In the wake of Jamie Oliver's efforts to expose McDonald's use of the processed meat substance known as "Pink Slime," another food merchant has jumped on the bandwagon.
Pennsylvania-based Giant Food Stores announced today that it will be halting sales of all ground beef containing the ammonia-laced additive. The store said an increase in customer concerns prompted the move.
"Customers felt pink slime was not something that they wanted to purchase," said Chris Brand, company spokesman for Giant Food Stores.
The move comes hot on the heels of another major supermarket chain's efforts to banish the substance from all meat products carried by their stores. Safeway banned Pink Slime after it was revealed that 70% of all supermarket mince contains the unappetizing substance.
Responding to an uproar when it was discovered that the U.S. Department of Agriculture purchased seven million pounds of pink slime from food giant Beef Products Inc., the USDA also made moves against the substance announcing a new school lunch initiative that would allow districts to choose ground beef products that do not contain Pink Slime.
In the food industry, Pink Slime is referred to as "lean beef trimmings. It's a form of processed meat made from remnant cow carcasses once all the higher grade beef has been removed. The lean meat is separated from the fat and sprayed with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria and other pathogens.
The practice has been defended by the American Meat Institute as a sustainable measure to safely use meat that would otherwise be disposed of.
"Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings is a sustainable product beacause it recovers lean meat that would otherwise be wasted," said J. Patrick Boyle.
Unfortunately for him, this looks like a losing PR battle.