Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich, Now With Beef Confetti?

UPDATE: Arby’s Responds To Roast Beef Confetti Query
Reader Mark writes,

So this was a new one for me. I went through an Arby’s Drive-Thru for lunch today and ordered a large roast beef sandwich. When I got back to the office and opened it up, I was a little weirded out by what I saw. It looks like the bits and chunks that fall off the roat beef as it gets sliced up.

Not very appetizing.

Our photographic comparison, inside…

Our limited Arby’s experience tells us that the roast beef should resemble the beef in the sandwiches below which we found in our Flickr pool. Obviously, they are not professional images for an advertisement.

We would be inclined to agree with you, Mark, it does look like the debris from the meat slicer. We’re not so hot on eating debris either. What gives, Arby’s? And please don’t blame it on high gasoline prices.

(Photo: mortonfox)


Edit Your Comment

  1. rmz says:

    Regular Arby’s isn’t that bad as fast food goes, as evidenced by the lower two pictures. The OP’s picture, though…is horrifying.

  2. sicknick says:

    I’m so hungry, I could eat at Arby’s!

  3. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    Gross. The debris pieces have probably been laying around for hours. Ewww. Ain’t no amount o’ Horsey Sauce gonna fix that.

  4. Alex Chasick says:

    Ahem. In some parts of the country, the debris is the best part.

  5. SinisterMatt says:

    That picture is kinda gross looking. But the pictures the Consumerist posted for comparison purposes, darn it, is making me want some Arby’s.

    I’d take it back and ask for a new one and/or a refund.


  6. I had prided myself in never eating at an Arby’s before. A couple of years ago, a coworker told me how much he liked it. I went and ordered a roast beef. Bland mystery meat on a chewy wonder bread roll. Yuch. Never again Arby’s!

    I just thought of that Simpsons Halloween special where Homer is eating something really gross and says, “If I can keep Arby’s down.” So true Homer.

  7. Brain.wav says:

    To give them the benefit of the doubt, Its possible they just tried to slice too thin.

  8. Alex Chasick says:


    From NOLA Cuisine

  9. B says:

    “I’m so hungry I’d eat at Arbies”
    “Wow, that’s really hungry.”

    Ha ha ha……Simpsons.

  10. branchero says:

    Ugh. Even though I love Arby’s, I stopped eating there a year ago. Their prices are completely out of whack for the quality and amount of food they serve, and at least in my area, it’s a miracle if any Arby’s accepts coupons or offers any of the deals you see on TV.

    The final straw was when I walked into the local Arby’s and saw a sign that said “DID YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU WANT EXTRA SAUCE PACKET, THE CHARGE IS ONLY 25 CENTS”

    Yeah, no thanks.

  11. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    @sicknick: This was my first thought as well.

  12. mdoublej says:

    The homestyle fries are the best in the biz…IMO

  13. raab says:

    My guess is that they probably ran out of the glue that holds the “meat” together that day. Arby’s roast beef is like particle board is to a 2″x4″

  14. sean77 says:

    @mdoublej: only a fool would get fries at arby’s. Not when you could have the potato cakes instead!

  15. MissTicklebritches says:

    That is something to be eaten only on a dare.

  16. Parapraxis says:

    but what else am I supposed to compare female genitalia to now???

    man, the decorum really drops after the first fifteen or so posts, huh?

    Anyways, I was always a fan of the beef and cheddar… *sigh*

  17. am84 says:

    @sicknick: “Ewwwwww, Arby’s!”

  18. mdoublej says:


    Really? Never tried them, but the homestyle fries dipped in the horsey sauce is probably my favorite fast food dish.

  19. framitz says:

    The Arbys here in RSM is gawd awful. They drop a pile 0′ crap on the bun without even spreading it out. The cheese is vomit flavored. I gave them two chances, they blew them both, no more profit for them from me, EVER!

    restaurents usually only get ONE chance, but I messed up and tried a second visit thinking the first may have been a fluke…

  20. Aphex242 says:

    And to think I nearly ate Arby’s today…

  21. jjason82 says:

    I really don’t understand why people say arby’s is gross. It tastes pretty much like any roast beef sandwich you’d get somewhere else. Maybe people just hate roast beef sandwiches.

