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In a bid to battle negative public perception fueled by what it deems misleading press reports, the American Meat Institute (AMI) is urging media to stop using the term “pink slime” to describe lean finely textured beef (LFTB).
“When LFTB is processed, a machine much like a salad spinner or centrifuge is used to liquefy and spin fat away from wholesome, inspected beef trimmings that results when a carcass is cut into smaller cuts of meat,” explained Washington. D.C.-based AMI. “The process starts with beef and ends with 95 percent lean beef. Calling it ‘pink slime’ is inaccurate, alarmist and disparaging.”
Added AMI: “LFTB is not consumed by itself, but rather is a component of some ground beef at levels of approximately 10 percent to 15 percent. LFTB also is nutritionally equivalent to ground beef and regulated and inspected by USDA. … Food safety experts, consumer representatives and government officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, all affirm its safety and nutrition.”
The organization also directed people to an accurate photo of LFTB, in contrast to an image it said was widely distributed by the media. The same food safety website features such other resources as a video that explains the process and shows actual beef trimmings.