Food Safety

Published on October 8th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Mechanically Separated Chicken? Chicken Slurry? Pink Goop? [VIDEO]

This has gotten around, and for good reason — it’s quite unnerving and disgusting. There are, apparently, a few pieces of information that might not be exactly true being spread around along with this photo, though.

Is this Mechanically Separated Chicken?

It seems likely that this is some form of mechanically separated chicken or perhaps meat slurry. And that this is probably what they make your chicken nuggets and patties from (if you eat those).

It certainly looks like the “mechanically separated” chicken coming out of the machine in the video below.

But I’m not an expert on the terms used to describe this process.

Does this Include Bones, Eyes, Guts, Etc?

A number of sites blogging about this photo say such things as, “the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve — bones, eyes, guts, and all.”

While others say that bones, eyeballs and such are removed beforehand.

Again, looking at the video above, it seems folks saying the latter are probably correct.

Is This Pink Mechanically Separated Chicken Goop Then Soaked in Ammonia?

A lot of sites are also saying that this pink goop is soaked in ammonia to kill the bacteria crawling all over this stuff, then re-flavored with artificial flavors since it would taste gross otherwise.

Jason Kottke says that this is not true since ammonia is not an approved additive. But, I wouldn’t put it past the people making this stuff to find a way around that. If it is re-flavored and re-colored afterwards, is ammonia really an additive? (joking, of course)

In any case, no matter what the answers are regarding the bones, eyeballs, and ammonia, I have a hard to imagining that anyone actually wants to eat chicken nuggets after looking at that.

Related Story:
Pink Slime in Fast Food Burgers

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

5 Responses to Mechanically Separated Chicken? Chicken Slurry? Pink Goop? [VIDEO]

  1. Alex says:

    Don’t forget about this article regarding adding ammonia-laced meat:

    Best way to avoid it; stop eating it.

  2. David Anderson says:

    yay! I had chicken nuggets for lunch, and now I’m going to puke on my keyboard. Thanks! :P

  3. wow this is crap. it doesn’t look like they separated anything. I will not purchase that crap ever.

  4. Pingback: October Top News: Giant Penguins, Solar Planes that Fly for Years, Europe’s Clean Energy Progress, Obama’s Clean Energy Push, Peak Oil/Peak Coal/Peak Etc. « Zachary Shahan

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