Safeway, America’s second-largest supermarket chain, announced today that due to “considerable consumer concern" it will not sell meat products containing the ingredient "pink slime," the ammonium-hydroxide-treated scraps of muscle and connective tissue used as a filler in ground beef, reported ABC News.
Safeway now joins grocery retailers Publix, HEB, Whole Foods and Costco in assuring customers their ground beef is 100 percent beef, and not comprised of the leftover fragments once only used in dog food and cooking oil.
“Safeway is committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality products,” the company said in a statement. “While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product. Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef.”
Roughly 70 percent of all store-bought ground beef includes pink slime, and the Food and Drug Administration does not require the ingredient to be listed on the label, ABC News reported.
Safeway's decision followed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s announcement last week that it will allow school districts to opt out of receiving ground beef containing pink slime starting next fall, reported USA Today. The USDA previously planned to ship processed meat product collectively containing seven million pounds of “pink slime” to schools across the country, reported MSNBC News.
As an alternative, schools will be able to choose between serving either 95 percent lean ground beef with pink slime or fattier ground beef without it.