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Should I Worry About Pink Slime?

ground beef

There has been a lot in the media lately about pink slime. I had never heard about it until recently – and what I read has turned my stomach. Basically pink slime is an ammonia treated filler – the ammonia is used to kill E-coli bacteria – used in conjunction with ground beef.

According to the Huffington Post  pink slime is “also known as mechanically-separated meat (or, when made by Beef Products Inc., "Boneless Beef Lean Trimmings"). This ammonia-treated scrap meat -- the same one some fast food giants recently phased out -- has been widely used since the early 1990s, is reportedly present in 70 percent of all ground beef products, and is a staple in school cafeterias (seven million pounds (!) are expected to be served in school lunches across the country over the next few months)."

Fox news  says :

The company that sells ground beef treated with ammonia proclaims their meat mixture is good for America's schoolchildren, even though parents across the country are seriously questioning the safety of what has been dubbed "pink slime."

Beef Products Inc. (BPI) made the declaration about its "lean finely textured beef" or LFTB over the weekend to The Daily, which broke the news that the federal government plans to buy ground beef that contains 7 million pounds of the product in the coming year. After the report, "pink slime" became the most searched topic on the internet.

"Including LFTB in the national school lunch program's beef products accomplishes three important goals on behalf of 32 million kids," BPI spokesman Rich Jochum said. "It 1) improves the nutritional profile, 2) increases the safety of the products and 3) meets the budget parameters that allow the school lunch program to feed kids nationwide every day."

It appears to me that kosher meat would not contain pink slime, however I am waiting to hear back from the Orthodox Union for a definitive answer. I will update as soon as I have heard.

For further reading:

Huffington Post: Why Americans Are Angry About Pink Slime
ABC News: Is Pink Slime in the Beef at Your Grocery Store?
TLC: Pink Slime and Ammonia: Two Main Ingredients in Some Ground Beef