The Truth About Arby’s Roast Beef: Does it Really Come as a Paste?

Arby’s is synonymous with roast beef sandwiches. The fast food chain has built their entire brand around thinly sliced roast beef since they first opened in 1964.

But over the years, an urban legend has spread claiming that Arby’s roast beef doesn’t actually arrive at restaurants as real meat. Rumors say it comes as a liquid, paste, or gel and is somehow reformed into slices in the store.

This nasty rumor has persisted for decades. But is there any truth to the idea that Arby’s roast beef comes in a paste? Let’s examine the facts

The Urban Legend Has Been Around Since At Least 1997

By 1997, the urban myth that Arby’s roast beef was a “meat paste” instead of real beef was already widely circulated. That year, the fact checking website Snopes investigated the claims.

They went right to the source and asked Arby’s. The company adamantly denied the rumors, stating their roast beef is 100% real beef, not any kind of paste or gel.

Over the years, the rumor has stubbornly persisted. But Arby’s employees have consistently shot it down. On Reddit, former workers confirm the roast beef arrives as actual meat and is sliced only when ordered.

Yes, It Comes Packaged in an Odd Gel Broth

So where did this myth originate?

According to Snopes, it likely started because the roast beef does ship to stores in an unusual condition. Each store receives vacuum-sealed bags containing a single chunk of roast beef soaked in a gelatinous broth.

Admittedly, this beef in jelly looks and feels different than raw beef you’d buy at a grocery store. Between the color, texture, and liquified state, someone probably made a jump to assuming it was a meat paste.

In reality, it’s just real beef and cooking juices. But the odd shipping method still fuels the myth today.

The Roast Beef is Cooked in the Bag Before Slicing

Here’s another surprising fact about Arby’s roast beef preparation.

In 2015, Business Insider got a behind-the-scenes look at how the sandwiches are made. They learned that while meats like brisket arrive pre-cooked, roast beef is actually slow-roasted in the same vacuum-sealed bags for around 4 hours.

Only after cooking does it get emptied from the bag, chilled, and sliced fresh when a customer orders.

So while the beef looks weird when it arrives, it transforms into actual, recognizable roast beef before serving.

Quality Control Issues Have Fueled the Rumors

Why has this legend endured so long without any evidence?

Quality control likely plays a role. Anyone who eats enough Arby’s knows roast beef quality varies wildly between locations. Sometimes it’s tender and juicy, sometimes it’s dry, tough, and strangely uniform.

When you get a bad batch, it’s easy to question what you’re eating. If the meat seems overly processed, “meat paste” becomes a tempting theory.

Quality issues also impacted a 2015 Consumer Reports survey, which found Arby’s was one of America’s least-loved sandwich chains. Poor experiences make customers more likely to believe the company uses fake meat.

Arby’s Has Struggled with Health Perceptions

Arby’s has higher calorie and sodium counts compared to some fast food chains. Whether deserved or not, this has contributed to an image that their food is highly processed and unhealthy.

When people already think your food is artificial, it’s a small leap to believing your signature roast beef is a manufactured paste, not real meat.

Arby’s has tried addressing nutritional concerns by introducing lower-calorie options. But the stereotype persists.

No, It’s Not Actually Meat Paste

To conclude, Arby’s confirmed decades ago that their roast beef absolutely does not arrive as a paste or gel. The meat is simply sealed in an unusual cooking broth.

The look of the packaging, inconsistent quality, and general perceptions of unhealthiness have fueled false rumors. But current and former employees have verified that real roast beef is sliced fresh in stores daily.

Next time you bite into an Arby’s sandwich, you can be confident it’s not made from meat goo! The chain relies on actual beef to maintain its signature product.

So while Arby’s has its fair share of issues, serving pseudo-meat paste isn’t one of them. The long-running urban myth has been thoroughly debunked.

The Truth About Arby’s Roast Beef


Is Arby’s roast beef emulsified?

Arby’s “rost beef” is emulsified beef, reformed with meat glue. That’s how they can get product consistency. Think of it as hot dogs sliced thin.

Does Arby’s roast beef come in a bag?

Yes, it does come pre-packaged in a weird solution Each Arby’s location receives their roast beef in airtight bags, and when they get it, it does look a little suspect. Snopes describes it as “kind of grayish and rather soft and squishy”… and that doesn’t sound like most traditional types of meat, does it?

What does Arby’s put on their roast beef?

Arby’s tender and juicy, freshly sliced roast beef with Swiss cheese, crispy onions, sliced mushrooms and a deliciously savory spread all on a toasted specialty roll.

Is Arbys roast beef a real meat?

The claim basically says their roast beef is actually imitation meat, made from gels, liquids, or pastes, formed into a vaguely meat-shaped lump then roasted, cooled, and turned into sandwich filler. Nothing about it sounds good, and its a weirdly enduring story. They conducted research and contacted Arbys Quality Assurance directly.

Are Arby’s roast beef sandwiches made from Paste?

Rumors claim Arby’s roast beef sandwiches are made from paste, gel, powder, or liquid. Arby’s roast beef is made from a paste, gel, powder, or liquid. A number of readers have written to us in the past few years to inquire regarding a rumor they’ve heard about Arby’s, a popular roast beef sandwich franchise.

Is Arby’s roast beef a liquid or a paste?

Since at least 1997, there has been a persistent rumor that Arby’s famous roast beef is actually a liquid, or a paste, like you might find in a science fiction movie (via Snopes ). Fortunately, we can confirm that this assumption is due to a preparation technique that, while visually unappealing, is not part of some future-world experiment.

Does Arby’s have meat?

As you know, Arby’s slogan is that “They have the meats”, and it’s always true. No matter when you decide to visit, their sandwiches will always be stacked high with a ton of meat in them. This includes the Arby’s Classic Roast Beef Sandwich, which many people all around love to try. But you have to ask yourself: Is Arby’s Roast Beef Real?

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