How a small New Zealand town is keeping McDonald's in beef patties

A small Taranaki town is playing a vital role in keeping the one of New Zealand's best-known burger brands in meat patties.   

All of the beef patties used by the170 McDonald's New Zealand restaurants are produced by meat processor ANZCO at its Waitara operation, with beef from farmers across the country.

From a purpose-built plant, the patties are churned out with military-like precision, to strict specifications.

Over 460,000 patties are produced each day and site manager, Jacques Jordaan said the company works hard to achieve a high standard.

The beef in blended before being shaped into patties,
The beef in blended before being shaped into patties, Photo credit: Supplied

"Every minute of the day we measure ourselves against those standards to make sure we meet the criteria they set out, " he said,

He said quality was top of mind for everyone at the plant.

"Not just from a process operator but all the way through from the process floor to management to make sure it is a perfect product," said Jordaan.

McDonald's Simon Kenny said the patty plant was of critical importance to the company, and there were over 50 checks throughout the process to ensure quality and safety.

The beef patties are made to exact size and weight for the burgers.
The beef patties are made to exact size and weight for the burgers. Photo credit: Supplied

"We need to make sure those beef patties are top quality and really safe for our customers," he said.

The company uses beef from farms across the country, using around six million kilos of beef a year for New Zealand, while 22 million was exported.

Kenny said the story of where the meat was sourced from is becoming increasingly important to customers.

After their are snap frozen, the patties are boxed and sent to McDonald's outlets across New Zealand.
After their are snap frozen, the patties are boxed and sent to McDonald's outlets across New Zealand. Photo credit: Supplied

"More and more customers want to know where their food has come from, as well as the quality and sustainability of the product," said Kenny.

Kenny said despite the myths around the patties, New Zealand beef was the only ingredient in the patties.

"A lot of people can't believe that we only use beef."

"At home, you might use egg and breadcrumbs, so people think it's not possible, there are lots of myths and rumours, but it is just beef."

McDonald's Fun Facts:

• McDonald's purchases over 89 million buns, rolls, bagels and muffins from Aryzta in Auckland

• Over 850,000 kg of lettuce was used in 2018 - that's enough lettuce to stretch the length of 3,400 rugby fields

• 14.12 million free-range eggs were used last year - 3.6 times more eggs than there are cars in New Zealand

• In addition to the 6.86 million kg of beef used locally, another 22.45 million kg was purchased by McDonald's globally

• 12.7 million kg of cheese produced by Fonterra, the equivalent weight of 705 double-decker buses, was also exported to McDonald's restaurants around the world

Watch the video to see how McDonalds meat patties are produced.

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