Ammoniated beef: No more ‘pink slime’ in Maccy D’s burgers

ammoniated beef
MacDonald’s Big Mac – soon to be free of ammoniated beef.

One of the world’s most litigious brands, McDonalds, is changing its burger recipes in the US to exclude pink slime – otherwise known as ammoniated beef. This follows a long-running campaign by mockney chef Jamie Oliver to expose its popular food product as unfit for human consumption.

Maccy D USA’s decision to end the practice, in which the famous burger’s fatty filing is ‘washed’ using ammonium hydroxide, follows similar moves by Taco Bell and Burger King. Oliver famously coined ‘washing’ the “the pink slime process”.



A burger enthusiast, Oliver is quoted in politicalblindspot as saying: “Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest way for dogs and, after this process, is being given to human beings.

“Why would any sensible human being put meat filled with ammonia in the mouths of their children?”

Ammonia is used to kill pathogens in ‘inedible’ meat to render it safe for human consumption. However, the inclusion of ammonium hydroxide, considered a hazard to health, has become a target of food safety campaigners.

However, Latin American, Irish and UK consumers need not fear the use of ammonia in their McDonald’s burgers as the franchise uses locally supplied meat there.

Meanwhile, while McDonald’s denies the change has anything to do with the consonant-challenged foodie’s campaign, Oliver has gone on to claim that the skin, fat and internal organs used in its chicken nuggets undergoes a similar process.



Peter a journalist with 30 years experience of freelance writing, UK national newspaper and magazine production roles, and business development. In 2007, he developed and launched a mainstream-style green consumer magazine in the UK, called GreenerLiving, as a means of promoting sustainable change ‘within the system’. GreenerLiving closed during the post-crash recession, but Peter went on to become managing editor of the international ethical business title, Ethical Performance. However, Peter felt that the CSR sector has not succeeded in changing corporate priorities anywhere near fast enough, and so I decided to leave the treadmill of corporate employment and debt accumulation to focus on my own projects. Now poorer but a billion million times happier, he writes on political, economic and social issues – usually seriously, but sometimes as satire. He's currently writing Psychopath Economics, a book about the logic of social and economic power, belief systems, and the rise and fall of societies. Peter is convinced that ordinary people must educate themselves and exercise their economic leverage if we are to avoid social and environmental destruction.

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