|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 is a fish sandwich sold by the international fast food chain store McDonald's. It was invented in 1962 by Lou Groen, a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati, Ohio. 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 the same; a fried breaded fish fillet, steamed bun, tartar sauce, and pasteurized processed American cheese.
As of December 2014[update], the Filet-O-Fish contains a battered, fried fish fillet made from Alaska pollock. 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, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Hong Kong uses a half slice of cheese in each Filet-O-Fish sandwich.
The sandwich was created by a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati, Ohio, named Lou Groen in 1962. 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.
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. For example, in Judaism, the fish used in the sandwich is considered kosher even without special preparation, whilst other meats would require special slaughter techniques to be considered kosher. Although, the preparation of the fish alongside non-Kosher meat products and in an non-Kosher kitchen renders the Filet-O-Fish non-Kosher.
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 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 in January 31, 1998 due to overwhelming letters and petitions, receiving the larger fish patty from the Fish Filet Deluxe.
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/promotion will reflect that change.
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