat Factories

If you're curious about large-scale meat-processing machinery and sanitation procedures, definitely watch this video. If you ever, ever want to eat fast food again, maybe don't.


Made to reassure the public about the safety and quality of McDonald's meat, this tour of one of their meat providers' factories is interesting, partly because of the complex, bewildering preparations that the beef patties go through and the amazing machines that do the work, but mostly because of how much the procedure resembles that child-grinding scene from The Wall.

The video has it all: masked employees earnestly voicing the virtues their "USDA-inspected" product while behind them, a torrent of beef spews out of a giant mechanical meat-hole onto a speeding conveyor belt; tubs, pipes and boxes of various sizes and shapes carrying a roiling mass of beef slurry; countless, mysterious processing chambers, each of which does who knows what else to the patties.

The final step of the process: after all the processing, grinding, forming and freezing, the last device the patties pass through before packaging is a metal detector. In other words, go to McDonald's, because your Big Mac is practically guaranteed not to have a lug nut in it.

It's not that this is necessarily surprising, it's just that we're used to companies keeping this kind of thing as out of view as possible. So some credit is due to McD's, I guess? Witness all the mechanical wonder/horror here. [McDonald'sThanks, Albert!]



I'm confused. Why are you SO surprised that the meat passes through a metal detector? Almost all foodstuffs pass through metal detectors, to protect us from metal shavings, slivers from broken grinder blades, etc. Would you rather NOT have it go through a metal detector and end up ingesting metal filings or a piece of metal that turns your intestines into string cheese?

Come on. Discovery Networks' "How It's Made" and Food Network programs show these types of things REGULARLY.

You don't want your meat processed this way? Ok. I suggest you live on a farm, with your own chickens, pigs, cows, etc. and then you kill them yourself. Oh, better make sure if you kill a cow that you do it with something that doesn't leave any metal in the meat (i.e. don't shoot it in the head with a nailgun or a bullet like most butchers/slaughterhouses do). And then, you can see all the pretty stuff that's involved with slaughtering animals.

Sorry, but I'm not giving up my meat products. I won't eat at McDonald's anymore, but that's because I don't like the taste of anything on their menu.