Pink Slime For School Lunch: Government Buying 7 Million Pounds Of Ammonia-Treated Meat For Meals
First Posted: 03/ 5/2012 5:19 pm Updated: 03/ 6/2012 9:03 am
Follow School Lunches , Video , E. Coli , Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act , US Department Of Agriculture , Healthy School Lunches , Healthy School Meals , Lean Beef Trimmings , Pink Slime , Pink Slime In Schools , Salmonella , School Meals , Soylent Pink , Usda , Education News
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Pink slime -- that ammonia-treated meat in a bright Pepto-bismol shade -- may have been rejected by fast food joints like McDonald's, Taco Bell and Burger King, but is being brought in by the tons for the nation's school lunch program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is purchasing 7 million pounds of the "slime" for school lunches, The Daily reports. Officially termed "Lean Beef Trimmings," the product is 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 traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.
"We originally called it soylent pink," microbiologist Carl Custer, who worked at the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, told The Daily. "We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat."
Custer and microbiologist Gerald Zernstein concluded in a study that the trimmings are a "high risk product," but Zernstein tells The Daily that "scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval" under President George H.W. Bush's administration. The USDA asserts that its ground beef purchases "meet the highest standard for food safety."
Controversy surrounding "pink slime" stems from various safety concerns, particularly dangers associated with ammonium hydroxide, which can both be harmful to eat and has potential to turn into ammonium nitrate -- a common component in homemade bombs, according to MSNBC. It's also used in household cleaners and fertilizers.
In 2009, The New York Times reported that despite the added ammonia, tests of Lean Beef Trimmings of schools across the country revealed dozens of instances of E. coli and salmonella pathogens.
Between 2005 and 2009, E. coli was found three times and salmonella 48 times, according to theTimes, including two contaminated batches of 27,000 pounds of meat.
OMG ! And the First Lady supposedly cares abour kids getting fat and unhealthy ?!!
So in a nutshell, McDonald's and other fast food restaurants couldn't sell pink slime due to the public outcry so rather than throwing the product away and losing money ...they secretly made a deal to sell it to the Federal Governement to put in our kids' school lunches .