Since there was some debate in the recent thread about McDonalds fries about whether or not they are vegetarian in the US, I decided to contact the company and ask. This is the response I got:
Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's. We are truly sorry that you are disappointed with us and appreciate this opportunity to respond to your comments.
It is important to note that McDonald's voluntarily provides nutrition and ingredient information on its products, and we have always followed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for labeling to be consistent with other U.S. food retailers and packaged goods who provide nutrition and ingredient information.
However, some customers have told us they want more information about our products than what we previously provided. So now, in our nutrition materials, we are including the source of our "natural flavorings." For core menu products in the U.S., customers are now able to find out if a natural flavor comes from a meat, vegetable or dairy source. This updated Nutrition Facts Brochure is available in our U.S. restaurants and on our website at: http://www.mcdonalds.com/countries/usa/food/ingredient_list/index.html
With regard to our French fries, any customer in the U.S. who contacts McDonald's USA to ask if they contain beef flavoring is told "yes." For flavor enhancement, in the U.S., McDonald's French fry suppliers use a very small amount of beef flavor as a natural flavoring during the par-frying process at the potato processing plant. In the restaurant, the French fries are cooked in vegetable oil.
In addition, we have no plans to change the way we prepare our French fries in the U.S. However, it is important to know that our French fries are prepared differently in other countries.
Regardless of our efforts, we want you to know we regret that you are upset with McDonald's. We appreciate the time you took to contact us and we hope we have the privilege of being able to serve you in the future.
McDonald's Customer Response Center"
The link she included doesn't work for me,but I found this
. I think that it is interesting that she says that the information now lists the source for natural flavorings...then says that the fries do have beef, but that only wheat and dairy are indicated as the source of the natural flavorings.
Since they certainly aren't vegan, I suppose it doesn't matter for me, but if I were lacto-ovo I would certainly avoid them, considering the company answers emails saying that they are beef-tastic.
I also found the form email amusing. I didn't express any disappointment, I just straight up asked if there was any meat in their fries. :-P