Goodbye, Pink Slime: McDonald’s to Change Burger Recipe

The fast food superchain McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) will edit its burger recipe in the United States…at least on a chemical level.  The company will now stop using meat treated with ammonium hydroxide, an additive commonly used as a bacterial toxin in household cleaning products in its U.S.locations.  The additive wasn’t used in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada.

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The existence of the additive was widely criticized in recent months by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on his popular television show Food Revolution.  Oliver rather infamously dubbed the substance “pink slime,” and said that meat producers used the substance to transform meat that would usually be processed for dog food into something suitable for people.

McDonald’s has denied that Oliver’s criticism had anything to do with their decision, but this news followed on the heels of Burger King and Taco Bell (NYSE:YUM), who have also notably stopped using the substance.  McDonald’s has stated that the decision was part of their “effort to align our global beef raw material standards.”

The main reason McDonald’s used the substance was because it received its meat from Beef Products, Inc (NYSE:BPI), who had also used meat with ammonium hydroxide.  From now on, McDonald’s will no longer be utilizing BPI.  The move is not expected to effect the taste of McDonald’s hamburgers in any way, and should actually increase the overall quality of the meat.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morris at

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