Lately, a lot of people have been asking questions about “Pink Slime” (aka) Lean Finely Textured Beef . Specifically, what is it ? It is low grade beef trimmings that are spun in machines which are then spritzed with ammonia (NH3). The process starts with the waste trimmings being gathered and simmered at low heat making it easier to separate fat from muscle. The mixture is then put in a centrifuge and spun to finish the separation. Next, it is sent through pipes where it’s sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria…specifically, e-coli and salmonella. Finally, it’s compressed into bricks and flash frozen for shipment to meat packers and grocery stores where it is commonly added to ground beef.
The people that represent the beef industry have said that “pink slime” is beef and there is no reason to neither separately market it nor post special signage.
And, according to the FDA, the above process has been ruled as a beef treatment, not an ingredient, and therefore the addition of “Pink Slime” to ground beef products is exempt from special labeling.
Due to public outcry, fast food giants like McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell have stopped using “Pink Slime” in their food. But the federal government continues to allow its use in school food and recently authorized the purchase of ground beef which collectively contains an additional 7 million pounds of “Pink Slime” for consumption by our nation’s children.
Blogger, BETTINA ELIAS SIEGEL from “The Lunch Tray”, recently spearheaded a successful boycott against “Pink Slime” in our nation’s school lunch programs by posting a petition on http://www.Change.org/PinkSlime called “STOP the use of “pink slime” in our children’s school food!” Nine days later, her petition had received over 200,000 signatures and once again, the public outcry against “Pink Slime” was heard. Today, our school districts may spend their Commodity Dollars by choosing to purchase USDA ground beef with or without the addition of “Pink Slime”.
Foodservice Geek – Sherry Handzel
Article written By Sherry Handzel, submitted by Madonna Kash