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McDonald's Employee Debunks Rumor About Toxic Ingredient In McNuggets

A recent TikTok video may finally put the pink slime controversy that began in 2011 to rest.
mcdonalds mcnuggets

Just over six years ago, McDonald's was accused of using pink slime—a mash-up of lean beef trimmings that had been treated with ammonia—to make its famous Chicken McNuggets. While the beloved fast-food chain shot the rumor down right away, some customers have remained suspicious. But now, one Mickey D's employee is showing exactly how the nuggets are made on TikTok.

McDonald's employee and TikTok user @moon_man14, aka Isaac, recently posted a video to his account—which In The Know says garnered nearly 2 million views before he set it to private—that shows him throwing a bag of frozen chicken nuggets onto the counter, a tactic he does to get them to "unstick." Then, he puts the frozen nuggets into a fryer basket and into the vat of frying oil. The result? Perfectly crispy Chicken McNuggets—with no pink goop in sight. (Related: McDonald's Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)

This whole pink slime controversy started back in 2011. Evidently, up until that time, McDonald's was allegedly guilty of using the stuff (which looks a lot like strawberry soft-serve) to make its burger patties and chicken nuggets. But then, chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver outed the meat filler on his show, reports Business Insider, and McDonald's changed course.

Then, in 2014, worries about the pink slime resurfaced when a photo attributed to RawForBeauty.com was widely shared on social media with the caption: "McDonald's hamburgers are only 15% real beef. The other 85% is meat filler cleansed with Ammonia which causes stomach and intestinal cancer."

As Business Insider reports, McDonald's released a statement shortly thereafter which said, "Lean finely textured beef treated with ammonia, what some individuals call 'pink slime' or select lean beef trimmings, is not used in our burgers. Any recent reports that it is are false."

McDonald's also took to Twitter to cover its bases on its beloved Chicken McNugget, tweeting: "Do we use so-called 'pink slime' to make our Chicken McNuggets?" with a corresponding image that showcased four chicken nuggets and speech bubbles popping up over them reading, "Nope," "Never," and "No Way!"

We think it's safe to say that every Chicken McNugget made after 2011 has been void of the pink goop. In fact, if you go on McDonald's site, the brand clearly states it doesn't use the pink slime in its burgers or its nuggets. Still, in general, it's not a bad idea to limit your consumption of fast food.

For more, be sure to check out The Best & Worst Menu Items at McDonald's, According to RDs.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more