No national launch for McRib amid menu changeup

NEW YORK - McDonald's, whose kitchens are juggling a variety of new menu items, says the McRib won't be available nationally this year.

The fast-food chain says it's leaving it up to local franchise groups to decide whether to offer the pork sandwich, which comes with pickles, onions and barbecue sauce.

That's a change from the past three years, when McDonald's had put the McRib on the national menu to boost sales in the second half of the year.

Now the company is going back to the days when the sandwich was a regional offering. The lack of widespread availability in years past helped give the sandwich a fabled status. The sandwich's status in pop culture is also fueled by its patty, which is shaped to look as though there are bones inside.

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