  22. bohemian says:

    I love Arby’s. Our local one started to go downhill two years ago. I’m not sure what the issue was but about the same time the usual employees who were mostly middle aged adults and retirees who all seemed to know what they were doing were gone. In there place were some unclean McDonalds employee rejects. That was the exact same time the food went downhill. Sandwiches would be minus the normal amount of meat, or looked like someone sat on them. Fries would be cold almost all the time.

    Is Arby’s franchise owned or corporate owned? I am guessing this is more of a location by location thing.

  23. Did this actually come from Arby’s, or was it scraped off of the floor at our favorite Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory?

  24. copious28 says:

    Um, yeah, I used to work at an Arby’s when I was 16 (a long time ago). I will say that all appears to be is the outside of the roast, which is not like the outside of baloney, but more like the outside of shaved turkey from the supermarket. When the slicer gets to the end of the roast, the pieces get small. Very safe and edible, not very appetizing to look at.
    As for fast food, Arby’s used higher quality indgredients and our store continuously scored in the high nineties for health inspections.

  25. dorianh49 says:

    mmmm. looks like the sammich bits that get stuck between a smoker’s teeth. I can haz teh nahstehniss plz?

  26. copious28 says:

    @bohemian: There was a big franchiser that made a bad business decision and bought a failing company. It brought down the whole Arby’s franchise also. Arby’s corporate came in and picked them all up for a song and most got turned around. There are a few that are franchised still, but not like they used to be.

  27. forgottenpassword says:

    I am an avid eater of arby’s roast beef sammiches ( I LOVE them!), and THAT is not how one is supposed to look! EW!

    I would LOVE to know wtf happened.

    ps. Their homestyle fries, curly fries & potato cakes are awesome.

  28. Darren W. says:

    @aphex242: I DID eat at Arby’s today. The Curly Fries are amazing, and the Jamocha Shake is even better. To be fair, I’ve had bad roast beef when it’s been sitting out under the heat lamps for too long, but it’s good often enough that I don’t hesitate to go back.

  29. Since when does Arby’s package their roast beef sandwich in generic clear plastic containers? From what I remember, they come in paper/aluminum foil wrapping stamped with the Arby’s logo. Are you sure this was an Arby’s you pruchased this from, and not a homeless man distributing Things He Found In Dumpsters?

  30. Ex_EA_Slave says:

    @jjason82: People say Arby’s is gross because of the ‘meat’ used. Their roasts consist of all the remaining meat scrapings from the skeleton of the butchered animal pressed into 10lb chunks. Basically, the same meat used for pet food. If you think their ‘roast beef’ is the same as anywhere else, you must have eaten at some spectacularly bad restaurants. As far as that goes, what other fast food serves roast beef sandwiches? I’ve seen Italian beef, but never roast beef.

  31. JennQPublic says:

    @Parapraxis: I thought it was just my friends who did that. Is this some national thing I didn’t know about?

    Arby’s Marketplace sammiches are teh bomb! The bread is better than anything at any other fast-food restaurant (at least here in NorCal). Mmm, Arby’s…

  32. VikingP77 says:

    Heard from a friend who worked at Arbys that their meat comes in tubes…like a paste and its molded at the restaurant….ewwww ecccchhhhhh ewwwwww yuck!

  33. sean77 says:

    @LastVigilante: the Large (used to be called the Big Montana) comes in the plastic container.

  34. The_IT_Crone says:

    OH… YUM… the beef and cheddar’s with horsey sauce… talk about a guilty pleasure. Now that it’s in my head I’m going to have to stop by tonight and get one.

    I HAVE gotten sandwhiches a bit like that, however. They told me it was the “end” or some junk. But they gave me another, since I complained.

  35. Totorototoro says:

    I don’t think Arby’s is like “every other roast beef” sandwich one gets. Isn’t it some kind of pressed reconstituted beef product, not actual sliced roast beef?

  36. imaLttlGrl says:

    This particular sandwich does look pretty gross. I’m sure if you closed your eyes while you ate it, it might still taste pretty good. But that is kinda gross too.

    I love Arbys. I’ve never had any problems with them, just add the Arbys sauce to a roast beef with cheese sandwich and have some curly fries. Mmm Mmm Mmm, my mouth is watering now. The best time to buy it is when they have the 5 for 5.95$ deals and you can mix and match like 10 different items off of their menu, pretty cheap and GOOD.

