Food Safety

Published on January 17th, 2012 | by Becky Striepe


Pink Slime Update: Major Fast Food Companies Say No

McDonalds Hamburger

Back when we talked about “pink slime,” or ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings, it caused quite a stir. Some people confuse this food additive with mechanically separated meat (MSM), but they’re not the same thing. MSM is not a common food additive anymore, but until recently pink slime was an additive in a large percentage of mass-produced meat products.

The savvy folks at Disinformation pointed us to a report from Argus Leader about how several fast food companies, under consumer pressure, are ditching the ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings. The companies that are no longer using pink slime are:

  • McDonald’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Burger King

Other fast food chains still use pink slime, and it’s common in school cafeterias, as well. Advocates of the additive criticize consumers and activists for pressuring companies to stop using ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings, saying it’s bad for business. It’s specifically bad for BPI, the company who produces pink slime by “cleansing” beef trimmings with ammonium hydroxide to make it passable as human grade food.

Does this mean an ethical eater is cool to pick up a Quarter Pounder With Cheese or a Big Mac? Not quite yet. While they may skip the pink slime, these fast food companies still source their meat from factory farms. If you do the meat thing, unless a restaurant can tell you where its meat is coming from it’s better to skip it all together.

What I love about this news is that it’s such a stellar example of our power as consumers. No company is going to continue a practice that hurts its bottom line. Now, we just need to tell these fast food corporations that not only is pink slime not OK, but neither is meat from animals that live a life of abuse.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by slice

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

7 Responses to Pink Slime Update: Major Fast Food Companies Say No

  1. Alicia says:

    that is so dang gross i am NEVER going to eat at Mcdonalds ever again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Norton says:

    If you only knew what they do to our food you would never eat anything again unless you raised or grew it yourself…but not too far in the distant future…SOYLENT GREEN…lol

  3. Pingback: Pink Slime

  4. Andrea says:

    I’d like to know if Sonic Drive-Ins use pink slime. The mgr at the one near me said that “they must not use it because I’ve never heard of it.”

  5. Tiffany says:

    Most people are hiding this product off what you saw on tv. We as Americans owe to ourselves to educate ourselves and others. The news isn’t always the news. It in this case and many others is inaccurate. Educate yourself is a good start. I educated my self will you. You nation is in a crisis caused by false media. Make a change.

  6. Diane says:

    I’d like to know about Sonic also. I’m glad to learn that McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King have banned the use of Pink Slime, but what about Sonic. Here is small town, USA, we have so few choices.

    Does anyone know about America’s Drive-in?

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