The burger industry’s biggest players, including McDonald’s Corp., Wendy’s Corp. and Burger King Corp., have agreed to make the first-ever nationwide voluntary protein limits, ABC News has learned.
In a joint letter to all of the nation’s burger makers last week, McDonald’s said it will limit protein in the burgers by an average of 7.2 grams per kilogram of beef.
Wendy’s, the second-largest burger chain in the world, said it would cap the amount of protein in its beef burgers at 8 grams per gram.
The company said that the caps are necessary because of the growing number of health concerns associated with consuming more protein.
The deal, which was first reported by CNNMoney, will affect about 7.5 million burgers, according to a copy of the letter provided by the companies.
It will take effect January 1.
The burgers will be available nationwide.
McDonald’s has been at the center of a controversy since a study last year by the Food and Drug Administration said that many of the burgers in the U.S. contain too much protein, especially beef from animals raised without antibiotics.
The FDA has since banned most meat products made with antibiotics.
The agreement between McDonald’s and Wendy’s comes as the meat industry has been battling obesity.
In 2014, McDonalds reported $7 billion in revenue, a nearly 50% increase over the previous year.
Wagner’s reported a record $1.9 billion in sales for the third quarter, up almost 35% from the same period last year.
The U.K.-based chain also has been the subject of scrutiny for its handling of its meat.
The chain’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Masters admitted that he took a pay cut in the middle of last year to help the company grow its sales.
Wynn’s, which has been fighting the federal food safety agency for years, has said it has made “significant improvements” in recent years to its supply chain, including increasing the number of workers who work with its meat, according a spokeswoman for the chain.