  37. Concerned_Citizen says:

    So you are upset because your meat wasn’t cut correctly? It is still meat and it still tastes the same. I fail to see what you are upset about.

  38. the only thing remotely appealing from arby’s is the ‘market fresh sandwiches’

  39. welsey says:

    @mdoublej: My favorite thing in all the world is Arby’s fries dipped in horsey sauce, although I prefer the curly fries.

    Although in general Arby’s is just too expensive and there isn’t really one anywhere near me, so the gas $$ keeps me far away from my horsey sauce love.

  40. nobodyman says:

    Hey man, cut Arby’s some slack. They have just invented *pre-chewed beef*. Think of all the energy you’ll save now that you can skip all that tedious chewing!

    In addition, this is a glorious day for beef-lovers with no teeth. Oh, and people that want to do bad things to their body.

  41. audiochick says:

    I’m thinkin’ dog food!

  42. thewriteguy says:

    Are Arby’s sammiches really, technically, “roast beef” sandwiches? The meat appears to be the same as those thinly sliced packets of baloney you can get at your local grocery store for 50 cents-to-$1. Just buy that, pile the tissue-thin meat onto a cheap, doughy hamburger bun and steam the whole thing before it becomes totally soggy.

  43. gross, you guys should read their ingredients from the website for what constitutes as “roast beef” —

    trimmed boneless beef chunks and chopped beef mixed in a self-basting solution of 9% water, salt, and sodium phosphate.

    mmmm. what is the difference between chopped bef and boneless beef “chunks?”

  44. Dacker says:

    It looks like “Chipped Beef (sort-of) on Toast” to me.

    That’s the kind of mystery meat WWII GI’s ate, as well as my 1960’s school lunch program force-fed us (which was probably leftover from WWII.)

  45. forgottenpassword says:

    You guys saying that arby’s roast beef is made from compressed meat bits (one guy said basically dog food) and meat paste in tubes…. are lying thru your teeth! Man, I hate you types that make up shit just to try to disgust people. Arby’s roast beef is sliced meat. NOT meat paste, NOT meat bits used for dog food.

    That’s the same kind of crap that pets-wackjobs or militant vegans say.

  46. fuzzyprint says:

    Home style fries? YOU GOT HOME STYLE FRIES? They don’t have ’em anymore where I live ;_; They only sell curly now and I don’t particularly like ’em.

    I dunno it doesn’t look that terrible to me. When I was growing up we called that “chipped beef” and ate it for breakfast :)

  47. fuzzyprint says:

    @dacker Hey! Sorry I didn’t meant to be redundant. Your post wasnt’ there yet ;)

  48. forgottenpassword says:


    That should have read as “peta-wackjobs”

  49. soulbarn says:

    We’re debating what Arby’s sandwiches are made of? Sliced or shredded? Dog food quality or better?

    Eat at Arby’s, you get freakin’ Arby’s.

  50. VikingP77 says:

    @forgottenpassword: Well I think you are a “wackjob” since you don’t care about what happens in the industrial meat complex. I guess animal suffering just doesn’t matter to you.

  51. sean77 says:

    @forgottenpassword: I heard that KFC can’t use the word chicken anymore because the genetically modified animals they use aren’t technically chickens!

    (that’s along the same lines as the total bullshit “meat from a tube” stories people have been posting here)

  52. HeartBurnKid says:

    @VikingP77: That’s nothing… I heard that KFC had to change their name because it’s not real chicken anymore, it comes from a mutant thing with 4 breasts and 6 legs. It’s true! My friend who used to work there said so! :p

  53. HeartBurnKid says:
  54. VikingP77 says:

    @HeartBurnKid: Sorry I don’t think thats funny :-(

  55. laserjobs says:

    Mmmmmm beef sponge!!!!

  56. thatgirlinnewyork says:

    none of them look appetizing!

  57. sean77 says:

    @HeartBurnKid: woah, spooky. jinx!

  58. arl84 says:

    @forgottenpassword: How do you know this? Have you been to their website? This is how they describe it. “trimmed boneless beef chunks and chopped beef mixed in a self-basting solution of 9% water, salt, and sodium phosphate.”

