Is Pink Slime Worse Than Meat Glue for Enhancing Fast Food?

pink slimeLooks good – tastes good for meat eaters. But how much of that meat patty is pink slime?

Ever wonder what makes the meat patties used in hamburgers in fast food eateries like McDonalds and Burger King seem so fresh? The secret is not really how much meat glue is used, or whether the meat patty used is actually 50 percent or more n-hexane based soy protein. The real issue has been the use of a meat quality enhancer, or a product  known scientifically as ammonium hydroxide which turns fatty beef residue into a mixture that has been non-affectionately called “pink slime”.

Even the sound of Pink slime sounds yucky, especially when it is composed of fatty meat residues from cows and composed of a non-safe chemical, ammonia. When mixed with water, according to the NIH, it becomes ammonium hydroxide – a deadly poison that can release ammonia gas into the air and ammonia into the body.

Pink slime has been used for years as an important ingredient for hamburger patties in such American fast food chains as the two previously mentioned, as well as the popular Mexican fast food chain Taco Bell. Supposedly, the use of ammonium hydroxide has been effective for killing large quantities of e-coli Salmonella contamination which is a common problem when using meat scraps to create meat patties.

The problem became such an issue a few years back that a USDA microbiologist, Gerald Zirnstein, called the processed beef “pink slime” in a 2002 e-mail message to colleagues and said, “I do not consider the stuff to be ground beef, and I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling.”

This problem came to a head when it was revealed in 2008 that 5.5 million pounds of ammonia treated beef had been used in the US School Lunch Program. As a result concerned public health advocates have succeeded in having pink slime eliminated from meat being served in McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell in the USA.

Not strawberry ice cream or saltwater taffy but beef, fat and ammonium hydroxide – yuck!

Whether pink slime is now being used in fast food establishments here in the Middle East is a matter yet to be revealed; especially in Israel where  fast food restaurants are common.

Surely, the use of an ingredient that has been labeled as an actual poison  may be even more dangerous to public health than using ceramic “non stick” cookware to cook your food as exposed in the TV program Kolbotek.

A Kolbotek type of investigation might be launched against Israeli fast food chains to determine whether pink slime is a major ingredient of hamburger patties.

Similar investigations might be advisable in other countries like those in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Lebanon when fast foods are now becoming immensely popular. The main question now is how cooperative will the restaurant chains be in allowing this to be done?

Photo: Wikipedia:

More articles on food products:

Meat Glue: Is Anybody Talking About It?
The Explosive Truth About Veggie Burgers
Ceramic Coated Cooking Pans May be Killing You With Color

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18 thoughts on “Is Pink Slime Worse Than Meat Glue for Enhancing Fast Food?”

  1. Nancy says:

    By the way, “meat glue” or transglutaminase is used by Kraft foods in their cream cheese and “creamy” dairy products/spreads. It’s in their patents. I would love to know if it’s used in the new Greek yogurt products, since it’s a cheap way to thicken these products without going through the extensive and expensive method of draining whey from yogurt naturally. You could make a lot of thin yogurt creamy like Greek yogurt in no time, and then you could brag to everyone that you didn’t use fillers like the other brands. And you don’t have to put in on the label either!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in Velveeta, too.

  2. shankar says:

    Thanks to the bribery…oops! lobbying from these food companies.

  3. Maurice says:

    The good news is that the general public became aware of this issue and as a result, fast food chains and large supermarkets have agreed to remove the additive from ground meat products. I hope the schools do soon as well.

  4. Niki says:


  5. Niki says:

    This “pink slime” is a delema that I’m sure will evtually get taken care of. Now that the public knows what is in their hamburger, people will pretty much protest just as our comments go on here. If stores want to keep making income off beef products they will be forced to change wether or not they use “pink slime” in they meat they are selling. As far as schools serving it, it is disgusting that our future and our kids are getting packed full of ammonium and poisions, but I can’t see I didn’t see this comming.

  6. Ron says:

    “Soylent Pink”???

  7. sue says:

    I plan to never eat at fast food joints. I will certainly eat less meat and no ground beef unless i grind it myself.

  8. sue says:

    It’s pure greed and total disregard for the American consumer.

  9. cathy says:

    They took it out of fast food places where we have optiins of whether to eat or not, but are leaving it in school lunches where so many low income families dont realize what their young kids are eating. I am so fortunate to afford home luches for my kids but feel bad for parents who dont or dont realize so pay for their kids lunches. Its also in store doods as well. Never buy mechanically seperated meat products.

  10. Maurice Picow says:

    People will still eat there though. It’s the biggest restaurant chain in America and most likely in the world.

  11. Maurice Picow says:
  12. brittany says:

    WHAT THE HECK r they really that self hearted i mean we take our kids to mcdonalds and feed them their thinking to ourselfs its ok because we came here when we were little i was wrong i know fast food restraunts arent supposed to be healthy but this is rediculous i seriously think their trying to kill us off.I KNOW IT TAKES ALOT OF MONEY TO RUN A RESTRAUNT BUT HOW MUCH CHEAPER CAN THEY GET I HERD IF THE CHEMICAL IS NOT JUST SOME BEEF TRIMMINGS ITS ALSO POSIN IF EXPOSED TO WATER AND I ALSO HEARD THAT THIS DANGEROUS CHEMICAL CAN BE AIR BORN……………………………… IT JUST MAKES ME SO MAD BECAUSE WE CANT EVEN TRUST A SIMPLE THING SUCH AS A RESTRAUNT HOW SAD……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. I HATE MCY ‘DS IM NEVER EATING THEIR EVER AGAIN MARK MY WORDS BECAUSE IF THEY CAN PUT THAT NASTY PINK CRAP IN OUR FOOD AND GET AWAY WITHI IT FOR THIS LONG THEN NO TELLING WAT THEY CAN PUT IN IT IN THE FUTURE RIHGT…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. THIS IS TO MCDONALDS 🙁

  13. Maurice says:

    They removed the pink slime, but there are other chemicals that are used as well. I’ll mention some of these in an upcoming article.

  14. freddie says:

    yes they must be trying to kill us with what they are putting in these burgers and any thing else that they put in it

  15. derf says:

    i think there trying to kill us because they hate us

  16. freddie says:

    what is up with this pink slime are they trying to kill us

  17. Miriam Kresh says:

    Eeeuw. Incredible, what the USDA has allowed to go through. I’m glad pink slime’s out of US fast-food chains, but the question you raised about its presence here in the Middle East remains.

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