The controversy over boneless lean beef trimmings, dubbed “pink slime” by critics, continues, as more retailers have announced that they will no longer carry products that contain the beef.

In response to customer concerns, The Kroger Co., the country's largest retailer, announced that it will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef. The company has almost 2,500 stores nationwide under numerous chains, including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.

"Kroger listens to our customers carefully to provide the high quality products they want at the great prices they deserve. Our customers have expressed their concerns that the use of lean finely textured beef— while fully approved by the USDA for safety and quality—is something they do not want in their ground beef. We highly value customer feedback, and the recent flood of news stories has diminished their confidence in the product. As a result, Kroger will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef," the company said.

Hy-Vee and Stop & Shop issued similar statements.

“In response to concerns expressed by our customers, Hy-Vee has decided to discontinue the purchase of ground beef products containing Lean Finely Textured Beef. Although this ground beef meets all USDA standards for quality and safety, recent news stories have led to a loss of consumer confidence in the product. We have notified our suppliers of this decision and are working to switch our product lines as quickly as possible. We want to thank our customers for sharing their feedback on this issue and assure them Hy-Vee will continue to listen and respond to their concerns, just as our company has been doing for more than 80 years.”

“Stop & Shop today announced that it will no longer purchase fresh ground beef containing Finely Textured Beef. While the US Department of Agriculture has indicated this product is safe for consumption and complies with all applicable standards for lean beef, many of our customers have voiced concern regarding Finely Textured Beef. We value the trusted relationship we have with our customers and their feedback on this issue. Stop & Shop will continue to communicate openly with customers and stands by the quality, safety and compliance of all products we sell.”

Sources; Kroger Co. Hy-Vee, Stop & Shop