Gallery: McDonald’s No Longer Selling “Pink Slime” Beef Treated With Am...


McDonald’s and other fast food chains have quietly announced that they will stop selling “Pink Slime” beef – a form of second-grade meat that is treated with a nasty ammonia process to eliminate bacteria. Thanks to national headlines and attention from big name chefs like Jamie Oliver, the USDA-approved process that literally turns dog food into burger meat is becoming more and more taboo for big companies after drawing outrage from vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Butchering a cow yields a number of pieces of high-quality meat. The leftover bits from inside cavities and around the bones (often ridden with bacteria and E. Coli) are called trimmings. Butchers actually pay for trimmings to be taken away so that they don’t contaminate their working area or food.  Trimmings are then trucked to factories where dog and chicken food is produced, as their immune systems can supposedly support stronger bacteria. Pink Slime is the process of keeping these leftover trimmings, spinning them around to break up the meat from the fat, and then dousing the lean meat with ammonia to kill the E. Coli. This process also thins the beef, creating about 15% more meat. It has been estimated that almost 70% of the beef in America includes this ammonia treated filler.

The USDA officially declares ammonium hydroxide to be “generally recognized as safe.” Furthermore, since Pink Slime is considered a treatment process, not an ingredient in foods, the USDA says it is legal to omit its presence on any food labels. In a way, McDonald’s is doing a noble thing in bringing Pink Slime use to light and refusing to continue using it. Todd Bacon, McDonald’s senior director of quality systems says, “This decision was a result of our efforts to align our global standards for how we source beef around the world.” The company’s stance has already inspired Taco Bell and Burger King to follow suit.

Via Yahoo

Lead image © fotoosvanrobin


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  1. Elizabeth Dana February 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Why isn’t the USDA checking the DNA to see if it is even beef? What if it is Horse meat?puking…..

  2. Margaret Fortier August 19, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I have heard about Pink slime and how it is in processed meats for that reason I never buy processed ground meat but buy a roast of beef and pork and grind them up myself so I am sure that I am getting the real stuff but am curious now reading these reports if ground meat is the only place one would find it

  3. simcoi February 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I’m sorry, please correct me if I am wrong, but Ecoli is NOT normally found in meat trimmings it is found in the intestines and the many tummies of a cow. The animal flesh is NOT normally contaminated, but I am sure that is what the USDA would want me to believe in order to keep the system running smoothly (god forbid you buy from a local butcher). We all know the animal  is doused in its own feces in the Meat Processing plant. Hey McDonalds you can use that same meat, if you just improve the quality and conditions of those processing plants! I shudder to think what they are using instead.

  4. Suwanee February 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Is the FDA on the side of consumers or on the side of big companies like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King which are knowingly making Americans sick.

  5. jakobnev February 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Isn’t this move going to increase the amount of animal suffering and pollution caused to produce the same amount of food?

  6. Mary Stephens February 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Just reading about pink slime is enough to make me nauseaus

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