McDonald's Australia's mobile app lets diners track food source

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McDonald's Australia has launched a new app that will allow diners to track where the ingredients to their meal came from--down to the farm, bakery or ranch.

Called TrackMyMacca's (coined after Australia's nickname for McDonald's), the app starts by letting diners scan the image of a food item bought from McDonald's using the iOS camera.  According to International Business Times, it uses GPS technology to pinpoint where a customer is located, and real-time tracking methods to pinpoint the source of the items. This includes items such as meat, French fries, pickles, cheese, fish, bread --you name it.

All the information is presented in a fun 3D animation where users can choose an ingredient and out pops the sourcing details based on location, product and date.  For example here's one for Chicken McNuggets presented in a promotional video uploaded onto YouTube.  It reads: "To make great Chicken McNuggets we need great chicken morsels. So we got ours from Eagle Farm, Queensland."  Another reads: "This pickle was grown in the summer in Griffith, New South Wales. It was placed in brine within 12 hours of harvest."

Many fast food restaurants --including McDonald's -- battle image problems over what's really in their food. McDonald's Canada, launched a campaign last year called "Our Food. Your Questions" where it takes questions from the public --no matter how bizarre--about the food and answers them online. The company has also released a series of videos about how the food items are made.  For example McDonald’s executive chef Dan Coudreaut, reveled the secret sauce of the Big Mac in his home kitchen with seven store-bought ingredients.

Some have questioned the purpose of the app, noting that people who care where their food comes from wouldn't eat at McDonalds in the first place.  But Mark Lollback, chief marketing officer at McDonalds, Australia said the "app is another way for us to share this with our customers, putting them in the driving seat."