Recently McDonald’s was again in the news for deceiving its customers. On-line, on their website, you will see they use “100% Beef” in their burgers. However it is very popular for corporate America to lie to people if the lawyers say they can get away with it! After all, “Pink Slime,” that you would not feed your dog, is 100% pure beef. Here is the text from McDonalds food ingredient listing:
100% Beef Patty, Regular Bun, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickle Slices, Onions
So you might say, “If it isn’t true why would they risk putting it in writing?” Well lets see another viewpoint: McDonalds as you see above says their burgers are made from 100% Beef but that does not say it was not pink slime! McDonalds admitted to using pink slime in your 100% Beef patty. Now of course, they will discontinue this product. So what is pink slime?
Microbiologists Carl Custer and Gerald Zernstein (who coined the term “pink slime”) concluded in a study that the pink slime is a “high risk product.” The trimmings come from parts of the cow that are most likely to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria like E. coli. This is why it has to be treated with ammonia to basically kill off all of the pathogens. Still, even after treatment a New York Times investigation found bacteria still exists in the product. Here is a quote from their report: ” … government and industry records obtained by The New York Times show that in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products meat, challenging claims by the company and the U.S.D.A. about the effectiveness of the treatment. Since 2005, E. coli has been found 3 times and salmonella 48 times, including back-to-back incidents in August  in which two 27,000-pound batches were found to be contaminated.”
How do the pink slimers get around safety testing of food? While the USDA routinely tests meat used in hamburger products for contamination; however, meat from B.P.I (Beef Products, Inc.) is exempt from the testing because the USDA believes the ammonia treatment is so effective
Nutritionally speaking, eating connective tissue is not the same as eating muscle meat. As reported by The Daily: “We originally called it soylent pink,” Custer told The Daily. “We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.” Custer said he first encountered the product — which gained fame recently as “pink slime” in part due to the efforts of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver — back in the late 1990s. Despite voicing his concerns to other officials at the food inspection service, however, the USDA ruled that Lean Beef Trimmings were safe. “The word in the office was that undersecretary JoAnn Smith pushed it through, and that was that,” Custer said. Could Smith have an ax to grind? Smith has had deep ties with the beef industry, serving as president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Association.” You decide if you trust him!
Because the ammonia used to treat the meat is technically a processing agent, not an ingredient, it doesn’t have to be listed on the label. So there’s no way to tell if a BPI product labeled Lean Beef actually contains ammonia-treated beef scraps and connective tissues.
Ammonia is a toxin that can turn into ammonium nitrate, which is used in fertilizer and cleaning products.
Worms. Years ago McDonald was slammed for putting worms in their burgers to increase the protein content. They have fought this issue for years and it is hard to find good documentation to prove it. Their BIG argument against it however is that worms are more expensive, per pound, then beef. After the pink slime issue, I am not buying this story. In fact when people come into my office who have worked at or managed a McDonalds, they frequently tell me “NEVER EAT ANYTHING THERE!” Maybe it is time you took their advice, “NEVER EAT ANYTHING AT MCDONALDS!