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WUSF News Staff
Tue June 12, 2012
Schools Pass on "Pink Slime" Beef
The beef filler nicknamed “pink slime” in an article by the New York Times, has been served for decades in schools across the country.
Recently, The Department of Agriculture announced it will no longer be on the menu in several states.
Public schools in only three states - Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota - will continue to serve it.
Lean finely textured beef, the official name of "pink slime," is a meat byproduct additive that is made by heating the product and then treating it with a puff of ammonia to kill bacteria. The result is an inexpensive and leaner filler product.
USDA Health regulators say the product is safe and nutritious despite public outcry over its use. Much of the negative publicity began after a microbiologist for the USDA called the lean finely textured beef "pink slime" in an internal email published in a New York Times article in 2009.
Schools aren't the only ones boycotting the byproduct. Fast food chains and some supermarkets are vowing to stop selling it as well, according to ABC News.
Beef Products Inc., the company that makes lean finely textured beef, has announced that it will close down three of its four plants as a result of the loss of business.
CBS News reports 650 jobs will be lost as a result of the closures.