"Pink slime" (a dysphemism for lean finely textured beef or LFTB, finely textured beef, and boneless lean beef trimmings or BLBT) is a meat-based product used as a food additive to ground beef and beef-based processed meats, as a filler or to reduce the overall fat content of ground beef. In the production process, heat and centrifuges remove fat from the meat in beef trimmings. The resulting product is exposed to ammonia gas or citric acid to kill bacteria. In 2001, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the product for limited human consumption. It is banned for human consumption in the European Union.
In March 2012, an ABC News series about "pink slime" included claims that approximately 70 percent of ground beef sold in U.S. supermarkets contained the additive at that time. Some companies and organizations stopped offering ground beef with the product. "Pink slime" was claimed by some originally to have been used as pet food and cooking oil and later approved for public consumption, but this was disputed in April 2012, by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administrator responsible for approving the product and Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), the largest U.S. producer of the additive. In September 2012 BPI filed a lawsuit against American Broadcasting Company for false claims about the product.
The product is regulated in different manners in various regions. In the United States, the product is allowed to be used in ground beef, and it can be used in other meat products such as beef-based processed meats. The product is banned in Canada due to the presence of ammonia in it, and it is banned for human consumption in the European Union. Some consumer advocacy groups have promoted the elimination of the product or for mandatory disclosure of additives in beef, while others have expressed concerns about plant closures that occurred after the product received significant news media coverage.
Production and content
Finely textured meat is produced by heating boneless beef trimmings to 107–109 °F (42–43 °C), removing the melted fat by centrifugal force using a centrifuge, and flash freezing the remaining product to 15 °F (−9 °C) in 90 seconds in a roller press freezer. The roller press freezer is a type of freezer that was invented in 1971 by BPI CEO Eldon Roth that can "freeze packages of meat in two minutes" and began to be used at Beef Products Inc. in 1981. The lean finely textured beef is added to ground beef as a filler or to reduce the overall fat content of ground beef. In March 2012 about 70 percent of ground beef sold in U.S. supermarkets contained the product. Source areas for the product from cattle may include the most contaminated portions, such as near the hide.
The recovered beef material is extruded through long tubes that are thinner than a pencil, during which time at the Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) processing plant, the meat is exposed to gaseous ammonia. At Cargill Meat Solutions, citric acid is used to kill bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Gaseous ammonia in contact with the water in the meat produces ammonium hydroxide. The ammonia sharply increases the pH and damages microscopic organisms, the freezing causes ice crystals to form and puncture the organisms' weakened cell walls, and the mechanical stress destroys the organisms altogether. The product is finely ground, compressed into pellets or blocks, flash frozen and then shipped for use as an additive.
Most of the finely textured beef is produced and sold by BPI, Cargill and Tyson Foods. As of March 2012 there was no labeling of the product, and only a USDA Organic label would have indicated that beef contained no "pink slime". Per BPI, the finished product is 94 to 97 percent lean beef (with a fat content of 3–6 percent) has a nutritional value comparable to 90 percent lean ground beef, is very high in protein, low in fat, and contains iron, zinc and B vitamins. U.S. beef that contains up to 15 percent of the product can be labeled as "ground beef". Up to 2005, filler could make up to 25 percent of ground meat. In an Associated Press review, food editor and cookbook author J.M. Hirsh compared the taste of LFTB-containing hamburgers against traditional, or "real", hamburgers. He described the LFTB-containing burgers as smelling the same, but being less juicy and highly mealy with bits and studs of cartilage-like matter.
Rick Jochum, a spokesperson for BPI, stated in 2012 that BPI's product does not contain cow intestines or connective tissue such as tendons. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) microbiologist stated that the product does contain connective tissue "instead of muscle" and thus it is "not meat" and is "not nutritionally equivalent" to ground beef.
In 1990, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approved the use of the technology for manufacturing finely textured meat. At the time of its approval, the FSIS called the remaining product "meat", although one FSIS microbiologist dissented, arguing it contained both muscle and connective tissue.
