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Chicken nuggets safe, McDonald's assures public

[ 2010-07-06 13:09]     字号 [] [] []  
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Following a CNN report in late June that claimed US McDonald's chicken nuggets contain two traces of "harmful" chemicals, the fast food giant's China division admitted on Monday that its McNuggets also contained the additives.

However, McDonald's (China) Co Ltd assured its use of the two additives is "safe and harmless" to customers' health.

According to the CNN report, the fast food chain's nuggets served in the US contain preservatives of tertiary butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), a petroleum-based product, and dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent.

Public fears in the US soon spread to China, as domestic media went wild with the story.

In a bid to calm the nerves of its Chinese consumers, McDonald's responded with a statement late on Monday, saying the McNuggets, which though contain the two additives, are safe to eat.

"Their contents of tBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane are as low as 200 ppm (parts per million) and 10 ppm respectively, which totally fulfill the standards for food additives by Chinese regulation," said the statement. "The food McDonald's supply does no harm to consumer's health."

Media reported that the McNuggets served in the United Kingdom were found free of the use of the two chemicals.

According to the company's announcement, dimethylpolysiloxane is an anti-foaming agent similar to rubber. The reason for its use is to prevent the oil from foaming, while tBHQ is a preservative for vegetable oil and animal fat.

McDonald's has developed a broad client base in China, with 1,135 stores on the Chinese mainland by the end of last year. It enjoys high popularity among youngsters who appreciate its convenience, hygiene and energetic corporate culture.


1. Where did the report originate?

2. Name the additives?

3. In which country do chicken nuggets not contain the two chemicals?


1. CNN.

2. Butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), and Dimethylpolysiloxane.

3. United Kingdom.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Chicken nuggets safe, McDonald's assures public

About the broadcaster:

Chicken nuggets safe, McDonald's assures public

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.