The Orchestra Behind Your McJob

The sad reality today is that the vast majority of people living in cities and other urban environments have absolutely no idea where their food comes from. They have even less of an idea when it comes to how many businesses and jobs are not only involved, but must be coordinated. Yes, coordinated so everything necessary to serve them a Big Mac and fries arrives at the store in fresh salable condition as needed.

OSI Group LLC teamed up with University of Illinois ACES program and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) to change all that. After some presentations, each student team had to document ALL of the major companies involved in getting ALL of the components to a store on time. They had to document all pertinent safety measures for both handling and logistics. They even had to document the logistics.

How many of you reading this know how long raw meat can be stored at what temperature before it has to be disposed of? How about frozen? How about the maximum shelf life of bulk packed mayonnaise, mustard, and/or catsup? These students do and so does every business involved in that great symphony which allows you to order number 4 at the drive-up without ever worrying about the safety of what you eat. (We are disregarding warnings about the quantity of our fried food consumption at this, and pretty much every point. We would also like to see that beef flavoring get put back in the fries, but that is a different blog.)

Most of the students came out of this project wide eyed. None of them realized that if a refer truck gets into an accident the entire load must be disposed of and that one missed load could shut a location down for days.

Perhaps those investing in McDonald’s and the rest of the food services and logistics industry should enroll in the ACE program as well? Very few people have any concept of the massive infrastructure behind the question “Do you want fries with that?”

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