In 1994, in response to public health concerns over pathogenic E. coli in beef, the founder of BPI, Eldon Roth, began work on the "pH Enhancement System", which disinfects meat using injected anhydrous ammonia in gaseous form, rapid freezing to 28 °F (−2 °C), and mechanical stress.
In 2001, the FSIS approved the gaseous disinfection system as an intermediate step before the roller press freezer, and approved the disinfected product for human consumption, as an additive. The FSIS agreed with BPI's suggestion that ammonia was a "processing agent" which did not need to be listed on labels as an ingredient. FSIS microbiologists Carl Custer and Gerald Zirnstein stated that they argued against the product's approval for human consumption, saying that it was not "meat" but actually "salvage", and that the USDA should seek independent verification of its safety, but they were overruled. In 2003, BPI commissioned a study of the effectiveness and safety of the disinfection process; the Iowa State University researchers found no safety concern in the product or in ground beef containing it.
The term "pink slime", a reference to the product's "distinctive look", was coined in 2002 by Zirnstein in an internal FSIS e-mail. Expressing concern that ammonia should be mentioned on the labels of packaged ground beef to which the treated trimmings are added, Zirnstein stated "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". He later stated that his main concern was that connective tissue is not "meat", and that ground beef to which the product had been added should not be called ground beef, since it is not nutritionally equivalent to regular ground beef.
In 2007, the USDA determined the disinfection process was so effective that it would be exempt from "routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public".
A December 2009 investigative piece published by The New York Times questioned the safety of the meat treated by this process, pointing to occasions in which process adjustments were not effective. This article included the first public use of the term "pink slime" as a pejorative. In January 2010, The New York Times published an editorial reiterating the concerns posed in the news article while noting that no meat produced by BPI had been linked to any illnesses or outbreaks.
An episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution aired on April 12, 2011 depicted Jamie Oliver decrying the use of "pink slime" in the food supply and in school lunches. In the episode, Oliver douses beef trimmings in liquid ammonia while explaining what the product is and why he is disgusted with it. Oliver stated, "Everyone who is told about 'pink slime' doesn't like it in their food—school kids, soldiers, senior citizens all hate it". The American Meat Institute and Beef Products Inc. retorted with a YouTube video featuring Dr. Gary Acuff of Texas A&M University questioning some of Oliver's statements and promoting the additive.
ABC News report
An 11-segment series of reports in March 2012 from ABC News brought widespread public attention to and raised consumer concerns about the product. The product was described as "essentially scrap meat pieces compressed together and treated with an antibacterial agent". Lean finely textured beef (LFTB) was referred to as "an unappetizing example of industrialized food production". The product has been characterized as "unappetizing, but perhaps not more so than other things that are routinely part of hamburger" by Sarah Klein, an attorney for the food safety program at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Nutritionist Andy Bellatti has referred to the product as "one of many symptoms of a broken food system". Food policy writer Tom Laskawy noted that ammonium hydroxide is only one of several chemicals routinely added to industrially produced meat in the United States.
It was reported at that time that 70 percent of ground beef sold in U.S. supermarkets contained the additive, and that the USDA considered it as meat. The USDA issued a statement that LFTB was safe and had been included in consumer products for some time, and its Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety Elisabeth A. Hagen stated that "The process used to produce LFTB is safe and has been used for a very long time. And adding LFTB to ground beef does not make that ground beef any less safe to consume".
Manufacturer Beef Products Inc. (BPI) and meat industry organizations addressed public concerns by stating that the additive, though processed, is "lean beef" that simply was not able to be reclaimed through traditional slaughterhouse practices until newer technologies became available approximately 20 years ago. With regard to concerns over the use of ammonium hydroxide, BPI noted that its use as an anti-microbial agent is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The use of ammonium hydroxide is included on the FDA's list of GRAS (generally recognized as safe) procedures, and is used in similar applications for numerous other food products, including puddings and baked goods.
Several U.S. food manufacturers publicly stated that they did not use the product in their wares, including ConAgra Foods Inc., Sara Lee Corporation and Kraft Foods Inc. Many meat retailers stated that they either did not use the product, or would cease using it.
