I'll have a burger and fries with everything -- hold the ammonia

The New York Times reports that one of the main suppliers of processed beef filler to fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Burger King -- not to mention school lunch and grocery store meat -- had been using ammonia as a means of killing E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella.

Yes. Ammonia.

Years ago, the supplier, Beef Products Inc., figured out a way to process and treat the inedible bits from the carcass -- bits that "typically include most of the material from the outer surfaces of the carcass," the article reports. The processed filler, when mixed into ground beef, is intended to reduce the cost of beef and thus boost profit margins.

However, a considerable amount of dangerous bacteria like salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 is present in the "outer surfaces" such as the skin itself. So Beef Products began to blast its filler product with ammonia to kill the bacteria. Ammonia.

And they're still doing it.