McDo behind the scenes

McDonald's Belgium's more than 5,000 employees commit to always offering you quality products, in compliance with rigorous hygiene and food safety regulations.

These hygiene and food safety regulations are among the strictest in the industry.

Food safety is one of the chief priorities in our restaurants. A register is filled out daily in order to guarantee quality products.

Handwashing

Employees must, before manning their post, before changing posts, before processing ingredients, and at least once per hour, on the audio signal and/or at the shift manager's instruction, wash their hands and lower arms according to the following procedure:

  • handwashing procedure: 1 dose of antibacterial soap
  • lather up hands and lower arms for a minimum of 30 seconds, to let the soap do its work
  • rinse with lukewarm water to remove all traces of the product
  • dry with a disposable towel

This procedure is repeated as often as necessary.

Permanent checks

Every day, 100 quality control points are checked in-house by a manager:

Ingredients' expiry date (verified three times per day), equipment temperatures (grills, etc.), the cooking times of grilled products, checks of cleaning and disinfecting of equipment such the ice cream maker. The temperatures of the refrigerators and freezers is constantly recorded electronically.

In addition to our in-house checks, unannounced checks are also carried out by an independent laboratory:

  • a twice-yearly sampling and analysis of the products in the restaurants
  • a twice-yearly complete audit of food safety in every restaurant.

Temperature

Temperature of the cooking stations

To ensure correct preparation and quality of the hamburger patties, we check the following aspects in the restaurant every day: the cleanliness of the equipment, the programming of the equipment, the temperatures of the grill platens, and the internal temperatures of several series of grilled hamburger patties. The grilling materials and tools are washed and disinfected at least once every 4 hours, according to a strict procedure.

Temperature of the grill platens

The temperature of the grill platens is checked every morning.

Temperature of the hamburger patties

After the equipment checks, the doneness of the hamburger patties is checked daily, to ensure maximum food safety with a core temperature of no less than 69 °C.

Oil quality

Our oil consists of a mix of sunflower and colza oil. McDonald's restaurants use devices allowing them to keep track of the frying oil's quality. Once a day, the quality of the frying oil is measured using an electronic tester. Depending on the result, the oil will either go on being used or be replaced.

Cold chain compliance

We employ several control points to ensure our products' quality:

  • Verifying product temperatures: the integrity of the cold chain is permanently assured thanks to temperature sensors built into every vehicle, and on the platforms and loading docks. Moreover, every restaurant in Belgium is equipped with an automatic temperature monitoring system (Sensor2Web).  This system measures and records the temperature of all our cold stores and freezers 24/7.  If the temperature is abnormal, the restaurant is alerted so they can take action.
  • On each delivery, the frozen and fresh products are checked and stored first, so as not to break the cold chain.
  • Product rotation: our stocks are organized according to the "first in, first out" principle. This goes for all kinds of storage (from the cold stores to the kitchens).

Clothing

In order to prevent product contamination:

  • every person working in the kitchen must maintain impeccable bodily hygiene and wear spotlessly clean clothing (apron, uniform) which is replaced as often as required.
  • this clothing must:
    • exclusively be worn while carrying out professional activities at McDonald's
    • be kept in a clean place and must not touch dirty or wet textile or town footwear.
  • wearing long-sleeved clothes (sweaters, shirts, etc.) is prohibited in the kitchen
  • every person working in the kitchen must wear a hairnet or a closed cap; the hair must be covered completely.
  • every employee operating the grill must wear disposable gloves to put the meat onto the grill.
  • wearing jewellery (bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, etc.) is prohibited, only a smooth wedding band can be allowed.

Training of team members

From the outset, all team members receive theoretical food safety training, which is repeated annually. They are then trained at the workstations by a trainer who validates their practical knowledge of the procedures by way of a workstation checklist.

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