Cargill to Label 'Pink Slime' Products
Apparently pink slime will never go away; Cargill has announced that the meat processing company will label all products containing finely textured beef, their version of pink slime that Beef Products Inc. (BPI) got in trouble for a year ago.
BPI, which produced "lean, finely textured beef," treated their beef trimmings with ammonium hydroxide, to kill potential pathogens. Cargill's technology, on the other hand, uses citric acid, creating "finely textured beef."
BPI's product was villified by Jamie Oliver in 2011, when he exposed the product as beef trimmings or leftovers, treated with ammonium hydroxide to soften it until it becomes colloquially "pink slime." McDonald's dropped it in 2012, parents rallied to get it out of school lunches, and supermarkets started dropping pink slime products.
Cargill, in the meantime, has been producing the similarly processed finely textured beef since 1993; Reuters reports that Cargill has decided to create new packaging to mark which products contain the processed meat, set to hit shelves early next year. The new packaging will state that a product "contains Finely Textured Beef," after Cargill found that the demand for finely textured beef dropped 80 percent.
"We've listened to the public, as well as our customers, and that is why today we are declaring our commitment to labeling Finely Textured Beef," John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, said in a statement.