Jamie Oliver has been acting as an informal adviser to top bosses at McDonald’s, despite repeatedly criticising the fast food chain for several years.
Mr Oliver has had discussions about healthy eating with UK management – including boss Paul Pomroy – on a regular basis for several years, though he does not have a commercial relationship with the company.
McDonald’s executives regularly meet food and drink professionals as well as politicians.
Mr Oliver has previously been a thorn in the company’s side.
In 2011, he declared McDonald’s burgers were not fit for human consumption and urged operators to ditch a type of processed beef – dubbed “pink slime” – from the recipe.
McDonald’s and several other food companies later removed the ingredient from products. It has never been used in UK and Ireland products.
As recently as 2016, he voiced his opposition to the company’s sponsorship of the Olympics and launched a campaign to limit the event’s sponsors to companies meeting certain nutritional and ethical standards.
However, in recent years the relationship appears to have mellowed. The campaigner, who is also credited with overhauling school dinners in the United Kingdom and was an instrumental advocate for the sugar tax, has been quoted as saying he would allow his children to eat at McDonald’s.
Mr Pomroy has even taken part in a chief executive charity cook-off event run by Mr Oliver’s food foundation.
Mr Oliver is no stranger to working with big companies.
His current official relationships include a partnership with Shell through which his company has created a healthier food-to-go range for the firm’s service stations.
He came under fire for collaborating with the oil giant, but insisted that it was the best way to get the food to the widest audience.
Speaking at the launch of the range, Mr Oliver said food companies must help drive change in diets.
“If we want Britain to be in a healthier, more productive place in 15 to 20 years, we absolutely need businesses to be on that journey.”
Mr Oliver is also currently the face of Tesco – after 11 years with rival Sainsbury’s – and has recently teamed up with the retailer to establish a cookery school to reduce food waste.
The school will teach more than 1,000 community cooks on how best to use surplus food donations, helping community groups by offering training and advice on how to prepare nutritionally balanced meals.