McDonald's said it has decided to stop using ammonium hydroxide — an ingredient in fertilizers, cleaners and some explosives — in its hamburger meat.
“At McDonald’s, the quality and safety of the food we serve our customers is a top priority,” according to Todd Bacon, a McDonald’s food-quality manager, in a statement posted on the fast food giant’s website.
“At the beginning of 2011, we made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated beef in our hamburgers,” Bacon added. “This product has been out of our supply chain since August of last year. This decision was a result of our efforts to align our global standards for how we source beef around the world.”
Company officials said the decision was not prompted by food-safety activists who have pressed to have the ingredient removed from chicken and beef, which is used as an anti-microbial agent.
The U.S. Agriculture Department has deemed the chemical “safe,” but advocates have argued it should not be added to the food supply.