Many fast food chains stopped use of the product after the controversy arose, or stated that they had not used the product before. The Concord Monitor reported increased business in some small neighborhood markets in April 2012, due to consumer concerns about the additive.
On March 25, 2012, BPI announced it would suspend operations at three of its four plants, being in "crisis planning". The three plants produced a total of about 900,000 pounds of the product per day. BPI said it lost contracts with 72 customers, many over the course of one weekend, and production decreased from 5 million pounds of LFTB per week to below one million pounds a week at the nadir (lowest point of production). Effective May 25, 2012 BPI closed three of its four plants, including one in Garden City, Kansas, lost more than $400 million in sales, and laid off 700 workers. Production increased to less than 2 million pounds in 2013. Cargill also significantly cut production of finely textured beef and in April 2012 "warned [that] the public's resistance to the filler could lead to higher hamburger prices this barbecue season". About 80 percent of sales of the product evaporated "overnight" in 2012, per the president of Cargill Beef. Cargill stopped production in Vernon, California and laid off about 50 workers as well as slowing production at other plants including a beef-processing plant in Plainview, Texas, where about 2,000 people were laid off.
Many grocery stores and supermarkets, including the nation's three largest chains, announced in March 2012 that they would no longer sell products containing the additive. Some grocery companies, restaurants and school districts discontinued the sale and provision of beef containing the additive after the media reports.
In April 2012, the USDA received requests from beef processors to allow voluntary labeling of products with the additive, and stated it plans to approve labeling after checks for label accuracy. Both BFI and Cargill made plans to label products that contain the additive to alleviate these concerns and restore consumer confidence. Following the USDA announcement to allow choices in purchasing decisions for ground beef, many school districts stated that they would opt out of serving ground beef with LFTB. By June 2012, 47 out of 50 U.S. states declined to purchase any of the product for the 2012–2013 school year while South Dakota Department of Education, Nebraska, and Iowa chose to continue buying it.
On April 2, 2012 AFA Foods, a ground-beef processor manufacturer of finely textured beef owned by Yucaipa Companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy citing "ongoing media attention" that has "dramatically reduced the demand for all ground beef products". On April 3, 2012, U.S. cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were at a 3.5-month low, which was partially attributed to the "pink slime" controversy. Livestock traders stated that: "It has put a dent in demand. It is bullish for live cattle over the long-term, but short-term it is certainly negative".
Following the suspension of operations at three out of four BPI plants, members of the media and leaders were invited by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to tour the BPI facility that remained open in South Sioux City, Nebraska. The founders of BPI gave campaign contributions to Branstad in 2010, and to other candidates' campaigns. Branstad stated to ABC News that the contributions were not a factor in his decision regarding having the event. Texas Governor Rick Perry, Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, and South Dakota Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels, toured the South Sioux City, Nebraska, plant in an attempt to allay "inaccurate information" that they stated as having caused "an unnecessary panic among consumers". The publicity tour emerged with the promotional slogan, "Dude, it's beef!" News reporters were not allowed to ask employees at BPI any questions during the tour. BPI asserts that social media and ABC News "grossly misrepresented" their product. BPI eventually sued ABC News for defamation. On March 28, 2012, Branstad stated, "The problem is, we take this off the market, then we end up with a fatter product that's going to cost more and it's going to increase the obesity problem in this country". Safeway and other retailers that have removed the product from their shelves or product lines have stated they will not raise the price of their beef. Branstad also stated that he would recommend that Iowa state public schools continue to use ground beef which contains the product, and stated plans to "send a letter to the state's public schools, encouraging them to continue to buy LFTB".
On March 22, 2012, 41 Democrats in Congress, led by Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine, wrote a letter to United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, head of the USDA, that "creating a two-tiered school lunch program where kids in less affluent communities get served this low-grade slurry is wrong" and urged its elimination from all public-school lunches. Senator Jon Tester of Montana issued a news release in March 2012 urging Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to remove "pink slime" from school lunches and replace it with "high-quality Montana beef". Tester stated he planned to include provisions in the upcoming farm bill that would allow schools more flexibility in using USDA commodity funds, to increase options in purchasing locally grown and produced foods.
