It seems that everywhere I turn in the past few weeks there’s an article or an ad with that disgusting picture of “pink slime”.
What’s the pink slime?Â According to a recent ABC News Report it is calledÂ BLBT and here are a few facts about it:
- It is made by cooking the waste trimmings (not sure what this includes) from the butchering process at a low heat for a long time to separate the fat, then the fat is spun out.Â This results in a “Pink Slime”.
- It was once used in only dog food and cooking oil, but is now sprayed with ammonia so that it’s safe to eat.
- This “Pink Slime” is packaged and sent to grocers and meat packers who then put it into ground beef as a filler.
- This filler is not actually ground beef thus it is argued that the product we are purchasing is misleading.
- 70% of our grocery store ground beef contains pink slime.
- The FDA does not requireÂ BLBT to be included on the label.
Did you see that last bullet point?Â Â BLBT does NOT have to be included on the label.Â So…How do we know if our meat contains the “Pink Slime”?
One way is to buy only organic.Â According to the ABC News Report if a product is USDA Organic it will NOT contain the slime.
ABC News also did a second report today which includes a list of stores that do or do not use the filler. Some stores that DO NOT use it are Publix, Costco, Whole Foods, &
Kroger.Â That’s right — No pink slime at those stores! UPDATE 3/21 – I have removed Kroger from this list because they have posted to Facebook that they actually do sell beef with Pink Slime.
I would love to know what you guys think.Â Does this news concern you, and will this affect your purchases?Â Are you planning to avoid the “Pink Slime?
Food Lion Pink Slime
UPDATE 3/13/2012:Â I am updating this with new information I received from one of my Facebook readers.Â She emailed Food Lion to find out if their products contain this product and here was their response:
“Food Lion does not add lean finely textured beef (LFTB) to the ground beef we produce in stores. Nationally, many ground beef suppliers include lean finely textured beef (LFBT) in their products. LFBT is created from small beef trimmings where the fast has been separated from the beef. Because of the inclusion of lean finely textured beef is common and approved by the USDA as safe, we cannot rule out that some of the ground beef in our stores contained this food product. All of our beef supplies follow stringent food safety guidelines and produce products in accordance with federal rules and USDA guidelines.”
Jewel-Osco Pink Slime
Jewel-Osco posted this update to their facebook page:
At Jewel-Osco, safety is our top priority and we follow all safety regulations governing our products, including ground beef. There have been no safety concerns regarding the use of finely textured beef as well. We do not add lean finely textured beef to products that are ground at our retail stores, but it is often used by our ground beef suppliers in their grinding operations. These products are approved and deemed safe by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Kroger Pink Slime
KROGER UPDATE 3/22:
Kroger has released the following today 3/22 in which they announce they will no longer sell meat including LFTB:
â€œKroger listens to our customers carefully to provide the high quality products they want at the great prices they deserve. Our customers have expressed their concerns that the use of lean finely textured beefâ€” while fully approved by the USDA for safety and qualityâ€”is something they do not want in their ground beef. We highly value customer feedback, and the recent flood of news stories has diminished their confidence in the product. As a result, Kroger will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef,â€
Kroger Update 3/20:
It appears that there is conflicting info about Kroger.Â ABC originally reported that they do not use pink slime, but Kroger posted the following on their Facebook Page:
â€œKroger carries ground beef both with and without lean finely textured beef. For customers who choose to avoid it, we offer a variety of options including Krogerâ€™s Private Selection Angus Ground Chuck, Round and Sirloin; Private Selection All Natural Ground Beef and Private Selection Organic Ground Beef solid in 1 lb. packages, labeled 80% lean and above; Lauraâ€™s Lean Ground Beef; and ground beef prepared in store. All ground beef you find at your local Kroger is USDA-regulated, inspected and approved for food safety and quality. That includes beef products made with lean finely textured beef.â€
Walmart Sam’s Club Pink Slime
WALMART/Sam’s Club Update 3/22:
Walmart made an announcement today(3/22) in which they will offer non-LFTB Beef:
â€œAs a result of customer and member feedback, Walmart and Samâ€™s Club will begin offering fresh ground beef that does not contain lean finely textured beef (LFTB). We are working aggressively with our suppliers to have new offerings in our stores and clubs as quickly as possible. As these products become available, associates in our meat department and at our customer service desks will share updates with customers who inquire.
While the USDA and experts agree that beef containing LFTB is safe and nutritious, we are committed to listening to our customers and providing the quality products they want at prices they can afford.â€
Thanks to Jackie in NC for getting us an answer from Walmart.Â Here’s what they had to say.
Thank you for your recent inquiry. At Walmart, we are committed to providing our customers with safe and affordable food. We are aware of recent media reports which call into question the quality of ground beef products made with beef trimmings treated with ammonium hydroxide (also known as lean finely textured beef). Lean Finely Textured Beef is widely used in ground beef products throughout the industry.
The USDA Food Safety Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration recognize ammonium hydroxide as a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food additive. Any use of LFTB in beef processing in the US is done under government inspection through the USDA.