    @Concerned_Citizen: So shall we wrap this sandwich up and send it to you? Would you eat that?
    The OP paid for something he did not get.

  59. I remember a while back hearing a caller that worked at an Arby’s in Chicago on the Mancow show saying that one time an employee dropped a hunk of the beef on floor, and since you can’t be serving that shit, the employee thre it in the dumpster out back. The manager caught wind of this and made the employee dive in the dumpster to get the beef, AND SERVE IT TO CUSTOMERS.

    I’m not sure what all this means because I friggin love Arby’s.

  60. @JennQPublic: The market fresh sandwiches are way worse for you than the roast beef sandwiches.

  61. ryan_h says:

    Yum, think I will get me some Arby’s on the way home.

  62. scerwup says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: Dirty

  63. Snarkysnake says:


    Uh, why not pry your happy ass away from American Idle and sidle on down to an Arby’s and you will see that they are telling the truth. Arby’s gets these “roasts” of pressed together beef and slices them thin so you wont notice that they are essentially scrapings. They are so heavily processed that they appear to be real meat. Geez,go to a real deli and order real roast beef and you will see the difference.

  64. never seen a “roat beef” before…could resemble this….

  65. trademarked67 says:

    I used to work for the company that supplied Arby’s with their roast beef. Unfortunately I only toured the plant that produced it and I don’t remember the entire process, but basically various beef parts combined in a process called “emulsify” (think taking a handful of hamburger and squeezing until it sticks together, but with a little more liquidity) and then “blown” into a plastic bag and frozen. I thought the product was pre-cooked, but I may be wrong. I am trying to remember back 10 years.

  66. ohwevad says:

    Looks fine to me. As a St. Louisan I prefer Lion’s Choice anyway though. It’s a challenge to keep the bun together and level to the ground so all the beef clumps don’t fall out.

  67. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society:
    Arby’s meat is not “mystery meat”. It is roast beef sliced off a roast. I like their food, especially the curly fries, but wish they would change their pornographic logo.

  68. TVarmy says:

    It looks a bit like chopped pot roast. Yum! Sorry if I’m not able to get outraged, but it looks more real than anything else you’d get at a fast food place.

  69. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I missed the earlier posts. I stand corrected…but it’s still beef.

    “Trimmed boneless beef chunks (minimum 70%) combined with chopped beef for a maximum of 12% fat. Contains up to 9.0% of a self-basting solution of water, salt, sodium phosphate”

  70. djanes1 says:

    Beef Confetti. It’s like a birthday party in Texas!

  71. matto says:

    What, was he expecting filet mignon?

  72. LUV2CattleCall says:

    First of all, you’re a dumbass because Arby’s own website clearly states the ingredients as being beef trimmings and chunks mixed with a 9% liquid solution and made into a chopped up paste.

    As far as the peta killing animals thing: right…because the “Center for Consumer Freedom” isn’t biased as hell…this is the group that is against Mothers Against Drunk Driving because they believe that driving drunk is a “choice” and no “straightedgers” should be taking the freedom of choice away from consumers

    Kraft Foods and PepsiCo have public ally trashed these guys for how unethically the premise of their astroturfing is!

    Their own press releases end in this:

    Director of Research

    The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers, working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.

    A visit to:


    Shows us this:

    Advisory Panel includes:

    Outback Steakhouse
    Philip Morris
    Processed Meat Products

    Funding from:

    Tyson Foods
    Pilgrim’s Pride
    White Castle
    Perdue Farms
    Hatfield Quality Meats
    P.F. Changs
    Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
    Ruby Tuesday’s

    There are many more, I just abbreviated the list to fit here.

    Even a trip here:


    shows their many conflicts of interest

    Also check this out


  73. sodden says:

    @branchero: same here. I used to love that 5 for $5 deal, but they discontinued it suddenly. I went in there and they wanted to charge me around $12!

    Naturally it was in the drive through and I had to sit there for 5 minutes until the cars in front of me cleared out, all the while the cashier was glaring at me like I should know they had eliminated one of their best deals.

    Then, a while later, that store shut down entirely. lol.

    I do really like their roast beef sandwiches though, even if it’s something I get a lot less frequently.

  74. sodden says:

    @Snarkysnake: so what’s so bad about heavily processed meat? Never had a hotdog or bologna?

