Even though fast food chains like McDonald’s have announced they no longer use “pink slime” in their hamburgers, the substance used to remove bacteria from beef is still present in school lunches across the country, according to a report.
The Daily said that two former microbiologists at the Food Safety Inspection Service told them that the U.S. Agriculture Department plans to buy 7 million pounds of the substance for the country’s school lunch programs.
Pink slime, which the USDA calls “Lean Beef Trimmings” is made up of the scrapes of meat, muscle and connective tissue taken from the slaughterhouse floors. It’s treated with a pink chemical to kill any pathogens and then used in dog food, as an anti-microbial agent in meats and as a leavener in bread and cake products.
According to the USDA no more than 15 percent of each serving students will eat is “pink slime,” and added that all meat “meet(s) the highest standard for food safety.”
A recent “ABC World News” report revealed that 70 percent of ground beef sold in supermarkets contains the substance and up to 25 percent of pink slime is in one patty. The news organization was tipped off by a former USDA employee who quit in disgust.
While pink slime is filling, it doesn’t contain much nutritional value.
ABC News emailed the top 10 grocery chains in America, and only Publix, Costco, HEB and Whole Foods responded, saying they don’t use it in their beef.
There is no way to tell if the beef you are buying contains the filler, since companies do not have to say on the packaging that it’s an ingredient. Even USDA certified organic meat, which they claim is pure meat with no filler, doesn’t have to list the substance.