Every so often, an article really grabs my attention. The latest, from the New York Times, discusses the safety of a method used for processing beef.
Some key things to me:
– they’re selling fat and trimmings and calling it “processed beef” while an FDA scientist wrote in 2002 that it was “pink slime”:
“Carl S. Custer, a former U.S.D.A. microbiologist, said he and other scientists were concerned that the department had approved the treated beef for sale without obtaining independent validation of the potential safety risk. Another department microbiologist, Gerald Zirnstein, called the processed beef “pink slime” in a 2002 e-mail message to colleagues and said, “I do not consider the stuff to be ground beef, and I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling.”
“I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling.”
There is more:
- The company is dosing this “food product” with ammonia to sterilize it – and then succeeded in getting the government to allow them to keep this secret from consumers
- The ammonia treatment fails repeatedly – yet never prompts a single recall
- The ammonia smell is so strong in some batches that schools and prisons have returned it as inedible. (Since ammonia content was kept secret and off the label, Georgia officials assumed it was an accident. Georgia detected so much ammonia it was similar to contamination incidents which had sickened school children.)
- McDonald’s and Burger King use this pink slime as a cheap additive to make their beef go farther in their burgers.