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    CONTINUING COVERAGE: Fresh & Easy Holding ‘Pink Slime Swap Meat’

    Event enables shoppers to trade in ground beef from other retailers

    With most grocery chains across the country moving quickly in the last week to discontinue selling ground beef with lean finely textured beef (LFTB), others are utilzing the controversy as a marketing tool to tout their fresh meat products' quality, including Fresh & Easy, which earlier this week extended its message with a promotion that invites customers to bring ground beef bought from its competitors into its stores for a refund.

    Dubbed “Pink Slime Swap Meat,” the promotion by the El Segundo, Calif.-based division of U.K. grocer Tesco invites shoppers to bring fresh or frozen ground beef from another retailer to any Fresh & Easy and exchange it for a package of 80/20 ground beef, up to 2 pounds, with no questions asked. There is a one-pack per person limit for the promotion, which runs while supplies last. Additionally, Fresh & Easy is urging people to go on Facebook and Twitter to share their experiences, using the hashtag #SwapMeat.

    “It’s understandable that people would lose confidence in food retailers because of the use of pink slime,” noted Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason. “Fresh & Easy has never been about shortcuts or fillers -- just high-quality fresh food that we produce ourselves, so we know it’s the best.”

    According to the USDA, an estimated 70 percent of all ground beef sold in stores contains LFTB. Fresh & Easy said it grinds all of its own meat, using only fresh, never frozen beef with no additives.

    In related news, the latest food retailer to stop carrying LFTB products is Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart, which will no longer offer such items in its Save Mart, Lucky, S-Mart Foods, FoodMaxx and Maxx Value Foods stores. "Current ground beef products in our stores with LFTB have never been produced with ammonium hydroxide," the grocer clarfiied, referring consumers with questions to its meat specialists.

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