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Earlier in the week, McDonalds announced that it would no longer be using "pink slime," a food additive that contains ammonium hydroxide, in their hamburgers.
Although the substance is completely legal, MSNBC reported that the chemical is frequently used in fertilizers, household cleaners and even homemade explosives. In a statement posted on the McDonalds website, the senior director of quality systems, Todd Bacon, explained why the company made the decision to remove the product from their food.
"At the beginning of 2011, we made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated beef in our hamburgers," he said in the statement. "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."
The change could also be due to pressure from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, whose TV show Food Revolution aims to educate Americans on how to eat healthier and stop eating fast food. According to The Week, Oliver coined the term "pink slime" to describe a mix of the beef trimmings that are washed in the solution to kill bacteria and is used as a filler.
Since McDonalds has announced that the slime is off their menu, two other fast food chains, Burger King and Taco Bell, have also removed the ingredient from their food. Although the chemical is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is considered "generally safe," many health experts, including Oliver, say that the pink slime-treated meat is a product that would normally be sold in the form of dog food, but is recycled and made "fit" for humans.