What Kind of Cheese Does McDonald’s Use? + Other FAQs

McDonald’s uses cheese in a lot of its menu items, but have you ever wondered what kind of cheese McDonald’s uses?

We’ve got all of the details about the kind of cheese McDonald’s uses and whether it’s something you can buy in the store, so keep reading to learn more!

What Kind of Cheese Does McDonald’s Use In 2022?

McDonald’s uses a unique blend of American cheddar cheese which contains about 60% real cheddar cheese and 40% of other ingredients. Additionally, McDonald’s cheese is real cheese but looks so orange because they use cheese containing added beta carotene, and the cheese is gluten-free. Greek Lakes Cheese Plant supplies McDonald’s with its cheese products.

If you have more questions about the kind of cheese McDonald’s uses then read below!

What Cheese Brand Does McDonald’s Use?

McDonald’s uses Great Lakes Cheese Plant to produce more than 18 million pounds of cheese that the company uses for its menu items.

Further, Great Lakes Cheese Plant is based in Hiram, Ohio, and has to run operations 24 hours a day 5 days a week to keep enough cheese flowing to keep McDonald’s running.

Since the Great Lakes Cheese Plant produces the real American cheddar for McDonald’s in such large quantities, they’ve never had to reduce their workforce or cut hours!

Can You Buy McDonald’s Cheese?

Unfortunately, McDonald’s cheese isn’t something that can be purchased in any store since the blend is made specifically for McDonald’s.

However, you can purchase some cheese in the store that’ll get you close to the texture and flexibility of McDonald’s cheese.

Kraft American cheddar in the plastic wrapping is about as close as you can get if you want McDonald’s cheese, although it’s not as orange and it’s a little off in taste.

Is McDonald’s Cheese Cheddar?

McDonald’s cheese is made from real American cheddar cheese, but it’s only 60% real cheddar cheese with the other 40% being other ingredients that are used to make the special blend.

What Ingredients are in McDonald’s Cheese?

McDonald’s cheese is a special mixture that includes 60% American cheddar and other ingredients such as milk, cream, salt, citric acid, enzymes, cheese cultures, and sodium citrate.

On top of that, food coloring, water, and soy lecithin are also ingredients that are added to the American cheddar cheese.

Does McDonald’s Use Fake Cheese?

McDonald’s does not use fake cheese but because it’s only 60% real cheddar cheese and then mixed with other ingredients it’s considered processed cheese.

Is McDonald’s Cheese Dairy-Free?

Is McDonald’s Cheese Dairy-Free?

Unfortunately, McDonald’s cheese isn’t dairy-free due to the fact it contains real cheese plus both milk and cream are ingredients.

If you’re on a lactose-free diet, then you should avoid McDonald’s cheese altogether, or severely limit your amount or else it could create side effects if you’re sensitive to dairy.

What Makes McDonald’s Cheese so Orange?

McDonald’s cheese has a more orange tint to it because the American cheddar cheese contains beta carotene, which is a compound that turns fruits and vegetables orange. 

Additionally, when you ingest beta carotene, it will convert into Vitamin A in your body, which is great since Vitamin A is important for cell growth and has other health benefits.

Is McDonald’s Cheese Gluten-Free?

McDonald’s cheese is gluten-free since it doesn’t contain any wheat products and McDonald’s offers some other gluten-free items if you customize your order to fit your dietary needs.

Furthermore, the cheese is a perfect item to add to your meal to give some extra flavor since you can’t have the bun with your burger.

Is McDonald’s Cheese Pasteurized?

McDonald’s cheese is pasteurized, which means it has been heated to kill off any pathogens and bacteria first.

Further, since it’s pasteurized it’s safe to eat even when you’re pregnant and you don’t have to worry about getting sick from it!

Is McDonald’s Cheese Plastic?

There is no plastic in McDonald’s cheese and it’s not considered “plastic cheese” since the main ingredient is real cheese.

However, plastic is used to separate each piece of cheese so that it doesn’t stick together and it’s easily removed from the packaging at McDonald’s restaurants for quick customer service.

Can You Buy McDonald’s Cheese at McDonald’s?

Unfortunately, there is no way to purchase McDonald’s cheese at McDonald’s restaurants as the company doesn’t sell their cheese to customers even inside their establishment.

Some companies do sell their products in their restaurants but not in stores, but McDonald’s hasn’t done anything like that in the past or present.

Furthermore, the company has no plans to sell their cheese inside the restaurant and has never indicated that those plans will change.

If you are looking to learn more, you can also see our posts on whether or not McDonald’s cheese is real, if McDonald’s meat is real, and if McDonald’s Big Mac is good.


McDonald’s uses real American Cheddar cheese, although it only makes up 60% of the cheese and it’s a unique blend that is made for McDonald’s.

Additionally, other ingredients are added to the cheese including citric acid, milk, cream, cheese, salt, and coloring is found in the McDonald’s cheese.

Great Lakes Cheese Plant produces cheese that’s primarily used for McDonald’s cheese, and the company runs a rigorous schedule to keep up with the McDonald’s cheese demand.

On top of that, McDonald’s cheese is gluten-free and is pasteurized, but it’s not dairy-free so be mindful of that if you’re sensitive to dairy.

You cannot purchase McDonald’s cheese in stores or inside of McDonald’s restaurants, so if you crave that flexible orange cheese, you’ll have to head to McDonald’s to get your fix.

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