Cargill & Tyson Unafraid Of Pink Slime Backlash, No Plant Shutdowns Planned

While other producers of finely textured beef, now known to many as “pink slime,” are dialing back their output of the controversial stuff, major beef processors Cargill and Tyson are all like, “Shrug! Business as usual.” They will produce less of the stuff, but that doesn’t mean they’ll close plants or cut jobs.

After consumer sentiment turned against the beef trimmings treated with ammonia, grocery stores like Kroger and Safeway said they wouldn’t sell products with the beef filler in them. That triggered subsequent plant suspensions at Beef Products Inc. Then just yesterday, another pink slime producer, AFA Foods, announced they’ve filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, partly because of woes over pink slime.

But Bloomberg News says Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. aren’t about to run scared. They’re the two largest U.S. beef processors, and are acting totally unfazed by the pink slime controversy, saying they aren’t planning to close any plants over lower demand for the filler, while still scaling back output of the product.

On Tyson’s part, a spokesman said today, “The sale of beef trimmings is just a part of each of our beef processing plants’ production and we do not expect this issue to result in a plant closing.”

Cargill, Tyson Don’t Plan Plant Closures due to ‘Pink Slime’ [Bloomberg News]