An infographic showing the journey of a typical burger in the UK
Image: by Supratim Deb

Ever thought about where a Big Mac actually comes from?

The McDonald's factory in the UK produces three million burgers a day! Along with all the other ingredients, it takes a lot of time, money and effort to construct a Big Mac. This infographic looks at how it all comes together.


Supply chain:

Patty (source: Daily Mail):

  • 16,000 British and Irish farmers supply abattoirs who in turn supply the one factory in the UK that makes McDonald’s burgers
  • Dawn Meats are the suppliers for more than 400m beef burgers per year for McDonald’s, who sell products produced there to the UK, Ireland, and continental Europe
  • Patties are produced in a burger factory in Scunthorpe, operated by OSI Group, who first began supplying McDonald’s in the US, in the 1950. The factory in Scunthorpe produce three million burgers a day


Rest of burger: (source: McDonald’s)

  • Mustard: Lancashire, UK
  • Heinz Ketchup: Belgium
  • One slice of cheese: Northern Ireland
  • Two slices of pickle: Turkey
  • 7g of chopped onion: United States
  • Special sauce: UK


  • McDonald's is the world's largest distributor of toys, with one included in 20% of all sales
  • Americans alone consume one billion pounds of beef at McDonald's in a year
  • McDonald's has 761,000 employees worldwide, more than the population of Luxembourg
  • The recipe for the Big Mac sauce is public information, but the ratio of the ingredients is a closely guarded secret. The sauce is manufactured off-site, and delivered to restaurants in sealed canisters. (source: Daily Telegraph)
  • A single patty could contain meat from over 100 cows
  • Patties are cooked for exactly 42 seconds. The three buns — crown (the top), club (the bread between the two burgers that make a Big Mac) and heel (the bottom) — are toasted for exactly 35 seconds. The full process of cooking and assembling a Big Mac takes exactly 90 seconds
  • The ingredients in a McDonald’s burger bun are (source: Food Matters): Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Monoglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzymes, Guar Gum, Calcium Peroxide), Sorbic Acid, Calcium Propionate and/or Sodium Propionate (Preservatives), Soy Lecithin, Sesame Seed.

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