McDonald's ditches 'pink slime' chemical in burgers

Yahoo! New Zealand February 2, 2012, 2:21 pm

McDonald's has announced that, as of last August, they have moved away from using ammonium hydroxide in its food preparation in the United States.

MSNBC reports that the food giant has stopped using the filler product which is also used in fertilizers, household cleaners and home made explosives.

McDonald's posted this statement on its website from McDonald's senior director of quality systems, Todd Bacon:

"At the beginning of 2011, we made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated beef in our hamburgers.

"This product has been out of our supply chain since August of last year. This decision was a result of our efforts to align our global standards for how we source beef around the world."

McDonald’s New Zealand confirms that ammonia treated beef has never been used in its beef patties.

McDonald’s states that its patties are sourced from a supplier near New Plymouth, and are made with 100 per cent New Zealand beef.

There has been speculation that the change has been prompted by a public backlash over the ammonium hydroxide.

Meat offcuts were washed in the substance which acted as a filler and then made into hamburger patties.

Other fast-food outlets like Burger King and Taco Bell were quick to say they don't make their patties the same way.

The practice was highlighted during Jamie Oliver's show The Food Revolution.

The food industry uses ammonium hydroxide as an anti-microbial agent in meats, which allows McDonald's to use otherwise "inedible meat."

On his show, Oliver said of the meat treatment: "Basically we're taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest form for dogs and making it 'fit' for humans."

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