April 2 Update
The fallout from the pink slime debacle just keeps coming!
Reuters reported today that ground beef processor AFA Foods has filed for bankruptcy protection, citing the impact of the uproar over pink slime.
AFA is one of the largest ground beef processors in the United States and produces more than 500 million pounds of ground beef products annually, the company said in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
In filing for bankruptcy, it cited “recent changes in the market” for its products and media coverage related to the filler, and said it was seeking a sale of some or all of its assets.
The campaign against pink slime is achieving outstanding success. First the fast-food restaurants like McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King decided against using it, then came the decision by the USDA to give schools the option of not using it in their school lunches, and finally a whole group of supermarkets also announced they were forsaking the additive.
Products that contain the pink slime include fresh retail ground beef, low-fat hot dogs, lunch meats, beef sticks, pepperoni, frozen entrees, meatballs and canned foods.
The Shunning Of Pink Slime
And guess what? With pink slime becoming universally shunned, the makers of this unappetizing industrialized food product are suffering financially. As a result the company that makes pink slime suspended operations Monday at three of four plants where the beef ingredient is made, saying officials would work to address recent public concern about the product.
Beef Products Inc. will suspend operations at plants in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas; and Waterloo, Iowa. The company’s plant at its headquarters in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, will continue operations.
In case you’ve missed the recent uproar about this food product, “pink slime” is used to describe a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It’s then blended into meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.
The End Of 900,000 Pounds Of Pink Slime A Day
So now you know why over 11,000 Care2 members have so far signed our petition telling the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop buying pink slime for use in school lunches.
About 200 employees at each of the three plants will get full salary and benefits for 60 days during the suspension. The plant in Amarillo produced about 200,000 pounds a day, while the Kansas and Iowa plants each produced about 350,000 pounds a day.
That’s a whole lot of pink slime – good riddance.
And thank you to the over 11,000 activists who have so far signed the Care2 petition!
Photo Credit: screenshot from Fast Food Nation