McDonald’s Buns: the Unsung Heroes in Burgers

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Bun-O tera hygiene laage healthy, Bun-O tera hygiene…you will also begin to sing once you know the process that goes behind the preparation of each McDonald’s bun. For most of us, the most important part of a burger is either the patty, the sauces or the salad but hardly anyone ever looks twice at the bun. Why? It is what keeps your burger together and encloses the taste of each bite until it is in your mouth and mixing with your saliva.

It is not tasteless either! Some would claim the buns are just as important for the overall taste of the burger as the patty or sauces, but still in the ‘Hall of Fame’ of burger ingredients, buns never find their way to the top, even though they are a staple in every burger. You literally cannot make a burger without a bun. More specifically however, you cannot make a McDonald’s burger without a specially baked hygienic bun.

Do you know where the buns used in McDonald’s are made? Of course you don’t, you never thought about it, did you? You’ll wonder about the ingredients used in the sauce, or the kind of meat or veggies that are used to make patties, or even wonder on a lazy afternoon about the fish used in Filet-O-fish but never would your brain ever wonder about the thing that keeps all of the above intact until the jumble of meat-veggies-and-sauces reach the bottom of your stomach. As a species, human beings seem inapt at curiosity regarding buns. It is not a big deal, of course. After all, who has the time to know about the buns? Well, you do learn recipes for sauces and try to get the freshest vegetables for your meals but if the buns are of less-than-premium quality you really do not mind. After all, who even tastes the bun when eating a burger, right?

Wrong.

Buns can make or break a burger. Don’t believe me?

Well, it’s alright, you will before this article is over.

Mrs Bector’s is the major supplier of buns for McDonald’s. The company operates out of three bakeries located across India. It is one of the most hygiene-oriented factories in India: the moment the workers arrive at the factory they are given an air-shower and then their hands are sanitized so that no germs can enter into the compound. Germs are everywhere and to free any place of them requires vigilant and dedicated care since micro-organism do not really need wide openings to infiltrate. 

Before approaching the baking area, they are given a face and hair mask along with gum boots, so as to avoid the introduction of foreign materials into the raw materials which the workers handle. These simple steps enable the bakery to have premium hygiene levels.

In the next step, machinery converts flour into buns automatically, by sieving the raw flour so as to remove any unwanted particles. When the machine is done packing the flour into bun shapes, they are sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked in giant ovens until the color and texture are uniform –exactly as you like them, and are then left to cool.

After another examination to check if there are less-than-perfect buns, the rest are packed into vacuumed plastic bags to preserve the freshness of the buns for at least five days.

Before being placed inside cartons and loaded in temperature-controlled trucks to be delivered to McDonald’s restaurants, the buns are given a final check: A metal detector helps to find any unwanted materials inside the bun. Those buns which fail this test never see the light of day and are discarded immediately while the rest continue on their journey which ends abruptly at the bottom of your tummy.

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