Suicide Burger Among Five Worst Fast-Food Secret Menu Items
Secret menus at McDonald’s, Chipotle, and other restaurants are the latest dangerous fast-food tactic used to deceive customers. In an attempt to sidestep the calorie labels, restaurants are putting meals with the most fat, meat, and cheese on hidden, unregulated “secret” menus that leave customers playing Russian roulette with their health, according to a new report from the Physicians Committee.
What are secret menus? Restaurants allow customers to purchase items not available on the posted public menus. These are usually over-the-top combinations of existing menu items devised by customers and unofficially circulated via word of mouth, such as the eight-burger Monster Mac at McDonald’s.
But many secret menu items are created by fast-food companies and posted on their websites, such as those at Panera and In-N-Out Burger. Calorie counts and nutrition information for these items do not have to be posted in restaurants because they are technically off-menu.
“The Monster Mac at McDonald’s or Burger King’s Suicide Burger should not get a get-out-of-jail-free card,” says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee. “Nutrition information protects consumers and helps them make educated choices. It would be a lot harder for a conscious consumer to purchase a Monster Mac if a whopping 1,390 calories was listed alongside it. Restaurants using this secret menu loophole are deceptive and deadly.”
Based on the ingredients described in recently revealed fast-food secret menu items, dietitians collected data from restaurant websites and other sources to conduct a nutritional analysis. The report highlights McDonald’s Monster Mac as the worst offender with 1,390 calories, 2,920 milligrams of sodium, and 92 grams of fat. Multiply the staggering fat, cholesterol, and sodium of a single Big Mac by about eight to approximate McDonald’s secret Monster Mac.
Read the Five Worst Fast-Food Secret Menu Items report at PCRM.org/SecretMenu.