Myth: Pink slime in ground beef isn’t real meat
Reports have inaccurately used the term pink slime in ground beef, for what is accurately known as lean finely textured beef (LFTB) or finely textured beef (FTB). These reports also claim it is not real beef, but rather filler made from scraps from the slaughterhouse floor that contain ammonia. Get the real story behind lean finely textured beef.
The Facts: Pink slime in ground beef is a misnomer…get the facts on LFTB
It’s time to set the record straight. Understanding the facts behind lean finely textured beef, which has been incorrectly called pink slime in ground beef, is important. Here’s what you should know:
- Real beef. Pink slime in ground beef, which is accurately known as lean finely textured beef, is boneless lean beef trimmings and 100% USDA inspected beef. If you compare the nutrition value of lean finely textured beef with 90% lean/10% fat ground beef, they are virtually identical.
- Produced from trimmings that are 100% edible meat. These trimmings are simply the lean beef removed from the meat and fat that is trimmed away when beef is cut into steaks and roasts.
- Boneless lean beef trimmings receive a puff of ammonia to eliminate bacteria safely and effectively. When combined with moisture naturally in beef, ammonium hydroxide is formed, which is a naturally occurring compound found in:
- many foods,
- in our bodies, and
- in the environment
Food safety experts and scientists agree it is an effective way to ensure safer ground beef. In Politico, Al Almanza, administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service asserted that Lean finely textured beef is safe. Adding “Isn’t that what we want – a safe product to feed our families?”
- LFTB, or so-called pink slime in ground beef , cannot accurately be labeled as “filler.”Meat fillers include:
- roots, and
Meat fillers may not be used in anything carrying the term “ground beef” due to its standard of identity. On the other hand, lean finely textured beef is an end product made from boneless lean beef trimming − the very same beef that is processed into roasts and steaks.