The reaction against the product has also been partially credited to Bettina Siegel's Change.org petition that has landed over a quarter million signatures to ban it in school lunches. After some parents and consumer advocates insisted the product be removed from public schools, the USDA indicated, beginning in fall 2012, that it would give school districts the choice between ground beef with or without LFTB. CBS News reported that Chicago Public schools may have served 'Pink Slime' in school lunches.
While some school districts have their own suppliers, many school districts purchase beef directly from the USDA and do not know what is in the beef. For the year 2012, the USDA planned on purchasing 7 million pounds of lean beef trimmings for the U.S. national school lunch program. USDA spokesman Mike Jarvis stated that of the 117 million pounds of beef ordered nationally for the school lunch program last year, six percent was LFTB. An analysis of California Department of Education data indicated that "anywhere from none to nearly 3 million pounds of beef from the USDA that was served in California schools last year could have contained lean finely textured beef". According to the USDA, the cost differential between ground beef with and without the additive has been estimated at approximately 3%.
On September 13, 2012, BPI announced that it filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC News, three reporters (Diane Sawyer, Jim Avila and David Kerley) and others, claiming ABC News made nearly "200 false, misleading and defamatory statements, repeated continuously during a month-long disinformation campaign", engaged in "product and food disparagement, and tortious interference with business relationships". BPI called the ABC News series a "concerted disinformation campaign" against LFTB.
ABC News denied BPI's claims, and called the lawsuit without merit. ABC News sought to have the case removed from South Dakota state court to federal court. In June 2013, a federal judge sent the lawsuit back to state court. On March 27, 2014, South Dakota state court Judge Cheryle Gering dismissed ABC's motion to dismiss, and allowed the defamation suit to move forward.
In March 2012, 70 percent of ground beef in the United States contained lean finely textured beef, and a year later in March 2013 the amount was estimated by meat industry officials to be at approximately five percent. This significant reduction is due in part to the extensive media coverage that began in March 2012 about the additive. Kroger Co. and Supervalu Inc. have stopped using the additive.
Cargill started using a label stating "Contains Finely Textured Beef" from 2014. Production of finely textured beef increased modestly, as beef prices rose by 27% over two years in 2014 and "retailers seek cheaper trimmings to include in hamburger meat and processors find new products to put it in". Senior management of Cargill claimed almost full recovery as sales tripled. BPI regained 40 customers that are mostly processors and patty-makers who distribute to retailers and the USDA since March 2012. It does not label its product.
In the United States, the additive is not for direct consumer sale. Lean finely textured beef can constitute up to 15 percent of ground beef without additional labeling, and it can be added to other meat products such as beef-based processed meats. Prior to the invention of the disinfection process, beef scraps could not be processed to reduce or remove the fat, bone fragments or other non-beef components and could be sold for other uses only, such as pet food or as an ingredient for cooking oil.
Because of ammonium hydroxide use in its processing, the lean finely textured beef by BPI is not permitted in Canada. Health Canada stated that: "Ammonia is not permitted in Canada to be used in ground beef or meats during their production" and may not be imported, as the Canadian Food and Drugs Act requires that imported meat products meet the same standards and requirements as domestic meat. Canada does allow Cargill's citric acid-produced Finely Textured Meat (FTM) to be "used in the preparation of ground meat" and "identified as ground meat" under certain conditions.
Lean finely textured beef and Finely Textured Meat is banned for human consumption in the European Union (EU).[a] Meat processed using the Baader process is allowed in the EU. The Baader process involves the use of a machine manufactured by the Baader Company of Germany that mechanically separates meat residue from bones of animals using low pressure water. This meat is referred to as "desinewed meat", and the Baader process involves the formation of the final product into a red meat paste. It is a similar process to mechanically separated meat, which forces "fragments of meat from animal bones using high pressure water".
