While some customers declared the £4.39 burger to be delicious, others accused the fast-food giants of culturally appropriation and having “zero-diversity” among its staff.
One tweeted: “The more I think about it the more I'm bothered by the McDonald's 'jerk chicken' attempt.
'It shows me one of two things: 1) They don't care to respect the culture or 2) They have zero diversity on their team.”
One woman on Facebook complained: “How is this jerk? Cultural appropriation yet again.”
Another pointed out that there wasn’t a single branch of McDonald’s in Jamaica.
One woman asked: “Who approved McDonald’s jerk chicken sandwich?”
The new sandwich features two crispy Chicken Selects topped with a spicy jerk sauce, bacon, pepper jack cheese, onion and lettuce in a sourdough bun.
The burger's jerk sauce contains tomato paste, Habanero chilli puree, caramelised sugar syrup, spices, garlic, ginger and basil, according to the McDonald's website.
“Don't know why I fell for that p*** poor excuse of a Jerk Chicken burger from McDonald’s just added some spicy jerk sauce and said here you go ya muppets,” one wrote.
This is McDonalds Jerk Chicken Sandwich.
You might not be able to tell but,
I'm deeply offended 🤣 pic.twitter.com/xTZ2uQcMJ9
— PIXELTERIYAKI - IS (still) MAKING DICE DEVILS (@pixelteriyaki) November 21, 2020
Posting a picture of a half-finished burger at the London Bridge branch, one diner said: “Don't even bang McD's like that but thought why not, even saw this ‘Jerk Chicken’ summin on the menu, let's just say the flavours weren't jumping on my palate.
“Never in my life had I wished more that I had just brought rice from home.”
Another said: “It’s quite nice but hardly jerk, just has a bit of a kick compared to other chicken sandwiches.”
“Someone needs to let McDonald’s know their new 'jerk chicken' sandwich is definitely not jerk chicken,” another added.
But it wasn’t all bad reviews for McDonald’s, with some customers lauding the new burger as delicious.
One Twitter user said: “Oh my days that jerk chicken sandwich off Xmas menu at Mcdees is straight 15/10.”
Another added: “That jerk chicken sandwich from maccies with the cheese dippers is another level.”
Jerk cooking is believed by historians to come from indigenous Taino people and Maroons - descendants of Africans who were enslaved in the Caribbean islands.
MP for Brent Central Dawn Butler advised the chef get a masterclass from Levi Roots, saying that Oliver’s "appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop."
McDonald’s has been approached for comment.