Would you eat ground
beef if you knew if it included “pink slime?”
While local school districts say their lunches don’t
include “pink slime,” some area grocery stores admit they
include lean finely textured ground beef on their shelves.
Whole Foods and Costco do not carry packages of beef with
“pink slime” included, while Target, Walmart Safeway, and
But now Safeway has announced it “is reviewing the issue.”
Safeway Statement – Lean Finely Textured Ground
Our company has a long-standing reputation for
providing our customers with safe and wholesome food and
other products. We are reviewing this issue now. However,
we also 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 USDA-approved
inspections to ensure that they meet the highest standards
for quality and food safety in the industry.
Here’s the near identical statement from Albertons, but it
does not include “We are reviewing this issue now.”
Albertsons statement on Lean Finely Textured Beef
At Albertsons/SUPERVALU, we are committed to delivering
safe, high quality products to our customers and we follow
federal, state and local guidelines governing all
including ground beef. While we do not add lean finely
textured beef to products ground at our retail stores, it
used by many of our ground beef suppliers in their
operations. It’s important to note the use of lean finely
textured beef is a longstanding practice in the industry
that adheres to the strict standards approved by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
The beef filler is made from fatty meat scraps that are
heated to remove most of the fat, then treated with
ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria such as E. coli
So should Dori stop cooking up burgers made from
Albertsons pink slime beef? He’s been using it for 20-plus
years, why stop now?
“You can’t differentiate beef from beef,” said Jeremy
Russell, a spokesman for the National Meat Association,
which represents processors, suppliers and exporters.
You may get it at a Monson family barbecue, but the
state’s largest school district, Seattle Public Schools,
says it has never used the product.
In fact, a Washington state schools spokesman says his
office “is not aware” of any schools in the state
including a meat product known as “pink slime” on their
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
spokesman Nate Olson said last week that one of the
state’s major processors, Kings Command, has written a
letter saying it does not use the item.
But Olson says his office can’t say with certainty that
there is no “pink slime” in Washington state schools.
97.3 KIRO FM executive producer Dan Restione defends the
use of “pink slime.” In an appearance on Ross and Burbank
last week, he argued it’s no different than eating hot
dogs, which also contain various meat byproducts.
“What happens to food on the way from its natural habitat
running around in the wild to your supermarket, if you
knew most of it, it’s not appetizing. This is only blowing
up because they came up with the name ‘pink
slime’…McDonald’s didn’t pull it over safety concerns.”
According to Restione, the concern is misguided and he
pointed to the chicken byproducts that make up McNuggets
and other similar products.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.