Another Reason to Never Eat at McDonalds

I am so happy to learn this:

Eight years ago, federal officials were struggling to remove potentially deadly E. coli from hamburgers when an entrepreneurial company from South Dakota came up with a novel idea: injecting beef with ammonia.

The company, Beef Products Inc., had been looking to expand into the hamburger business with a product made from beef that included fatty trimmings the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil. The trimmings were particularly susceptible to contamination, but a study commissioned by the company showed that the ammonia process would kill E. coli as well as salmonella.

Officials at the United States Department of Agriculture endorsed the company’s ammonia treatment, and have said it destroys E. coli “to an undetectable level.” They decided it was so effective that in 2007, when the department began routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public, they exempted Beef Products.

With the U.S.D.A.’s stamp of approval, the company’s processed beef has become a mainstay in America’s hamburgers. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it as a component in ground beef, as do grocery chains. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds of the processed beef last year alone.

But government and industry records obtained by The New York Times show that in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products meat, challenging claims by the company and the U.S.D.A. about the effectiveness of the treatment.


I wonder how much of this crap ends up in Canada’s food supply. Vegetarianism, anyone?



  1. #1 by Art Doctor on Sunday 17 January 2010 - 1221

    Two words:

    Rowe Meats

    (Grain-fed Omega some number 3,6, or 9 meat and poultry from Guelph, Ontario; available at Logan and Queen St. E).

  2. #2 by Melissa on Sunday 17 January 2010 - 1646

    This is the kind of thing that I read, promptly let out a huge sigh of relief and say “thank God I’m a vegetarian.” But that crap ends up in our veggies too in the states since our food supply is so centralized on giant factory farms.

    Buy local people. It’s better for you, the economy and the environment.

  3. #3 by no on important on Wednesday 20 January 2010 - 0853

    Vegetarianism offers both less stress and less guilt. A couple of black bean burritos fill me up and satisfy me as much as a couple of burgers, but the burgers leave me feeling not so hot with all that grease in my gut,

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