The US government is buying 7 million pounds of “pink slime” for its school lunch program, Pink Slime for US kids school lunches, according to reports of several international news sites on Thursday, March 8, 2012.
Reports said, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has just contracted to buy 7 million pounds of beef containing ammonium hydroxide-treated ground-up blend of beef scraps, connective tissue, and other trimmings, and will be used for school lunch for US students around the country.
“Pink Slime,” which is officially called “Lean Beef Trimmings,” microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein did not consider the stuff to be ground beef, according to The Daily, the term “pink slime” was first coined by Zirnstein after touring a Beef Products Inc. production facility in 2002 as part of an investigation into salmonella contamination in packaged ground beef.
“I have a 2-year-old son, and you better believe I don’t want him eating pink slime when he starts going to school,” Zirnstein told The Daily.
ABC News gives the general details of slime production (courtesy of The Consumerist):
The “pink slime” is made by gathering waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria. The process is completed by packaging the meat into bricks. Then, it is frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.
Reports added that the meat has been banned by fast food companies such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell.