Pink Slime Meat

March 9, 2012 by staff 

Pink Slime Meat, Although many fast-food chains, including McDonald’s, have said they are pulling the infamous “pink slime” from their hamburgers, school districts across the country are still serving it to kids. McDonald’s and other fast-food chains had been using scrape and waste — muscle and connective tissue normally used in dog food, in their hamburgers.

Pink slime is bits of meat and muscle salvaged from slaughterhouse floors that are treated with a pink chemical to kill any dangerous pathogens. According to an earlier report by, the unappetizing pink goo is widely used in the food industry as an anti-microbial agent in meats and as a leavener in bread and cake products. It’s regulated by the U.S. Agriculture Department, which classifies it as “generally recognized as safe.”

The USDA has been purchasing the “pink slime” for years, using the product as a filler.

School cafeterias nationwide receive part of the ground beef they serve from the USDA. It purchases 7 million pounds of that same waste meat product, which will be sent to schools all over the country.

“We don’t know which districts are receiving what meat, and this meat isn’t labeled to show pink slime. They don’t have to under federal law,” said Bettina Siegal, of Siegal has started a petition seeking to ban the ammonia-based waste from school menus. As of Thursday, the petition had received over 4,000 signatures.

The USDA’s continued purchase of pink slime for school lunches was first reported Monday by, which spoke to two former microbiologists at the Food Safety Inspection Service.

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