AFA Foods, a ground-beef processor owned by Yucaipa Cos., sought bankruptcy court protection with a plan to sell some assets after media coverage of “pink slime” cut demand for its products. The company, based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, listed assets of $219 million and debt of $197 million in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is among food activists who have criticized the use of what they dubbed “pink slime,” a filler produced by treating finely ground beef scraps with ammonia hydroxide to kill pathogens. Beef Products Inc. last week temporarily suspended production at three plants because of consumer concerns. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said March 28 that the product, referred to in the industry as lean, finely textured beef, is safe to eat...
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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.