|Nutritional value per 1 sandwich (141 g)|
|Energy||380 kcal (1,600 kJ)|
38 g (13%)
|Dietary fiber||2 g (7%)|
18 g (28%)
|Saturated||3.5 g (19%)|
|Vitamin A||30 IU|
|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 roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
The Filet-O-Fish, otherwise known as the Fish-O-Filet, is a fish sandwich sold by the international fast food restaurant chain McDonald's. It was invented in 1962 by Lou Groen, a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati, Ohio, in response to falling hamburger sales on Fridays resulting from the Roman Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays. While the fish composition of the sandwich has changed through the years to satisfy taste and supply shortcomings, the framework of its ingredients have remained constant; a fried breaded fish fillet, a steamed bun, tartar sauce and pasteurized processed American cheese.
As of December 2014[update], the US Filet-O-Fish contains a battered, fried fish fillet made from Alaska pollock. In the Republic of Ireland either hoki or Alaska pollock may be served. In New Zealand and the United Kingdom Filet-O-Fish contains hoki instead of Alaska pollock. McDonald's Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Hong Kong use a half slice of cheese in each Filet-O-Fish sandwich.
The sandwich was invented in 1962 by Lou Groen, a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati; his store was in a predominantly Roman Catholic neighborhood, which led to falling hamburger sales on Fridays resulting from the Roman Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays. 
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 with dietary restrictions concerning meat-based products.
The sandwich was the first non-hamburger menu item brought in by new McDonald's company owner Ray Kroc. Kroc made a deal with Groen: they would sell two non-meat sandwiches on a Friday, Kroc's own Hula Burger (grilled pineapple with cheese on a cold bun) and the Filet-O-Fish, and whichever sold the most would be added to the permanent menu. The Filet-O-Fish "won hands down" and was added to menus throughout 1963 until reaching nationwide status in 1965.
The use of farmed fish 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 red cod for the pollock, 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 competitive market value and its boneless fillets, and eventually was introduced widely in the early 1990s when global pollock stocks were facing low numbers. McDonald's removed the Filet-O-Fish from its menus in the United States on September 26, 1996, and replaced it with the Fish Filet Deluxe sandwich, which was part of McDonald's ill-fated Deluxe line of sandwiches. However, the Filet-O-Fish was brought back to its menus on a gradual basis starting in the middle of 1997, due to overwhelming letters and petitions, receiving the larger fish patty from the Fish Filet Deluxe. The Fish Filet Deluxe itself was discontinued at most restaurants early the next year, while others kept it a little longer until the Fish Filet Deluxe was finally removed in the year 2000.
In November 2007, McDonald's lowered the use of New Zealand hoki and increased the use of Alaskan pollock, 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. McDonald's originally used Atlantic 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.
As of March 2009, the Marine Stewardship Council placed the Alaskan pollock fisheries in a re-assessment program due to catch numbers declining by over 30% between 2005 and 2008, and by-catch problems with salmon.
As of January 2013 the Marine Stewardship Council stated that the pollock comes from suppliers with sustainable fishing practices, and McDonald's packaging and promotion will reflect that change.
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