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Fresh beef coming to a Quarter Pounder near you

  • A McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder is shown with the new fresh beef Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Atlanta. McDonald's is offering fresh beef rather than frozen patties in some burgers at thousands of restaurants, a switch it first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart) Mike Stewart

  • A McDonald's Quarter Pounder, left, and Double Quarter Pound burger are shown with fresh beef Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Atlanta. McDonald's is offering fresh beef rather than frozen patties in some burgers at thousands of restaurants, a switch it first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart) Mike Stewart

  • A McDonald's Quarter Pounder, top right, and Double Quarter Pound burger are shown with fresh beef Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Atlanta. McDonald's is offering fresh beef rather than frozen patties in some burgers at thousands of restaurants, a switch it first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart) Mike Stewart

  • FILE- In this April 24, 2017, photo, corporate signage hangs at a McDonald's restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh. McDonald’s announced Tuesday, March 6, 2018, that it is offering fresh beef rather than frozen patties in some burgers at thousands of restaurants, a switch it first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) Keith Srakocic

  • FILE- In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, shows a sign for a McDonald's restaurant in Brandon, Miss. McDonald’s announced Tuesday, March 6, that it is offering fresh beef rather than frozen patties in some burgers at thousands of restaurants, a switch it first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File) Rogelio V. Solis


Associated Press
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

NEW YORK — The Quarter Pounder is getting a fresh makeover.

McDonald’s said Tuesday that it is serving Quarter Pounders with fresh beef rather than frozen patties at about a quarter of its U.S. restaurants, a switch it first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. It will roll out fresh beef Quarter Pounders to most of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants by May.

The fast-food giant, which has relied on frozen patties since the 1970s, said workers will cook up the fresh beef on a grill when the burger is ordered.

“The result is a hotter, juicier, great tasting burger,” said Chris Kempczinski, who oversees McDonald’s Corp.’s restaurants in the U.S.

Its pricier “Signature Crafted” burgers, stuffed with guacamole or bacon, will also be made with fresh beef since they use the same sized patty as the Quarter Pounder. The Big Mac and its other burgers, however, will still be made with frozen beef.

Fresh beef has always been used by rival Wendy’s, which aired a Super Bowl commercial last month criticizing the “flash frozen” beef at McDonald’s. A Wendy’s Co. representative gave a frosty response Tuesday, saying that “it’s awesome” that McDonald’s “is recommitting to using frozen beef on the majority of its hamburgers.”

“Fresh in the mind of the consumer really has a better-for-you connotation,” said David Henkes, a senior principal at Technomic, a food industry market research firm. “It certainly has a perception that it’s better than frozen.”