The nature of the product and the manner in which it is processed led to concerns that it might be a risk to human health, despite the fact that there have been no reported cases of foodborne illnesses due to consumption of the product. Among consumers, media reporting significantly reduced its acceptance as an additive to ground beef.
A Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Red Robin and released on April 4, 2012, found that 88 percent of U.S. adults were aware of the "pink slime" issue, and that of those who were aware, 76 percent indicated that they were "at least somewhat concerned", with 30 percent "extremely concerned". 53 percent of respondents who stated that they were aware of pink slime took some action, such as researching ground beef they purchase or consume, or decreasing or eliminating ground beef consumption.
Some consumer advocacy groups pressed for pink slime's elimination or for mandatory disclosure of additives in beef, but a spokesperson from Beef Products Inc. at the time said there was no need for any additional labeling, asking "What should we label it? It's 100 percent beef, what do you want us to label it? I'm not prepared to say it's anything other than beef, because it's 100 percent beef".
Other consumer advocacy groups, notably the National Consumers League, expressed dismay at the popular reaction against the product, and especially the plant closures "because of business the company has lost to very serious misinformation, widely disseminated by the media, about its product, lean finely textured beef (LFTB)". Similarly, the Consumer Federation of America said the plant closures were "unfortunate" and expressed concern that the product might be replaced in ground beef with "something that has not been processed to assure the same level of safety". U.S. consumers have expressed concerns that ground beef which contains the product is not labeled as such, and that consumers are currently unable to make informed purchasing decisions due to this lack of product labeling. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey called upon the USDA to institute mandatory labeling guidelines for ground beef sold in supermarkets, so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.
- "Separating meat from bone is what makes desinewed meat. Separating fat from meat results in LFTB. At the moment, however, one thing the two processes have in common is that both are banned by the EC."
- Hagen, Elisabeth, "Setting the Record Straight on Beef", USDA blog, March 22, 2012
- Cooper, Brad (June 3, 2014). "Derided beef product once referred to as 'pink slime' making a comeback". The Kansas City Star.
- Express-Times opinion staff (March 27, 2012). "EDITORIAL: What's all the fuss about 'pink slime'?". The Express-Times. Accessed March 2016.
- Lorna Barrett (March 8, 2012). "Consumer concerns about what's in ground beef". NewsNet5.com. Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Avila, Jim (March 8, 2012). "Is Pink Slime in the Beef at Your Grocery Store?". ABC News. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Stern, Andrew (Edited by: McCune, Greg) (March 29, 2012). ""Pink slime" producer allows tour of plant to bolster image". Reuters. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Özer, Cem Okan; Kılıç, Birol. "New Discussion Subject of Meat Industry: "Pink Slime"". Turkish Journal of Agriculture. 2 (6 (2014)). ISSN 2148-127X. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- Avila, Jim (March 7, 2012). "70 Percent of Ground Beef at Supermarkets Contains 'Pink Slime'". ABC News. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "Outraged, but not over pink slime". Cattlenetwork.com. April 12, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- "The facts on Lean Finely Textured Beef". Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- "'Pink slime' manufacturer sues ABC News for $1.2 billion in damages". CNN. September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
- "Meat Industry and Government Records [accompanies article Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned]". The New York Times. December 30, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2012. Archived May 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- "BPI and 'Pink Slime': A Timeline". Food Safety News. April 9, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Avila, Jim (March 21, 2012). "Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion to Stop Selling 'Pink Slime' Beef". ABC News. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Senator Robert Menendez (March 15, 2012). "Menendez: USDA's Decision on Pink Slime A Good First Step, But More Needs To Be Done". Bob Menendez. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Shin, Annys (June 12, 2008). "Engineering a Safer Burger". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- "Lowes Food to stop selling 'pink slime' beef". The Business Journal. March 26, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Miltner, Karen (March 23, 2012). "Groceries address consumers' 'pink slime' concerns". The Ithaca Journal.
