The USDA says that the vast majority of states participating in the National School Lunch Program are ordering ground beef that does not contain lean finely textured beef – derided as “pink slime” by its opponents. Just Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota have ordered the beef that contains LFTB, reports the Washington Post. Iowa and Nebraska were home to Beef Products Inc. facilities that manufactured the product, though only the Nebraska facility remains open. BPI is headquartered in South Dakota.
In response to the public outcry over its use, the USDA said in March said that it would for the first time offer schools the choice to purchase beef without the filler for the coming 2012-2013 school year. The agency has continued to affirm that lean finely textured beef is a safe, affordable and nutritious product that reduces overall fat content.
In total, 20 million pound sof ground beef were ordered without LFTB, while one million pounds were ordered with it.
In an e-mailed statement to the Post, BPI said that the results are not reflective of the quality or safety of LFTB.
“Based upon the misrepresentations that have been pervasive in the media to this point, it comes as no surprise that the majority of states have currently elected to purchase ground beef that does not contain lean finely textured beef,” Craig Letch, the company’s director of food safety and quality, said in the statement.
Source: Washington Post