McDonald’s wants your trust back.
The fast food giant has responded to mounting public skepticism about the quality of their food by launching a PR campaign titled “Our Food. Your Questions.” McDonald’s gave ABC News unprecedented access to one of their food processing plants recently and is asking consumers to publicly voice any question or concern they have about the company’s food.
“We're starting on a journey called 'Our Food. Your Questions,' and we want to open up the doors and let our customers ask us any questions they have, and give them answers,” said company director of quality systems Rickette Collins in an interview with Good Morning America.
The company hopes to combat many untrue rumors about their food. For starters, the company denies that they use mechanically separated meat, or “pink slime”, in their burgers or chicken nuggets.
“We've seen the photo of 'pink goop' or 'pink slime' in association with McDonald's,” the company writes on their website. ”Let's set the record straight: this image in connection with McDonald's is a myth. In fact, we don't know where it came from, but it's not our food. The photo is not a representation of how we create our Chicken McNuggets, or for that matter, any item on our menu.”
Their ground beef, they say, is 100% pure beef. The meat is “Just like you get at the grocery store - you buy like an 80/20 blend,” a company spokesperson claims.
The company admits to using numerous chemical additives, like azodicarbonamide and dimethylpolysiloxane, in their food. The former, which is also found in yoga mats, is used in their rolls and buns. The latter is used as an anti-foaming agent in their McNugget frying oil.
On azodicarbonamide, the company says “There are varied uses for azodicarbonamide, including in some non-food products, such as yoga mats. As a result, some people have suggested our food contains rubber or plastic, or that the ingredient is unsafe. It's simply not the case. Think of salt: the salt you use in your food at home is a variation of the salt you may use to de-ice your sidewalk. The same is true of ADA — it can be used in different ways.”
McDonald’s hopes the PR campaign can win back the many customers who have ditched them in recent years for fast casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera.
“Don’t judge us before you know us,” chief brand manager Kevin Newell says.