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At dinner the other day, I made the comment that Pringles were made of an extruded potato paste and couldn't be called potato chips in England. A fellow diner responded by saying that in "some countries," it is illegal to sell McDonald's hamburgers to dogs. Needless to say, that raised some eyebrows at the table.

She had read the statement somewhere that she insisted was "not Facebook." She claimed that the source of the quote was celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Could this be true? Were McDonald's hamburgers not good enough for dog food? This demanded research. To the Internet, Robin!

The source for the statement seems to have been an episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution quoted by the Daily Mail in its 2012 report that McDonald's had eliminated so-called "Pink Slime" from its American burgers. Oliver decried the Pink Slime as dog food sold to humans, not the other way around. It turns out that the European Union bans the use of Pink Slime in anything other than dog food. So Pink Slime is okay for dogs; that's what it is intended for.

Personally, I think it's cruel and inhumane to serve McDonald's hamburgers to dogs, but I can't find any evidence that it is illegal anywhere. It is certainly acceptable in America, and so far as I can tell, is also allowed in Canada, England, Russia, China, or any of the 116 other countries with a McDonald's restaurant. That doesn't mean that "some countries" don't ban it, but I can't find one. So next time you're stopping for a Big Mac in Kuala Lumpur, it's probably safe to give a bite to Fido.

But I can't give my dining mate too much of a hard time. It turns out that all the fun food facts we discussed the other day were wrong. I was right once upon a time, but in 2009, a British appeals court declared that denying that Pringles were potato chips was costing the country £20 million (about $30 million) in annual tax revenue. So now Pringles are legally recognized as potato chips in the U.K. no matter how much actual potato they have in them. Yum.

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To be continued...

 

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