- Coghlan, Andy (March 19, 2012). "Is 'pink slime' being unfairly demonised?". New Scientist. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Ross Boettcher (March 26, 2012). "BPI halts 'pink slime' production at 3 plants". Omaha World Herald. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Moss, Michael (December 30, 2009). "Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012.
- "Tyson executives say concerns about 'pink slime' in beef has hurt demand and will cut supply". The Washington Post. March 27, 2012.[dead link]
- Editorial (March 31, 2012). "The 'pink slime' lesson". Toledo Blade.
- Dan Piller (March 27, 2012). "Beef industry braces for loss of 'pink slime' filler". The Des Moines Register.
- J. M. Hirsh (March 16, 2012). "'Pink slime' sounds gross, but how does it taste?". Associated Press. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "'Pink slime': Combo of connective tissue, scraps hidden in your kids' lunch". Fox News. March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- "Beef Products Inc. – History". Beef Products Inc. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN) (2012). The great food robbery: How corporations control food, grab land and destroy the climate. Pambazuka Press. Oxford. p. 57. ISBN 9780857491138. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "Bankrupt processor cites "pink slime" uproar". Reuters. April 2, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Pink Slime: What's Really at Stake". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Editorial (January 9, 2010). "More Perils of Ground Meat". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Barclay, Eliza (March 9, 2012). "Is It Safe To Eat 'Pink Slime'?". NPR. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: Pink Slime – 70% of America's Beef is Treated with Ammonia. April 12, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2012.[dead link]
- "The 'Pink Slime' Story Continues". March 28, 2012. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.[dead link]
- Jamie Oliver Mischaracterizes Lean Beef. Beef Products In c. Retrieved April 1, 2012 – via YouTube.
- "Myth: Ordinary Household Ammonia is Used to Make Some Hamburgers". MeatMythCrushers.com. 2011. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- Dillingham, Jared (March 28, 2012). "USDA defends 'pink slime', calls filler safe". KTVK, Inc. Retrieved April 21, 2012.[dead link]
- MAE ANDERSON. "Fresh & Easy lets shoppers swap 'pink slime' meat". Businessweek.com.
- Argento, Mike (March 16, 2012). "They put what in my cheeseburger?". York Daily Record.[dead link]
- Bellatti, Andy (March 13, 2012). "Beyond Pink Slime". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- Laskawy, Tom (March 19, 2012). "'Pink slime' is the tip of the iceberg: Look what else is in industrial meat". Grist. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Avila, Jim (March 29, 2012). "'Dude, It's Beef!': Governors Tour Plant, Reject 'Pink Slime' Label". ABC News,. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Sorensen, Loretta (March 30, 2012). "Supporters Of BPI's Product Say, "Dude, It's Beef!"". Beef Magazine. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Baertlein, Lisa; Geller, Martinne (March 30, 2012). "Wendy's jumps into "Pink Slime" public relations war". Reuters. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Knowles, David (March 19, 2012). "More supermarkets refuse to sell 'pink slime' in their meat". Q13 FOX News. Retrieved July 21, 2012.[dead link]
- "MarketWatch.com". marketwatch.com.[dead link]
- "Wendy's Runs Ads Saying Its Beef Is 'Pink Slime'-Free". CBS New York. March 30, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Five Guys on Twitter". Twitter. March 29, 2012.
- "McDonald's Announces End to 'Pink Slime' in Burgers". ABC News. February 1, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Laura McCrystal (April 1, 2012). "Customers flee from 'pink slime'". Concord Monitor. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Avila, Jim (January 9, 2010). "'It's 100 Percent Beef': Company on Defensive as it Closes Plants". ABC News. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
- Betsy Blaney (March 26, 2012). "'Pink Slime' Beef Manufacturer Suspends Production At 3 Of 4 Plants Amid Outcry". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- Jacob Bunge; Kelsey Gee (May 23, 2014). "Pink Slime' Makes Comeback as Beef Prices Spike Surging U.S. Beef Prices Revive Ingredient That Nearly Disappeared Two Years Ago". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Cooper, Brad (June 3, 2014). "Derided beef product once referred to as 'pink slime' making a comeback". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- Grant Schulte (May 8, 2012). "BPI to close 3 plants, blaming pink slime uproar". The Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 10, 2013.[dead link]
- Josh Sanburn (March 6, 2013). "One Year Later, The Makers of 'Pink Slime' Are Hanging On, and Fighting Back". Time. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Huffstutter, P.J.; Baertel; Baertlein, Lisa (April 16, 2012). "Pink Slime" controversy stokes clash over agriculture". Reuters. Accessed October 10, 2012.
