Eggs seem simple, right? Egg sandwiches too. Open one up, fry it and add it to your favorite toasted breakfast bread with bacon or sausage. But you might be surprised to learn that many fast food restaurants don’t make their egg sandwiches from whole eggs, even though they claim they’re made from “real eggs” or ” cageless eggs”.
According to Today, fast food restaurants use egg products instead of freshly cracked eggs to extend shelf life and maintain quality control. Many fast food outlets therefore use pasteurized products like bagged eggs or pre-frozen patties that can be stored longer and cooked evenly every time. The problem is that many of these bagged or preformed products contain fillers or preservatives that you won’t find in a real egg, but they can still be called eggs in menu items.
In 2018, Panera asked the government to change the definition of what constitutes an egg product. He called on other chains to use these blended mixes and highlighted his own fresh eggs. This does not appear to have happened because egg products are still defined by the FDA as “whole eggs, whites, yolks, and various mixtures – with or without non-egg ingredients – that are processed and pasteurized.
Want to know if a chain uses a whole egg, check the ingredients. The McDonald’s Egg McMuffin lists only one ingredient: the egg. It’s a good sign.
You know who else cracks fresh eggs every day? At Wendy’s. And they shout it. As with many fast-food items, if the chain isn’t shouting from the rooftops that it’s using something more expensive and labor-intensive, you can bet it’s taking shortcuts.
Many fast food restaurants have moved to cage-free eggs, which is a step in the right direction. But many of those same chains scramble those eggs without a cage in a bag, which isn’t bad, it’s just not a whole fresh egg. Here are the nine fast food restaurants that don’t tell you “the whole” story when it comes to their eggs.
Hey, didn’t you just say McDonald’s was good? Well, yes, but just because their McMuffins are made with whole eggs doesn’t mean that’s true of the other items. McD’s Folded Egg has a few more ingredients than just an egg. Folded egg ingredients include eggs, skim milk, modified food starch, salt, and citric acid.
According to McDonald’s, “Our egg folds, like those in a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit, are made with liquid eggs that are pre-cooked and folded before being frozen by our suppliers. Once in our kitchens, they are prepared on the grill with real butter.” Sausage Egg Burrito’s are also pre-made: our suppliers pre-cook liquid eggs with ingredients like sausage, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and seasonings before quick-freezing them to lock in flavor.
If you’re looking for a freshly cracked egg, stick to the Egg McMuffin.
Dunkin’s eggs are more of a scientific feat than the work of chickens. Any sandwich that comes with a fried egg in Dunkin’ World is made with the chain’s signature “egg patty,” which is a pre-made mix of egg whites, egg yolks, and water. , oil and stabilizers.
A few years ago, a TikToker reportedly showed the frozen egg patty, and it was a perfect yellow circle surrounded by white that was rock hard. Well, that certainly keeps things consistent. Fortunately, in 2016 the chain added more real eggs to its egg patty. What was it before? Much more water.
When Panera called out other chains in 2018, saying they shouldn’t be able to call their egg substitutes “egg sandwiches,” it only used 100% freshly cracked eggs.
That no longer seems to be true. Some of the breakfast items use a pasteurized egg – which can come out of a shell in the restaurant – and liquid whole eggs. The scrambled egg sandwiches seem to use runny eggs.
There are no flat tops at Starbucks, so it should come as no surprise that your eggs aren’t made in-house. Also, as we saw with Dunkin’ something called a “pie”, it’s probably changed a bit.
Most Starbucks egg dishes are made with an “egg frittata patty” which contains soybean oil and water, as well as unmodified cornstarch, xanthan gum, citric acid and powdered cellulose. Scrambled eggs are prepared with eggs premixed with modified food starch, salt, pepper liquid extractxanthan gum, citric acid, skimmed milksoybean oil and corn starch. Sous vide egg bites are made with just eggscitric acid, and water—for the portion of eggs, viz. Ahhh, like grandma used to do.
Burger King eggs, according to Today, are a “liquid mixture of pasteurized eggs” and contain “whole eggs, water, xanthan gum, citric acid, medium chain triglycerides, etc.” Currently, Burger King does not publish its full ingredient information, the link in the Today the article leads to a broken link.
Tasty? Yes. Cracked eggs? No. Taco Bell is on the cageless train, but the eggs aren’t cracked for every order. The egg mix for most items contains these cage-free eggs plus soybean oil, salt, citric acid, pepper, flavoring (sunflower oil, flavorings), gum xanthan and guar gum.
Subway uses cage-free eggs, but workers do not break eggs in-house. You probably already suspected that because no one is grilling eggs on the line. Subway’s eggs come in the form of egg patties like at Dunkin’. The ingredients show egg yolks and egg whites separated with water and soybean oil, plus a bunch of other flavor enhancers and stabilizers. Eat fresh?
Del Taco? No, he also uses liquid eggs for all of his breakfast tacos, wraps, and burritos. Its liquid egg ingredients include whole eggs, 19% water and extra egg whites, among others.
Chick-fil-A grills its chicken on-site in select locations, which almost no fast-food restaurant does, but it doesn’t crack any eggs. All breakfast dishes that contain eggs are made from whole eggs, water, and a few other ingredients, including natural butter-like flavoring, xanthan gum, citric acid, and annatto .
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