As the Food and Drug Administration gets ready to rule on the legality of using BPA chemicals in our food containers, new information about the harmful products in the food we consume emerged this month. The insider term "trimmings," also referred to as "pink slime," was revealed to be a mix of rejected fat, sinew, bloody effluvia, bits of animal carcass and even small amounts of ammonia. This "pink slime" is actually being sold as a low cost additive to hamburger beef and being consumed by restaurant customers and grocery shoppers alike.
Aside from being unappetizing at best, pink slime has the potential to cause serious health problems. The tiny bits of animal carcasses used in the mixture contained large amounts of the harmful bacteria E. coli, which can be deadly to people. In order to avoid
E. coli outbreaks, "pink slime" manufacturers cleansed the filler with ammonia, a hazardous chemical which can also cause serious health problems if consumed in significant quantities. Some of the side effects of ingesting ammonia include:
- Muscle weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Severe mood swings
- Slurred speech
- Tingling of hands and feet
- Hearing loss
- Visual disturbances
- Depressed reflexes
- Loss of consciousness
- Limb spasms
- Lack of coordination
- Impaired judgment
None of these side effects are conditions which you should reasonably expect to develop after eating a couple of burgers. Granted, the amount of ammonia included in hamburger meat is small enough for the FDA to allow it to be listed as a processing ingredient without being directly named, but over time, the build-up of the chemical in our systems might lead to permanent damage. Fortunately, many mass-producers of hamburgers, like McDonalds, are vowing to ban the use of "pink slime" in their food products, but until everyone takes the same action, no consumer is completely safe.
In the United States, people are injured every day by dangerous products like "pink slime," manufactured with the intent to boost business profits, not preserve public safety. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. A
product liability attorney from our office can provide you with a consultation of your case to determine if your injury or illness was due to a defective product, such as food contamination.
Contact a product liability lawyer at Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation regarding your case.