- "Three U.S. governors tour 'pink slime' meat plant". Reuters. March 29, 2012.
- Muskal, Michael (March 21, 2012). "Another major supermarket chain drops 'pink slime'". Los Angeles Times.
- Crone, Kandiss (April 5, 2012). "USDA OK's 'Pink Slime' Labels". KMTV News (Omaha). Retrieved July 21, 2012.[dead link]
- Pitt, David (April 4, 2012). "Some processors label beef containing 'pink slime'". Associated Press. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Supermarkets join move away from 'pink slime' beef filler". USA Today. Associated Press. March 22, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.[dead link]
- "Some schools planning to drop 'pink slime' meat". March 15, 2012. Associated Press.[dead link]
- "Most schools opt out of "pink slime" in lunches, USDA says". CBS News. June 5, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Phil Milford (April 2, 2012). "AFA Foods Files Bankruptcy Citing 'Pink Slime' Coverage". Bloomberg.com.
- Abad-Santos, Alexander (April 2, 2012). "Slime Doesn't Pay: Ground Beef Processor Files for Bankruptcy". The Wire. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Davis, Meredith (April 3, 2012). "US cattle falls on technical selling, demand fears". Reuters. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "CME cattle slip again on 'pink slime' controversy". Reuters. April 4, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Govs tour Neb. beef plant to see 'pink slime'". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- "Database: Political contributions tied to Beef Products Inc.". The Des Moines Register. April 1, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Governors tour beef plant to see how 'pink slime' is made". The Huffington Post (Canada). March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- Lee, MJ (March 29, 2012). "Governors show love for 'pink slime'". Politico.
- Lopez, Ricardo (September 13, 2012). "Beef Products Inc. sues ABC News for defamation over 'pink slime'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- Dreeszen, Dave (March 29, 2012). "Branstad urges schools to keep using lean beef product". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Lin, Joanna (March 27, 2012). "How much 'pink slime' beef do schools serve?". California Watch. Retrieved April 1, 2012. (Note: California Watch is funded by the Center for Investigative Reporting)
- Letter from 41 Congressional Democrats to Secretary Vilsack (March 22, 2012)
- Schontzler, Gail (March 21, 2012). "'Pink slime' beef controversy sizzles". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Accessed March 2016.
- "Pink slime perspective". Los Angeles Times. March 25, 2012.
- Dillon, Karen (March 24, 2012). "Kansas City area stores, schools say no to 'pink slime'". The Kansas City Star.
- "Report: CPS May Have Served 'Pink Slime' In School Lunches". CBS Chicago. April 6, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "BPI Lawsuit Against ABC And Others". September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- Schulte, Grant; Brokaw, Chet (September 14, 2012). "'Pink Slime' Lawsuit: Defamation Case Against ABC News Tough To Prove, Experts Say". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 1, 2012.[dead link]
- "ABC News wants 'pink slime' lawsuit moved to federal court". Thomson Reuters. October 24, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012.[dead link]
- "Judge sends Beef Products Inc. 'pink slime' defamation lawsuit against ABC back to state court". Global Post. June 12, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- Jonsson, Patrik (March 28, 2014). "'Pink slime' lawsuit moves forward: Could ABC News be held liable? (+video)". The Christian Science Monitor.
- "Cargill to Label Products Containing Finely Textured Beef". Food Safety News. Marler Clark. November 6, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Dan Kislenko (March 24, 2012). "'Pink slime' stops at the 49th parallel". The Hamilton Spectator.
