For the first time ever, McDonald’s is giving customers an inside look at one of its US meat processing facilities.
The company released a video Monday starring former “MythBusters” co-host Grant Imahara, who tours a Cargill facility in Fresno, California, that makes, freezes, and ships McDonald’s beef patties.
The video begins with Imahara inspecting cuts of meat on a conveyer belt headed toward a grinder.
He asks whether there is any “pink slime” in the meat, which refers to lean beef trimmings — what’s left of the meat after all the choice cuts of beef are taken — that is treated with ammonium hydroxide, creating the pink hue.
“Lean finely textured beef or so-called pink slime — we don’t use that in our burgers,” says Rickette Collins, director of strategic supply for McDonald’s. (The company has said previously that it stopped using the treated trimmings three years ago.)
Next, the meat is sent through a grinder.
Then the ground meat is formed into beef patties.
Finally, the patties are sent to a giant freezer, just before they are boxed and packaged for shipping.
There is also a grill on site, which food quality technicians use to test batches of meat as they are sent out.
The video marks the launch of an aggressive public relations campaign in the U.S. that aims to clarify some of the mysteries surrounding McDonald’sfood sourcing and processing practices.
As part of the campaign, the company is inviting customers to ask questions about its food on social media. McDonald’s will respond to selected questions with videos posted to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Some questions the company is planning to answer in the coming weeks are: “What is in my hamburger?” and “What part of the chicken is a Chicken McNugget?”
The company has launched similar campaigns in Canada and Australia.
“We’re proud of the food we serve our 27 million U.S. customers every day, yet we know people have unanswered questions,” Kevin Newell, executive vice president, chief brand and strategy officer for McDonald’s USA, said in a release. “So, we’re inviting everyone in the U.S. on a journey to learn more about our food. We look forward to the opportunity to have an open conversation and to show people firsthand how we make our most iconic menu items.”
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