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Yummy! Some Pink Slime In That Burger?

Yummy! Some Pink Slime In That Burger?

Pink Slime? What’s That?

This product is actually called ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings. Still not sure?  This is the cheapest, least desirable beef on offer – fatty sweepings from the slaughterhouse floor, which are notoriously rife with pathogens like E. coli 0157 and antibiotic-resistant salmonella. Once swept up, the scraps are sent through a series of machines, which grinds them into a paste, separates out the fat, and laces the substance with ammonia to kill pathogens.

Sounds Tasty? It Gets Better!

The USDA allows this ammonia treated meat to enter the marketplace and with no labeling requirement on the packaging to inform the consumer that the meat they are about to buy contains ammonia. It is used to stretch the actual ground beef, and the USDA shockingly allows up to 15 percent of a ground beef product to be this filler and still be labeled ground beef.

On the premier of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” the British chef showed how “nasty pink slime,” as one FDA microbiologist calls it, is wrung in a centrifuge to remove the fat from the meat scraps, and then treated with ammonia to “retard spoilage,” and turned into “a mashlike substance frozen into blocks or chips”. You can view his show clicking here.

So if you are eating a burger, there’s a good chance that you are also eating Pink Slime. How yummy is that?

Some Ammonia With That Burger?

According to a New York Times article, The “majority of hamburger” now sold in the U.S. now contains fatty slaughterhouse trimmings “the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil,” “typically including most of the material from the outer surfaces of the carcass” that contains “larger microbiological populations.”

(…)

McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food giants use it as a component in ground beef, as do grocery chains. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds of the processed beef last year alone. And since the USDA considers it a “process”, Ammonia doesn’t have to be listed on the packaging as a separate ingredient!

How to Avoid Eating Pink Slime

The easiest way is to stop eating beef. Otherwise, the only way to keep the beef trimmings out of your own meals is to know where your beef comes from. Avoiding fast food burgers is a good start, although restaurant food isn’t necessarily slime-free. Avoid prepackaged ground beef in the grocery store, especially in a major chain.

Alternatively, eat grass-fed beef.. Unlike ammonia treated beef, grass-fed beef is clearly labeled and contains no ammonia.

Bon Appetit!

Photo Credit: chichacha via Creative Commons

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176 comments

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10:36PM PST on Dec 31, 2012

is is same for chicken too...i became a vegetarian...but my friends just dont get it

8:40PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Who comes up with this sort of thing? Holy crap, and I do mean CRAP!

5:55PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

I don't eat fast food and I don't buy beef in the store I buy it a quarter side at a time directly from the rancher.

10:20AM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

Shame on our goverment, that is very gross. I hope the childeren will wake up to this awful practice and start setting the food industrial straight.

5:24AM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

Gross!!!!!! I an added benefit for not eating at fast food places who wants to eat the trash off the slaughter house floor how is this even legal

5:09PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

Go Vegan! Thanks for the article.

7:57PM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

"Hopefully this will make more people give it up and choose veggie burgers.".....OR, actually put out a bit of effort, pay a tad more per lb. and have your local butcher grind you some from fresh meat while you watch.

Yes, "hot dogs" and sausages CAN be full of nasty stuff, but there are a couple of brands that aren't. I don't remember which one, but there are a few that contain just "meat" and nothing else. Yes, you'll pay more than $1 for the package, LOL!

8:38AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

That is so disgusting and should not be allowed. I have not eaten beef in over 10 yr. and currently I am a vegetarian. Hopefully this will make more people give it up and choose veggie burgers.

5:50AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

...And believe me, You do NOT want to know what's in sausages...

5:47AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

I've been vegetarian since 1975, and I don't think I have to explain why...

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