It’s been a bad year for “lean finely textured beef,” better known by the less-tasty moniker “pink slime.” The ammonia-treated beef trimmings that have been used as ground beef filler for decades is quickly becoming a pariah at U.S. grocery stores like Safeway, which has announced it will no longer sell the stuff.
The slime is apparently perfectly safe to eat but opponents say it is a deceptive way for ground beef sellers to pad out the pounds in their packages.
Following the backlash against the filler, the nation’s second-largest grocery chain issued the following statement:
Safeway is committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality products… While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product. Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef.
Publix, HEB, Whole Foods and Costco have said they don’t sell ground beef that contains pink slime. The USDA says it will disclose to school districts which beef suppliers use the filler and allow school administrators to decide what to purchase.
Earlier this month, Kroger released a statement detailing which of its ground beef products could contain the slime.