Three national supermarket chains, including one with stores across Eastern Carolina, have decided to stop selling ground beef that contains the filler known as "pink slime".
Federal regulators say the filler meets food safety standards, but critics say the product could be unsafe.
Food Lion says it plans to stop carrying fresh ground beef with either of two similar fillers, which it says are both made with beef trimmings left over from other cuts.
Pink slime, which has been used for years, is made from fatty bits of leftover meat that are heated, spun to remove the fat, compressed into blocks and exposed to ammonia to kill bacteria. Producers often mix the filler into fattier meat to produce an overall leaner product and reduce their costs.
The other national stores that will stop selling it are Supervalue and Safeway.