Most School Districts Reject 'Pink Slime' for Lunch Programs

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The nation's school districts are turning up their noses at "pink slime," the beef product that leaped into the news earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the vast majority of states participating in its National School Lunch Program have opted to order ground beef that doesn't contain the product, known in the industry as lean finely textured beef.

Only three states — Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota— chose to order ground beef that may contain the product.

The product has been used for decades, and federal regulators say it's safe to eat. It nevertheless became the center of national attention after the nickname "pink slime" was quoted in a New York Times article on the safety of meat processing. The filler is made of fatty bits of beef that are heated to remove much of the fat, then treated with a puff of ammonia to kill bacteria.

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