A viral rumour that McDonald's uses ground worm filler in burgers has been debunked

If you’ve seen some disgusting news about McDonald’s infecting people with parasitic roundworms, don’t worry — it is completely false.

A number of websites specializing in fake news stories, including TopRatedViral, ILyke, and breaking13news, published articles earlier in January reporting that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating “cases of parasitic roundworm disease linked to the McDonald’s restaurant chain,” reports Snopes.

The articles are full of (completely false) details, such as that the outbreak began with five original cases of in Chicago in late December, and that the disease is the result of McDonald’s using ground worm filler in the chain’s all-beef patties. According to the articles, 23% of the patties’ meat is actually ground worm, which McDonald’s supposedly purchases from “Roger Lee’s Worm Farm.”

While the story has many holes, a number of Facebook and Twitter users seem to have accepted the hoax as fact.

PostbyAmazing Facts and Nature.


Some of these misled individuals may have been confused by Chipotle’s recent e. Coli outbreak, which the CDC has investigated, and a story of a four-year-old in England who found something that looked like a worm when she bit into her chicken nugget. While McDonald’s is currently researching the alleged worm (which could also simply be a blood vessel or a piece of fat), it has definitely not been linked to a “parasitic roundworm disease” outbreak.

Social media stories about wormy McDonald’s build upon decades of urban legends that the fast-food chain uses worms in burgers as a money-saving measure. As Snopes reports, these rumours simply don’t make sense. Wormy burgers aren’t just disgusting — they would actually cost the company more money, as worms cost more per pound than beef.

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