McDonald's New Zealand has released a vegetarian burger — the only problem is, it's not actually vegetarian.

The fast-food chain admitted that while the ingredients were suitable for non-meat eaters, with the patty containing mixed veggies and cheese, it was fried with the same equipment used to cook chicken.

"A delicious crispy patty made from potato, peas, corn, carrot and onion", McDonald's states on its website, adding "veggies never tasted so good".

But a disclaimer states it's "not vegetarian due to our cooking method", news.com.au reports.

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"With the equipment we have available, we have to cook the patty in the same oil used for other products like McChicken patties," McDonald's New Zealand general manager David Howse told The Guardian Australia.

He said the product was intended for "flexitarians" rather than vegans or vegetarians.

"But for some vegetarians our preparation method will be OK," he said.

The decision has angered many vegetarians who have called out the fast-food chain for naming it a "vegetarian" burger.

A disclaimer states it's
A disclaimer states it's "not vegetarian due to our cooking method". Photo / Supplied

"F***ing ridiculous. It shouldn't be called McVeggie, very misleading," one person wrote in the Facebook group NZ Vegetarian Society.

"How disappointing. Thought I'd finally have a food option when forced to go there with others," said another person.

Others were just confused why McDonald's called it a veggie burger after openly admitting it wasn't vegetarian.

"It's a small, tiny step in the right direction but ...... promoting a Vege burger that's not fully vegetarian? Who are they targeting?" one person wrote.

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Another wrote: "They have made completely the wrong call, the world is moving towards plant based eating and this is so off the mark, its almost funny."

But not all agreed it was a bad thing, with some vegetarians even admitting they would still eat it.

"I'm vegetarian and would eat it. I don't eat meat because I don't like the texture so a lot of meat alternative patties I can't stand due to the texture being so similar to meat. It's cooked in the same oil as chicken but I am OK with that," one Facebook user said.

"Happy – at least it's an option that will reduce meat consumption ultimately," said another, adding, "Might not suit other vegetarians but they are already harming less animals so I would hope it will be an option for meat eaters or people trying to become vegetarian."

Fans are not happy about it. Photo / Supplied
Fans are not happy about it. Photo / Supplied

"I'm not angry. It just seems rather dumb on their part," one added.

It's not the first time Macca's has come under fire over a "misleading" burger.

Last year, McDonald's Canada released an "Aussie BBQ and Egg" burger that left many people questioning what exactly made it "Aussie".

After the chain posted about it on its Twitter page, it immediately copped flak from confused social media users.

People were quick to notice it lacked pretty much all the elements of a classic Australian burger, such as beetroot or pineapple. Instead, the burger was made up of 100 per cent Canadian beef, eggs, beet chips, processed cheese, lettuce and barbecue sauce.

"It bears no resemblance to any burger I've ever seen in Australia. I've seen it here in Canada and don't understand how Maccas came up with the name," one person wrote at the time.

"So, the only Aussie (thing) about is the BBQ sauce?" another asked.

News.com.au has contacted McDonald's NZ for comment.