  75. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Oh, and to address the actual “issue” that the CCF brought up…

    If you were to actually research your talking points, you would discover that they don’t have an animal shelter and do not do animal adoptions.

    The high kill rate is due to accepting old, sick and injured animals from people who can’t afford to have them euthanized at a vet’s office and from animal shelters in North Carolina that use inhumane means to euthanize their animals.

    The CCF’s motives are to try to destroy the credibility of their opponents in any underhanded way possible.

    The bottom line is that animal organizations, such as Peta, do care about animals. In fact, many (if not all) of Peta’s employees are vegan.

    I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not against people eating meat; I just prefer that the animals are treated humanely on the way to the dinner plate. (I am, however, outraged at companies that try to play “humane” when in reality, they’re just as bad…an example is all the egg companies selling eggs from chickens who “are free-range and have access to the outdoors” which translates into a small hole cut into the side of the barn…) While I disagree with some of PETA’s methods, they are doing an unselfish deed by worrying about animals…much more than can be said about CCF, who is motivated by the fact that it’s funded by the inhumane companies in question.

  76. DMXParsons says:

    @Alex Chasick: No kidding! As soon as I read the phrase “debris from the meat slicer”, I got hungry for Mother’s.


  77. Chrek says:

    @brainwav: To give them the benefit of the doubt, Its possible they just tried to slice too thin.

    What benefit of the doubt? If they have sliced too thin, they should really slice it again. You cannot give this to a customer. Branding is important! And if you ever tried slicing roast beef, you will know that too thin does not appear like confetti. Unless the roast beef came in strips instead of chunks.

    I bet they ran out of beef to slice, so they picked up whatever was left behind… Ew!

  78. savvy999 says:

    without comment:

  79. JessicaJessica says:

    It all looks disgusting!! Blech!!

    When I was a kid we were on a a family road trip and stopped to eat at an Arby’s in Kentucky (insert joke here). I ordered a turkey sandwich and was surprised to find GRASS under the bun!! Not the kind you smoke, but the kind you mow. We couldn’t figure out how it got there (and neither could the manager) as the restaurant was located in the parking lot of a shopping center which had no grass in sight. It’s just one of those weird food mysteries best left unsolved …

  80. Eels says:

    Wow, that brought me incredibly close to throwing up.

    And I work in a hospital.

  81. Saboth says:

    I love Arbies, and that top pictures definately isn’t what their sandwhiches usually look like. I agree, they used the end piece of a slab of meat and chopped it up to bits.

  82. Rock79 says:

    Man that looks nasty. That would be enough to make me think twice about going back. Back in the day when I used to eat fast food, Arby’s was my absolute favorite. Those curly fries were awesome.

  83. blue_duck says:

    I like ROAT beef… Just not the nasty leftovers…

  84. darkryd says:

    Give me a call when Arby’s actually starts selling food.

  85. grspec says:

    The problem is that is not real roast beef, just processed meat wiz.

    We have a chain of Fast Food places called Lion’s Choice that uses real roast beef. They cook it on site and shave it fresh and serve it MEDIUM RARE!!! You can’t do that with processed meat like you get from Arby’s.

    Thanks for making me hungry.. wait I just looked at your arby’s picture again, never mind.

  86. baristabrawl says:

    What she got was the end, the nub the last little bit of roast beef. That’s what they usually use to make the Arby-Q. Or at least it was when I worked there 20 years ago. :-)

  87. @sicknick: and as soon as we get the Model UN Club off the island we’ll take you and your sister to Arbys :)

  88. mr mike says:

    I will personally never eat at Arby’s again. The Cuyahoga Falls Ohio Arby’s on State road had beetles on our chicken nuggets. Luckily, my kid noticed before he ate any.

  89. Anonymous says:

    I proudly work at an Arby’s and i would have to firs appologize for that sandwich but i do agree with brain wave it dose look like they tried to slice it to thin or or sometimes it looks like that when it is the start of the new roast however i would like to know if any of those who have said how disgusting Arby’s is eat at McDonald’s or any of those other volatile fast food places i could eat Arby’s multiple times a day which i do and never get sick of it those other places one bite usually makes me sick some less than others and for all of you who probably think im just a fat lazy person who only work at Arbys because those other places thought i ate to much food sry to disappoint but i only weigh 140 Think Arby’s