After Chef Jamie Oliver showed how McDonald's makes its hamburgers, the franchise announced that it will change its recipe.
According to Oliver, the fatty parts of beef are "washed" in ammonium hydroxide and used in the filling of the burger. He says, "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."
Besides the low quality of the meat, the ammonium hydroxide is harmful to health. Oliver calls it "the pink slime process."
"Why would any sensible human being put meat filled with ammonia in the mouths of their children?" asked the chef, who wages a war against the fast food industry.
In one initiative to get kids to eat healthier, Oliver demonstrated the process of how McDonald's makes its chicken nuggets. After selecting the best parts of the chicken, the remains (fat, skin, and internal organs) are processed for these fried foods.
Fast food companies Burger King and Taco Bell have already abandoned their use of ammonia in food products in the United States. Ammonium hydroxide is used in the food industry as an anti-microbial agent in meats, allowing them to sell what would otherwise be "inedible meat."
Because ammonium hydroxide is used as a "component in a production procedure" and not an official ingredient, companies are not required by the USDA to let consumers know when it is used in their food.
McDonalds has denied a link between James Oliver's campaign and their decision to change their recipe.