Pink Bacterial Slime ~ Burgers, Ground Beef, Meat
“Pink slime” is a term coined by a USDA scientist to describe the least expensive, leanest types of ground beef – trimmings and fat that have been treated with ammonia to kill bacteria.
The USDA considers the ground beef safe, but there’s been a decided backlash about pink slime from consumers, who are questioning whether it’s being used in restaurants and insisting that it be pulled from the shelves of grocery stores and supermarkets and schools.
The process of making “lean, finely textured beef” was invented in the 1980s, a process that used a centrifuge to combine beef discards (such as trimmings from other cuts of beef, fat, and even cartilage).
After the E Coli scare in the 1990s, a shot of ammonia gas was added to this process to kill dangerous bacteria and harmful pathogens.
Pink slime has been served in restaurants and sold in grocery stores for years since then, without incident.
In 2011, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver brought the issue to the forefront, and in early 2012, ABC News did a segment on pink slime that made the issue snowball.