Filet-O-Fish Sandwich
Nutritional value per serving
Serving size 1 sandwich (141 g)
Energy 380 kcal (1,600 kJ)
Carbohydrates 38 g (13%)
- Sugars 5 g
- Dietary fiber 2 g (7%)
Fat 18 g (28%)
- saturated 3.5 g (19%)
- trans 0 g
Protein 15 g
Vitamin A 30 IU
Vitamin C 0 mg (0%)
Calcium 150 mg (15%)
Iron 0.8 mg (6%)
Sodium 640 mg (43%)
Energy from fat 170 kcal (710 kJ)
Cholesterol 40 mg (14%)
May vary outside US market. 360 kcal (1,500 kJ) in UK. Some restaurants publish nutritional information for the sandwich with the tartar sauce removed.
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: McDonald's

The Filet-O-Fish (also FishMac, MacFish or McFish[citation needed]) (introduced in 1962 and reached nationwide status in 1965) is a fish sandwich sold by the international fast food chain store McDonald's.


Product description

The Filet-O-Fish contains a battered fish patty made mostly from Alaskan pollock and/or hoki, half a slice of processed cheese and 30g (1 oz.) of tartar sauce (made with dill relish and seasoning) on a steamed bun. It is similar to an English favourite, the fish finger sandwich.


The sandwich was created by a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati, Ohio, named Lou Groen in 1962.[1][2] Groen owned a McDonald's in a predominantly Roman Catholic neighborhood where his Catholic customers engaged in the practice of not eating meat on Fridays[2] (a practice more common in the '60s but that the Catholic Church continues to consider obligatory on Fridays during Lent).[3]

The product was named by Cye Landy of Cye Landy Advertising Agency, which was the advertising firm for that particular McDonald's franchise.

It has become popular with people who cannot eat meat-based products or with dietary restrictions concerning meat-based products, for example for Muslims, fish is always considered halal, whilst other meats require special slaughter techniques to be halal.[2]

The sandwich was new McDonald's company owner Ray Kroc's[4] first non-hamburger menu item. Kroc made a deal with Groen: they would sell two non-meat sandwiches on a Friday, Kroc's own Hula Burger (grilled pineapple) and the Filet-O-Fish, and whichever sold the most would be added to the permanent menu. The Filet-O-Fish "won hands down"[2] and was added to menus throughout 1963 until reaching nationwide status in 1965.[5]

The use of hoki in the Filet-O-Fish first came about in 1981, when an owner of a New Zealand fisheries company was dissatisfied with the pollock Filet-O-Fish he purchased at the Courtenay Place, Wellington restaurant. Saying to the manager that he could make a better tasting fish fillet, he was handed a box of fillets and told to come back with identical, better-tasting fillets. He substituted the pollock for red cod, and after the manager was satisfied with the better-tasting red cod fillets, ended up in agreement to supply the Courtenay Place restaurant (and eventually several other New Zealand restaurants) with the red cod fillets. The similar-tasting hoki was substituted several years later, due to its cheaper price and its boneless fillets, and eventually was introduced widely in the early 1990s when global pollock stocks were facing low numbers.[6]

In November 2007, McDonald's lowered the use of New Zealand hoki and increased the use of Alaskan pollock,[7] due to declining New Zealand hoki fishery sustainability and large cutbacks in the total allowable commercial catch of hoki by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries - from 250,000 tonnes in 1997 to 90,000 tonnes in 2007.[8] McDonald's originally used cod, before declining cod catches forced McDonald's to find sustainable fish elsewhere. McDonald's is trying to maintain fish only from areas certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, but that is becoming more difficult each year. Hoki is still a major ingredient.[9]

As of March 2009, the Marine Stewardship Council[10] placed the Alaskan Pollock fisheries in a re-assessment program[11] due to catch numbers declining by over 30% between 2005 and 2008, and by-catch problems with salmon.

Other pop culture

While generally lagging behind more popular menu items (such as the Big Mac, which has its own theme song), the Filet-O-Fish sandwich has made additional inroads into popular culture. Author James Kennedy, for example, claims to be such a fan that he credits the sandwich as one of the inspirations for naming "The Order of Odd-Fish" in his critically acclaimed young-adult novel.[12]


  1. ^ Smith, Craig (November 7, 2002). "North Sea Cod Crisis Brings Call for Nations to Act". [[New York Times]]. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d Clark, Paul (February 20, 2007). "No fish story: Sandwich saved his McDonald's". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  3. ^ "Fasting and Abstinence". 
  4. ^ Pepin, Jacques (December 7, 1998). "Burger Meister RAY KROC". Time.,9171,989785-2,00.html. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  5. ^ {{cite web|url= |title=Travel Through Time With Us! |last=n/a |first=n/a |date=n/a | publisher= McDonald's Corporate |accessdate=2010-12-30 }}
  6. ^ Hepözden, Rosemary (2011). O'Flaherty, Brian. ed. Golden Arches under Southern Skies: Celebrating 35 years of McDonald's in New Zealand. in co-op with McDonald's Restaurants (NZ) Ltd. Auckland: Renaissance Publishing. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-0-9864521-1-6. 
  7. ^ [1],
  8. ^ Moore, Bill (June 28, 2011). "Hoki fishery rebuilt, quota to rise, says minister". Nelson Mail. Retrieved July 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ Daily Finance Article
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ [4]

External links

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