RT Cunningham

Pink Slime is a Slang Term for Processed Beef Trimmings

There was a big stink about pink slime in 2012, after ABC News aired a story about it. One company, Beef Products, Inc., sued them and won a settlement in 2017 of at least 177 million dollars for defamation.

Called lean finely textured beef or boneless lean beef trimmings, pink slime is actually safe for consumption.

Pink Slime Processed with Ammonia

Beef Products, Inc. patented a process in 2002 that turns materials that had previously gone for pet food or oil into products for human consumption. In this process, they warm the beef trimmings, put them through a centrifuge to remove fat, then treat it with ammonia to increase the pH and kill bacteria.

The pink slime supposedly resembles pink-colored ice cream when it comes out of the machine. I don’t know about that, I haven’t seen any videos about it. The pictures I’ve seen aren’t sourced, so I can’t say anything about it at all.

Cargill Meat Solutions uses citric acid to kill off the bacteria. Tyson Foods doesn’t say how they do it.

Pink Slime is Lean Beef

Pink slime is an additive for other beef products, making them leaner than before. As for ground beef, there are three cuts, but take the percentages with a grain of salt:

I buy ground sirloin all the time here in the Philippines and it’s never above 80 percent lean. When I was in Phoenix, I found 90 percent lean at Walmart. I have little doubt it reached the 90 percent lean rating because of the pink slime added to it.

I’m Not Afraid of any Pink Slime

After the ABC News report, a lot of companies stopped using it. The court of public opinion was in full swing. Even though it’s safe for consumption, public perception is unrelenting. If consumers stop buying, it doesn’t really matter if it’s safe or not, does it?

During the lawsuit, some companies started using it again. I suppose more companies will start using it again from this year forward.

I’ve seen videos about how wieners are made. I’ve seen videos for sausages and bologna. I’m way more disgusted by pork products than anything made of beef. That’s why I buy beef franks instead of regular pork wieners.


January 3, 2018
Food and Drink

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