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 Albertsons do.
But now Safeway has announced it "is reviewing the issue."
Safeway Statement - Lean Finely Textured Ground Beef
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 products, including ground beef. While we do not add lean finely textured beef to products ground at our retail stores, it is used by many of our ground beef suppliers in their grinding 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 and salmonella.
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 menus.
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.