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McDonald's USA Announces Significant Reduction Of Trans Fatty Acids With Improved Cooking Oil

Sep 3, 2002

            Reduction Is Major Step Toward Goal of Eliminating
                       Trans Fats From Cooking Oil

New U.S. Oil to Bring 48% TFA Reduction in McDonald's Fries in Early 2003

OAK BROOK, Ill., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- McDonald's USA announced today a significant reduction of trans fatty acids (TFAs) in its fried menu items with the introduction of improved cooking oil in all of its 13,000 restaurants -- a major step toward McDonald's goal of eliminating TFAs from its cooking oil.

The new oil will reduce French fry TFA levels by 48%, reduce saturated fat by 16% and dramatically increase polyunsaturated fat by 167%. While the total fat content in the fries remains unchanged, health experts agree that reducing TFAs and saturates while increasing polyunsaturates is beneficial to heart health. Notably, McDonald's French fries already had the lowest TFA and saturated fat levels in the national quick service restaurant (QSR) industry.

"It's a win-win for our customers because they are getting the same great French fry taste along with an even healthier nutrition profile," said Mike Roberts, President of McDonald's USA. "This leadership initiative is all about giving our customers a wide range of wholesome choices, the highest quality ingredients and the same great taste that they have come to expect from McDonald's. America's favorite French fries are about to get even better."

With this nutrition initiative, McDonald's becomes the first national QSR company to set a goal of eliminating TFAs in cooking oil. The national rollout of the improved cooking oil begins in October 2002 and will be completed by February 2003, according to Roberts. The Company plans to use the new oil to prepare McDonald's French fries, Chicken McNuggets, Filet-O-Fish, Hash Browns and crispy chicken sandwiches.

Global Reduction a Goal

Jack M. Greenberg, McDonald's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, announced that McDonald's is working towards a worldwide reduction of TFAs through enhanced cooking oils as available crop supplies, trade restrictions, country-by-country regulations and customer acceptance allow. As an example, the significant reduction of TFAs and saturated fat will put McDonald's USA in line with McDonald's Europe which already has attained comparable levels.

"McDonald's takes very seriously the fact that our local restaurants serve 46 million customers every day around the world. McDonald's has never hesitated to demonstrate leadership and take action on issues important to our customers, from community support and nutrition to the environment and animal welfare. As a leader in social responsibility, McDonald's will continue to be guided by sound science and leading nutrition experts to do the right thing as we work with our partners around the world to continue to reduce TFAs," said Greenberg.

Ann Rusniak, RD and McDonald's Chief Nutritionist, said, "A majority of nutrition professionals have maintained that McDonald's food can be a part of a healthy diet based on the sound nutrition principles of balance, variety and moderation. However, there is no question that reducing TFAs and saturated fat and increasing polyunsaturates delivers added health dividends based on the latest nutrition research."

Health Professionals Applaud Action

Gregory Miller, PhD, President of the American College of Nutrition, said, "Enhancing the nutrition profile of foods that people know and enjoy is a practical way to help move them closer to achieving nutritional goals. This move affirms the important role that nutrition can, and should play in our everyday lives. I applaud McDonald's for its leadership in this area and urge others to follow their lead."

Dean Ornish, MD, Founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said, "From a nutrition standpoint, this is going to have a major and immediate impact. McDonald's will be positively impacting the nutritional value of meals eaten by millions of consumers every day."

Support from Cargill

McDonald's worked with long-time supplier Cargill, Inc., to find the right formula for the oil to be used in U.S. restaurants. "We worked closely with Cargill and they were very responsive to our requirements for significantly reducing TFAs in our U.S. cooking oil and we thank them for their efforts," said Bruce Feinberg, Senior Director of McDonald's U.S. Quality Systems.

Commitment to Nutrition

This move to reduce TFAs is part of McDonald's long-standing commitment to nutrition leadership:

  --  McDonald's was the first in the quick serve industry to provide
      customers with comprehensive nutrition information in 1973 and
      continues to provide extensive nutrition information in its
      restaurants, via toll-free number (800-244-6227) and the Internet
      ( ).
  --  The Company sponsors an array of education programs that promote
      healthy eating and active lifestyles.  For example, working with the
      Society for Nutrition Education, McDonald's developed a comprehensive
      nutrition program for kids called "Willie Munchright" which is
      available to teachers and educators nationwide.
  --  McDonald's continues to support numerous sports and fitness programs
      at the national and local levels from Summer and Winter Olympic Games
      to local youth sports and fitness programs.
  --  McDonald's menu has always provided a wide range of options and
      serving sizes.
  --  Customers can special order any sandwich to help meet their
      nutritional needs.

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer, with more than 30,000 local restaurants serving nearly 46 million people each day in 121 countries. Approximately 80 percent of all McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent franchisees.


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SOURCE: McDonald's Corporation

CONTACT: Walt Riker, +1-630-623-7318, or Anna Rozenich, +1-630-623-7316,
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