Excess salt consumption leads to increased blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. According to the CDC, 659,000 people die from heart disease in the U.S. every year.
Research published by the American Heart Association in 2017 found that Americans get an estimated 70 percent of their daily sodium intake from processed and restaurant foods.
As America’s most popular fast-food outlet, much focus has been placed on the level of salt in McDonald’s offerings.
Though salt is a necessary nutrient, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend adults consume no more than 2.3 grams of sodium per day as part of a healthy diet.
According to the McDonald’s website, its fries contain 0.62 grams of salt per portion, which is just over a quarter of the recommended daily amount.
McDonald’s isn’t alone in this respect—a portion of Burger King fries contains 0.6 grams—yet there appears to be a unique fascination over salt among McDonald’s fans as one recent social media debate demonstrated.
In a video shared to TikTok by essentialmcdonalds, which has been viewed 7.8 million times, a man purporting to be a worker for McDonald’s gave fans a glimpse of how they make their fries. It can be watched here.
The clip begins with the unidentified worker collecting a batch of uncooked potatoes in a hopper before dropping them into the oil-filled fryer.
A timer is set for what appears to be 3 minutes. After 30 seconds of frying, workers are notified via a “duty timer” that the fries need to be taken out and shaken to “make sure they don’t stick together” before putting them back in the oil.
When the timer concludes, the fries are removed, with all of the excess oil then shaken off. They are then dumped in a fry station and salted before the worker “shakes them around a little bit” to ensure the salt sticks to the fries.
While many fans found the footage fascinating to watch, many seemed to focus, instead, on the salting of the fries themselves.
Angel Santiago claimed: “Everytime I get fries they have no salt whatsoever” with robo_circuit concurring: “my McDonald’s fries never have any salt on them.” Purebloodpride agreed: “I swear they don’t always salt them” while 888scaryxlard said: “y’all lacking on the salt.”
Yet there were plenty who spoke up in defense of McDonald’s use of salt on its fries too. “McDonald’s fries are always perfectly salted,” Nural-ain wrote. Brennan Schulz agreed: “McDonald’s fries are the best fast food fries.”
On the flip side one user, posting as laser bot, thought the opposite after watching the clip. “That’s so much salt,” they wrote to which essentialmcdonalds responded: “That’s how much they’re supposed to get.”
Another user, posting as fatcraftyb**** claimed the man on the video was doing it all wrong. “t used to be a normal salt shaker and you had to make a backwards M over the fried to get the proper amount of salt,” they said.
Whether too much or too little, the debate illustrated the importance placed on salt as a part of the McDonald’s experience and the unhealthy obsession many have with it.
Newsweek has contacted essentialmcdonalds and McDonald’s for comment.
McDonald’s employees have previously lifted the lid on a variety of work practices in videos shared to social media. Recent hits have included a clip showing how the Golden Arches cooks its folded eggs compared to round ones and another video showing what they do when a customer asks for unsalted fries.
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