It's a common claim in Quebec that McDonald's put anti-emetics in the food. I think I heard four times over the last week, alone.

It's not uncommon for people to go to McDonald's when they're drunk because it apparently helps prevent them from vomiting. A lot of people attribute this to McDonald's putting anti-vomit "stuff" in their food.

The nature of the anti-vomit ingredients varies a lot, such as vitamin E but the claim is always that McDonald's food makes you less prone to throw up and that's because it has anti-vomit in it.

  • 4
    I wouldn't be surprised if it's just because their food is exceptionally easy to digest - no whole grains, not a lot of fiber, no strong flavors or spices besides salt and fat, lots of simple carbohydrates.
    – Tacroy
    Aug 17, 2012 at 16:32
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    Are there any rumors about which drug that might be? As a chemist I did a GC with the fat of some fries and found some interesting fatty acids, so maybe one might be able to analyze a burger.
    – PhilMasteG
    Aug 19, 2012 at 2:31
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    The other thing most people do (at least here) is to go to get a kebab, which works (anecdotally) as well. As much as McDonald's is a suitable target for this kind of "conspiracy theories", I seriously doubt your average kebab shop is. Also, that would mean every kebab shop would be into this anti-emetic conspiracy. I would rather say it's the high fat content (eggs or sabayon seem to work as well...).
    – nico
    Aug 19, 2012 at 18:33
  • My French friend said the anti-emetic ingredient may be sodium alginate.
    – user34725
    Jul 6, 2016 at 1:03
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    @nico "every kebab shop would be into this anti-emetic conspiracy", no, additives of various types are added to kebabs, and they're added by the producers at the meat processing plant. Kebab shops don't thaw frozen doner sticks then mix in preservatives and artificial flavours and colouring themselves! I don't see why a meat company saying "let's add [for example] vitamin E to our product, to boost sales" is so different to "let's add preservatives, salt, palm oil, colouring and [where legal] monosodium glutamate to our product, to boost sales". Processed meat is processed! Jul 6, 2016 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


It a very common question indeed. So common that it have been addressed at the McDonalds "YourQuestions" section. The rumor seems to be false.

There is absolutely no truth to this, Veronic. We do not add any drugs or medication of any kind to our food. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to put this rumor to rest.

  • 64
    As skeptics I'm not sure we should be taking McDonalds word for it. Aug 17, 2012 at 17:16
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    I tend to agree that a statement from McDonalds itself is not enough evidence according to our standards. Please try to find another source verifying that statement.
    – Mad Scientist
    Aug 17, 2012 at 19:16
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    A point of order here. If I make the claim there is a god, I am required to provide proof, as I am making the affirmative statement. Regardless of how we feel, if anyone is going to make the claim that McDonalds adds something to their food, please provide proof, or the answer is no.
    – Everett
    Sep 29, 2012 at 3:37
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    As a general note: on skeptics we are only looking for positive proof. "No proof or the answer is no" is not an acceptable standard. Furthermore, a statement from McDonald's when the claim is already skeptical of them does not help us clarify things. It is obvious to me that we should be able to positively prove or disprove the claim by chemical analysis of the food. Unless such proof is given, I see no reason to believe one way or the other.
    – Sklivvz
    Oct 9, 2012 at 15:13
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    I don't think that we're really just trusting McDonald's here. McDonald's is required by law to expose if they're putting anti-emetics into the food.
    – Publius
    Mar 14, 2013 at 6:08

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