Does McDonald’s Coffee Contain Pork? Separating Fact from Fiction

A rumor has been circulating that McDonald’s adds pork grease from their fries into their coffee to speed up heating. This claim has left many McDonald’s coffee drinkers wondering – does McDonald’s coffee contain pork?

As a regular McDonald’s customer and coffee drinker, I was curious to get to the bottom of this rumor. I did some digging into McDonald’s coffee ingredients and uncovered the facts.

Here’s a look at the pork allegations against McDonald’s coffee and the real truth about what’s in their brew

The Viral Rumor: Pork Grease in McDonald’s Coffee

The pork rumor can be traced back to at least 2011, when an image of a fake McDonald’s sign began circulating online. The sign claimed McDonald’s uses “french fry grease” in their coffee to help it heat up faster.

Since McDonald’s fries were cooked in pork fat for decades, this implied pork grease was being added to the coffee. The rumor spread across social media, email chains, and questionable websites.

Many were left wondering – could this outlandish claim possibly be true? Does McDonald’s really spice up their coffee with fried pork bits?

McDonald’s Response: No Pork in Our Coffee

With the pork rumor reaching viral proportions, McDonald’s finally stepped in to set the record straight.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s has confirmed that there is absolutely no pork or fry grease in their coffee. Their coffee contains 100% coffee ingredients, without any added oil or pork fat.

The pork rumor appears to have originated from a fake sign that McDonald’s did not actually post in any restaurant. The made-up sign contains a phone number for KFC, not McDonald’s, revealing its forged nature.

McDonald’s also explained that they have never cooked fries in pork fat in the U.S. only ever using a beef and vegetable oil blend. So there would be no pork grease for their coffee even if they wanted to add it.

McDonald’s Coffee Ingredients: No Pork

To verify McDonald’s statements debunking the rumor, we can examine the ingredients in a McDonald’s Premium Roast Coffee. The ingredients are:

  • Brewed 100% Arabica coffee
  • Sugar
  • Cream
  • Natural flavors

The primary ingredient is simply coffee, without any mention of pork fat or other oils.

McDonald’s uses 100% Arabica coffee beans grown in Central and South America. The beans are roasted and brewed on-site at each restaurant.

For flavored coffees, natural and artificial flavors are added, along with sugar and creamer as desired. But pork and meat products are never listed in the ingredients.

Where Did the McDonald’s Pork Rumor Come From?

So if there’s clearly no pork in their coffee, where did this bizarre rumor originate? There are a few potential sources for how the myth got started:

  • Confusion with McDonald’s fries – Since McDonald’s fries were long cooked in beef tallow, some mistakenly assumed they contained pork. This led to the false idea that McDonald’s had pork fry grease.

  • Satire and misinformation – The original fake sign may have been created as satire or intentionally spread misinformation. Without context, some took it as fact.

  • Distrust of fast food – General public distrust of fast food chains and their ingredients made some quick to believe the worst.

  • Sensationalism – The shocking idea of pork bits in coffee was sensationalized by fake news sites to generate clicks and shares.

While the true origins may never be known, the rumor clearly seized public attention based on shock value rather than facts.

Is McDonald’s Coffee Healthy? Potential Concerns

Though it’s not made with pork fat, some still have concerns over McDonald’s coffee:

  • Sugar and calories – A small McCafe Mocha has 330 calories and 43g of sugar – comparable to a chocolate bar. Black coffee is a healthier choice.

  • Acrylamide – Coffee contains acrylamide, a potential carcinogen formed during roasting. But acrylamide levels are regulated and deemed safe under certain thresholds.

  • Chemical flavorings – Artificial flavors added to flavored coffees are chemically processed in a lab. Natural flavorings may be a better alternative.

  • Sustainability – Mass farming of coffee beans raises environmental concerns. Locally-sourced eco-friendly coffee may be more sustainable.

Overall, in moderation, McDonald’s standard black coffee is likely fine for most people. But added sugars and flavorings could be problematic if consumed excessively.

Should You Drink McDonald’s Coffee?

Based on the ingredients and nutrition facts, here are some tips on enjoying McDonald’s coffee safely:

  • Opt for basic black coffee to avoid extra sugar and calories from flavor additions.
  • Treat sweeter coffee drinks as occasional dessert items, not daily drinks.
  • Ask for natural flavorings rather than artificial if customizing your McCafe drink.
  • Enjoy your coffee alongside food, not on an empty stomach where acidity can cause stomach irritation.
  • Buy coffee from local roasters whenever possible to support sustainability.
  • Drink water alongside your coffee to stay hydrated.
  • As always, consume caffeine in moderation if you are sensitive to its effects.

When enjoyed responsibly, McDonald’s coffee can be an affordable daily treat. Just don’t overdo the extras.

The Bottom Line: No Pork in McDonald’s Coffee

Despite enduring myths and rumors, exhaustive research shows there is absolutely no pork, bacon fat, or other animal grease used in McDonald’s coffee. Their coffee contains simple ingredients like brewed Arabica coffee beans, sugar, cream, and natural flavors.

McDonald’s themselves have repeatedly confirmed they do not cook fries in pork oil, and have never added any type of oil or pork fat to their coffee.

The original fake sign that sparked the rumor has been thoroughly debunked as a forged hoax. While McDonald’s coffee does have some potential drawbacks, pork, meat, or grease ingredients are certainly not among them.

So coffee lovers can rest assured – the only pork at McDonald’s will come in an Egg McMuffin, not their morning coffee. When craving a hot, caffeinated beverage from McDonald’s, pork-free is the way to go.

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Is McDonald’s coffee halal?

McDonald’s USA does not certify or claim any of its US menu items as Halal, Kosher or meeting any other religious requirements. We do not promote any of our US menu items as vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. This information is correct as of January 2022, unless stated otherwise.

What are McDonald’s coffee made of?

Made with 100% Arabica beans, McCafé® Premium Roast Coffee is expertly roasted and freshly brewed every 30 minutes. Enjoy your hot coffee black or with your choice of sugar, sweetener, and dairy or creamer. Available in small, medium and large.

What does McDonald’s put in their coffee?

Our McCafé Iced Coffee recipe is made with 100% Arabica beans, cream, and your choice of flavored coffee syrup—Caramel, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, and Sugar-Free French Vanilla.* A fan of black coffee?

Does McDonald’s sell pork?

Pork. Whether it’s the sausage on your Sausage Biscuit or your Sausage McGriddles®, the pork we use adds savory flavor to any meal.

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