For questions regarding beef safety regulations, we encourage you to contact the USDA at (888) 684-6854 or visit http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/68411
Giant Eagle Pink Slime
Thank you to Zach M for sharing Giant Eagle’s response:
You may have questions about recent reports regarding the usage of
Boneless Lean Beef Trim (BLBT) in ground beef products. Boneless Lean
Beef Trim is government approved by both the USDA and the FDA and has
been used safely for more than 20 years. We also offer an alternative
product for customers interested in avoiding all additives: our
Natureâ€™s Basket Ground Beef.
Safeway Pink Slime
Thank you to Sarah for sharing Safeway’s response.
The product to which you refer is inspected and passed by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Therefore, we do allow the use of lean, finely textured beef in our ground beef sold at Safeway.
In addition, they have shared the following on their Facebook Page:
we offer our customers a choice of 100% USDA-approved ground beef products that do not contain Lean Finely Textured Beef. Both the 80% Lean Market Trim, which is ground fresh on site, and our Natural Ground Beef, which contains no antibiotics, added hormones or artificial ingredients and is minimally processed, are made without Lean Finely Textured Beef. We also sell traditional ground beef, which may include Lean Finely Textured Beef. Our ground beef products undergo rigorous inspections to ensure that they meet the highest standards for quality and food safety in the industry.
SAFEWAY UPDATE:Â This news report that just came out this morning states that Safeway will NO LONGER use “Pink Slime” in it’s beef.
Meijer Pink Slime
Meijer has this posted to their Facebook page:
There has been a lot of media attention lately on lean finely textured beef (which some media outlets have referred to as â€œPink Slime.â€) We want our customers to know that most types of fresh ground beef that Meijer sells do not have lean finely textured beef as an ingredient. We encourage customers who wish to avoid lean finely textured beef to ask a Meijer meat department associate for assistance.
Winn Dixie and Bi-lo Pink Slime
IMPORTANT:Â Bi-Lo/Winn Dixie release the following:
â€œBI-LO and Winn-Dixie are committed to offering quality foods and services at a great value. Customer reaction in response to recent reports on lean finely textured beef have put into question the USDA-approved process. Today BI-LO and Winn-Dixie announce we will no longer purchase fresh ground beef containing lean finely textured beef,â€ said the company.
Winn Dixie sent the following response to one of my readers prior to the above update. Thanks Jennifer!
Pink slime is a pejorative term for boneless lean beef trimmings. The product is sold by a number of beef processing companies, including Cargill Meat Solutions and Beef Products, Inc (BPI) and is incorporated into ground beef
In the process the lean beef is separated from fat. Then through a safety process to eliminate pathogens, gas (ammonia) is introduced to the beef to remove bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. This beef product is USDA-approved and is a component (typically less than 25 percent) of a majority of ground beef in the United States. Winn-Dixie gets its beef from suppliers who process lean beef trimmings.
Winn-Dixie is known as The Beef People and we take great pride in the quality and processing standards for products made available to our guests. Our families shop and eat ground beef purchased at Winn-Dixie so our commitment to food safety is personal. We only sell product that comes from suppliers operating USDA inspected facilities and following USDA approved processes.
Aldi Pink Slime
ALDI Update added 3/24:
I received a second email from Aldi yesterday with the following great news:
“We have receivedÂ yourÂ inquiry regarding the use of boneless lean beef trimmings.Â The recent media coverage regarding the use of lean finely textured beef certainly seems to haveÂ caused a lot of concern and confusion for our customers, so we’re glad you contacted us.Â
Â At ALDI, we are committed to bringing our customers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.Â We are also committed to listening to our customers, people like you, who over the last week have told us that they do not want ground beef made with lean finely textured beef (LFTB).Â That’s why ALDI has decided that we no longer will purchase ground beef made with this ingredient although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved this as safe and wholesome beef.Â
Again, thank you for reaching out to us.Â As you can see, we really do listen to our customers and we appreciate your interest in ALDI and our products. “
I emailed Aldi about this, and this is their response:
We have receivedÂ yourÂ inquiry regarding the use of boneless lean beef trimmings.Â The recent media coverage seems to have caused some confusion for our customers, and we’re glad you contacted us.
Â Here are a few key facts that you should know regarding boneless lean beef trimmings:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â -Â Boneless lean beef trimmings are a safe, nutritious beef approved by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture).
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â -Â Trimmings are the small cuts of beef that remain when larger cuts are trimmed down.Â Beef companies then separate the wholesome lean beef from the fat that results in quality lean beef that would otherwise go unused.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â -Â Ammonium hydroxide, which is a common, USDA-approved food safety practice for beef, is not the same product as the ammonia you may have in your home.Â Rather, it is an element that is found naturally in humans and animals, and helps to maintain the safety and integrity of meats.
Â ALDI ground beef is made with USDA-approved, safe and nutritious boneless lean beef trimmings.Â As part of their stringent food safety protocols, our suppliers use ammonium hydroxide to ensure the safety and integrity of our ground beef.
Â As with all ground beef, the USDA strictly inspects and regulates the products made for ALDIÂ and our customers.Â In fact, USDA inspectors are present in beef plants every day to ensure that products are made in a safe and wholesome manner.
Â For more information regarding food safety practices for ground beef, please contact the USDA or the American Meat Institute.Â
Â f you are unhappy with your ground beef purchase, please return it to the ALDI store from where you purchased it and we will gladly refund the purchase price.