McDonald's Pink Slime is Off the Menu

Kim LaCapria

No, not the pink goo in the viral Chicken McNuggets pic, but the controversial McDonald's "pink slime" that goes into making their ubiquitous hamburger patties.

It's not officially called pink slime, because, ew, then who would eat it? But as we know, words often win over hearts and minds, and after Jamie Oliver dubbed the extra bits of cow laying around (treated with chemicals to kill bacteria and added to burgers to beef them up) pink slime, McDonald's announced that it would no longer be using the filler to stretch meat bits out- kind of like meatloaf, but with chemicals instead of breadcrumbs. Super ew.

So, you may not like the idea of ingesting the dirtiest parts of a cow, soaked in ammonia to keep it from making you sick because it's so potentially dirty. But the government has repeatedly denied McDonald's pink slime is a danger to people who eat food. The Huffington Post explains:

The USDA, for its part, approved of the ammoniated beef trimmings. In 2007, when it mandated increased testing for most ground beef, it specifically exempted "pink slime," even though the ammoniated beef comes from the parts of the cow most likely to harbor pathogens. The USDA argued that the beef's ammonia treatment would kill any bacteria lingering in the beef... And there's some evidence that the USDA wasn't wrong to call "pink slime" safe. Indeed, a Jan. 9 editorial in Food Safety News argued that the public backlash against pink slime had more to do with fear-mongering on the part of figures like Oliver than with any rational assessment of the product itself.