Schools Can Choose "Pink Slime" Or Not

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will offer schools choice in ground beef buys amid growing concern over an ammonia-treated filler critics call "pink slime."

Under the change to be announced Thursday, schools will be able to choose between beef patties made with the filler or bulk ground beef without it. The policy will affect food at schools this fall because of existing contracts.

A USDA official with knowledge of the decision says the agency wanted to be transparent and school districts wanted choices. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement.

The USDA buys about a fifth of the food served in schools.

The controversy centers on a processed ingredient common in ground beef that is exposed to ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria.

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  • by better look before you speak on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM
    Anyone here who thinks that fillers are used ONLY in products that go into school meals needs to visit their local slaughterhouse and meat packer(and aren't there plenty of those around here) and find out what goes into every single meat product that is sold ANYWHERE!! When you buy pre-cooked products, like beef or chicken patties, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, bologna, etc. in the grocery store, or better yet buy them in a restaurant, just what do you think you are getting?? Better look before you speak is all I'm saying! As the commercial says "what part of the chicken is the "nugget"??
  • by Feed 'Em Cheap! on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:19 AM
    It's just dumb public school kids. Feed them the cheap stuff. My kid took good nutritious food to school with him because I felt the PS menu was sub-par. What do you expect? It's offered free to those who can't afford it. Should tell you something right there. If you had to feed the neighborhood (on your tab), would you give them roast beef or bologna?
  • by Brett Location: Wilmington on Mar 15, 2012 at 07:09 AM
    If anyone is interested there is a petition against this on
  • by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 02:49 AM
    Do we trust the govt enough to be sure they are not shipping slime burgers instead of non slime burgers and also the schools enough to tell the truth on what they are serving?
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Mar 15, 2012 at 02:43 AM
    Start by feeding it to prisoners, not school kids.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM
    It's not new. It's what they use in the fast food industry. Guess you don't want that Hardee's burger so bad now huh?
  • by Larry Location: Roseland Va. on Mar 14, 2012 at 08:10 PM
    The story does not explain enough to make any sort of judgement. I could find only one sentence that began to shed light on this: "The controversy centers on a processed ingredient common in ground beef that is exposed to ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria." What is the ingredient? How much of it is in the food? Does exposure to ammonium hydroxide render the food dangerous or unpalatable? I have experience with ammonium hydroxide as do those who had a chemistry set in the 60s, or ever smelled "smelling salts" or have used household ammonia products common in stores. If there was a trace of this remaining in the food no one could eat it. It is easy to remove this compound and if it kills bacteria then what is the problem? This is a common thread these days. Anything with a chemical sounding name must be bad, and if there are those who can call something bad by giving it an evil name involving "slime" then it must Must be horrible stuff. Maybe it is something we don't want anyone eating, but the story at the above link provides zero evidence that this is so.
  • by Suzanne Location: New Bern on Mar 14, 2012 at 07:19 PM
    I don't think any other country feeds this to their children... The filler is supposed to kill e.coli. Just serve less beef in schools, and use the savings of cutting back to purchase higher quality products. Hamburgers are offered much too often anyway, in my opinion. AND PIZZA IS NOT A DARNED VEGETABLE! It's not about health for the USDA, it's about money. No child of mine will be allowed to attend public school. Poor little tummies. :(
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 07:04 PM
    Is this what the kids in the charter schools are eating?
  • by me Location: Bayboro on Mar 14, 2012 at 06:55 PM
    Must be part of Michelle Obama's healthy choice meals for our children?
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