Three factories that made so-called “pink slime” beef filler have shut down since public outcry about the ammonia-treated substance began last month, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Beef Products Inc. spokesman Craig Letch told AP that only one factory in the country, located in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, is still producing the stuff. Three others, in Texas, Iowa and Kansas, have reportedly been shut down.
The product, known as “lean, finely textured beef” to industry insiders, is comprised of connective tissue and other pieces of cows generally considered not for human consumption, which are grated, filtered and mashed into a slimy, pink substance and treated with ammonia gas to kill off bacteria. It is then mixed in with actual ground beef as a filler, although it is not labeled as containing such product in any way.
The goo was nicknamed “pink slime” by a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) scientists who blew the whistle when regulators in the Bush Sr. administration chose to allow it in the human food supply, previously only allowed in products such as dog food.
U.S. government was revealed to have purchased tons of the stuff for use in school lunches, and that was when the “pink slime” really started to hit the fan, so to speak. USDA whistleblowers alleged that “pink slime” had become so prevalent that it existed in 70% of ground beef sold in the U.S, whether through grocery stores or through the average restaurant.
Since the consumer outrage began, several major fast food chains have said they would no longer use the meat filler(pink slime) in their food products and the USDA has lifted the rules requiring schools to use the nasty stuff.
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