Chemicals In Fast Food Hamburgers

January 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm 9 comments

(NaturalNews) If you’re in the beef business, what do you do with all the extra cow parts and trimmings that have traditionally been sold off for use in pet food? You scrape them together into a pink mass, inject them with a chemical to kill the e.coli, and sell them to fast food restaurants to make into hamburgers.

That’s what’s been happening all across the USA with beef sold to McDonald’s, Burger King, school lunches and other fast food restaurants, according to a New York Times article. The beef is injected with ammonia, a chemical commonly used in glass cleaning and window cleaning products.

This is all fine with the USDA, which endorses the procedure as a way to make the hamburger beef “safe” enough to eat. Ammonia kills e.coli, you see, and the USDA doesn’t seem to be concerned with the fact that people are eating ammonia in their hamburgers.

This ammonia-injected beef comes from a company called Beef Products, Inc. As NYT reports, the federal school lunch program used a whopping 5.5 million pounds of ammonia-injected beef trimmings from this company in 2008. This company reportedly developed the idea of using ammonia to sterilize beef before selling it for human consumption.

Aside from the fact that there’s ammonia in the hamburger meat, there’s another problem with this company’s products: The ammonia doesn’t always kill the pathogens. Both e.coli and salmonella have been found contaminating the cow-derived products sold by this company.

This came as a shock to the USDA, which had actually exempted the company’s products from pathogen testing and product recalls. Why was it exempted? Because the ammonia injection process was deemed so effective that the meat products were thought to be safe beyond any question.

What else is in there?

As the NYT reports, “The company says its processed beef, a mashlike substance frozen into blocks or chips, is used in a majority of the hamburger sold nationwide. But it has remained little known outside industry and government circles. Federal officials agreed to the company’s request that the ammonia be classified as a ‘processing agent’ and not an ingredient that would be listed on labels.”

Fascinating. So you can inject a beef product with a chemical found in glass cleaning products and simply call it a “processing agent” — with the full permission and approval of the USDA, no less! Does anyone doubt any longer how deeply embedded the USDA is with the beef industry?

Apparently, this practice of injecting fast food beef with ammonia has been a well-kept secret for years. I never knew this was going on, and this news appears to be new information to virtually everyone. The real shocker is that “a majority” of fast food restaurants use this ammonia-injected cow-derived product in their hamburger meat. It sort of makes you wonder: What else is in there that we don’t know about?

“School lunch officials and other customers complained about the taste and smell of the beef,” says the NYT. No wonder. It’s been pumped full of chemicals.

There are already a thousand reasons not to eat fast food. Make this reason number 1,001. Ammonia. It’s not supposed to be there.

You can get the same effect by opening a can of dog food made with beef byproducts, spraying it with ammonia, and swallowing it. That is essentially what you’re eating when you order a fast food burger.


Entry filed under: Chemicals in your food. Tags: , , .

The Dirty Dozen of Food – Chemicals on Your Produce The Dangers of Teflon Pans

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jen gregoire  |  January 8, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Great article! I only wish people would read it and make the choice not to put this harmful food in their body. We deserve more, we deserve better. Why do we continue to let the food industry add chemicals into our food?

  • 2. Misty Faucheux  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I am officially sick. I try never to touch fast food. My resolve has just been solidified. That is absolutely DISGUSTING!

  • 3. Kat  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you for this article! I looked into the company, via its official Web site (found here: While innocuous, it is still disturbing that this chemically sanitized “beef product formula” is being passed as real food.

  • 4. Isabel varela  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Yikes!! Boycott fast food!!

  • 5. Ashlei  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Thank you for this great article. It’s too bad most people don’t realize the USDA and FDA get bought off and can allow things that are in products to not be put on labels.

  • 6. Quilting Update « The Vegster  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:23 am

    […] know many bloggers are incredibly health-conscious, but here’s an interesting article I found on fast-food “beef” and chemicals added to it. Basically it talks about how […]

  • 7. stella  |  January 18, 2010 at 12:37 am

    This month, especially this week, out of circumstances beyond my control, I have eaten mcd’s almost 2 out of three days. Or something like that. For the past two weeks, my sweat smells like ammonia, I am now sick as a dog, my stomach hurts and I have gained five pounds. I have had a migraine for a month. It’s just poison. I had to do it because of locale and work. Do you??? Make the choice to abstain from fast food, and your body will respond.

  • 8. ray ban store  |  February 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I enjoyed the article and thanks in on to posting such valuable advice seeking all of us to superabundance up, I mitigate here it both of reform force entr‚e to to and instructional and I map exposed to assent to it as time as I can.

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  • 9. autumn poe  |  January 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I was cooking an old family recipe that involves ground beef,for my family.And my ground beef smelled like ammonia,so i looked it up,and i found out ground beef is bathed in ammonia!!!!!!!I cant do it anymore i threw the beef away,no more not for this family!!!!!!!!!!!!No more


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