- ""Pink slime" is not used in Canadian beef, says industry (video)". Calgary Herald. March 9, 2012.[dead link]
- "Chapter 4 – Meat Processing Controls and Procedures". Canadian Food Inspection Agency. August 7, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Flynn, Dan. "UK Imposes Moratorium on Desinewed Meat". Food Safety News. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- McGrath, Matt (February 28, 2013). "Legal loophole allows banned mechanical meat in UK sausages". BBC News. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "Brownback says "pink slime" criticism unfair". KWCH Eyewitness News. Retrieved April 1, 2012.[dead link]
- "Food facts get slimed by turn of a phrase". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. March 29, 2012. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- "Letter from Beef Products, Inc. Founder Eldon Roth". Beef Products Inc. March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- Avila, Jim (June 6, 2012). "America's Schools Say 'No' to Pink Slime, LFTB". ABC News. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- "Concerns about "Pink Slime" in Beef Impact Americans` Behavior, Says Study Commissioned by Red Robin". Red Robin press release. April 4, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- O'Brien, Brendan (April 2012). "The Pink Slime Dilemma: Public outcry sparks debate over what to do with lean finely textured beef". QSR Magazine. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Martha C. White (March 29, 2012). "'Pink slime' is sticky problem for beef industry". MSNBC. Archived from the original on May 2, 2012.
- Sue Gleiter (March 21, 2012). "Consumer activist group wants local grocers to label beef that has 'pink slime' filler". Patriot-News.
- ""Pink Slime" maker suspends operations". KTVX (ABC 4, Salt Lake City). March 26, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.[dead link]
- Greenberg, Sally (March 28, 2012). "Statement of Sally Greenberg, NCL ED, on Lean Finely Textured Beef". National Consumers League. Archived from the original on March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- Waldrop, Chris (March 26, 2012). "Statement of Chris Waldrop, Consumer Federation of America's Director of Food Policy on Lean Finely Textured Beef" (PDF). Consumer Federation of America. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- He, Ying; Sebranek, Joseph G. (1997). "Finely Textured Lean Beef as an Ingredient for Processed Meats". ASL R1361. Beef Research Report. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- Van Laack, Riëtte L.J.M; Berry, B.W., Solomon, M.B. (September 1997). "Cooked Color of Patties Processed from Various Combinations of Normal or High pH Beef and Lean Finely Textured Beef (Abstract)". Journal of Muscle Foods. 8: 287–299. doi:10.1111/j.1745-4573.1997.tb00633.x. Retrieved July 19, 2012. (subscription required)
- Schaefer; (et al.) (October 12, 1999). "Low Temperature Rendering Process". United States Patent Number 5,965,184. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Niebuhr S.E.; Dickson J.S. (May 1, 2003). "Impact of pH Enhancement on Populations of Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (Abstract)". Volume 66, Number 5. Journal of Food Protection (International Association for Food Protection). pp. 874–877. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- Roth, Elden (May 20, 2003). "Apparatus and Method for Physically Manipulating Materials to Reduce Microbe Content". United States Patent Number 6,565,904 B2. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Meece, Mickey (March 27, 2012). "'Pink Slime' Controversy Takes a Toll on Beef Producer". Forbes. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- LeVaux, Ari (March 23, 2012). "Is It Time to Embrace Pink Slime?". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Aleccia, JoNel (April 4, 2012). "'Pink slime' in your meat? Labels to tell you, USDA says". NBC News. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Lewis, Al April 4, 2012. "Dude, people just don't want to eat pink slime". MarketWatch. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Greene, Joel L. (April 6, 2012). "Lean Finely Textured Beef: The "Pink Slime" Controversy". Congressional Research Service. Retrieved March 2016.
- Gruley, Bryan; Campbell, Elizabeth (April 12, 2012). "'Pink Slime' Furor Means Disaster For U.S. Meat Innovator". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Glen, Barb (June 22, 2012). "Lessons learned for Cargill in pink slime's 'ick' factor". The Western Producer. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- "Pink slime saga boosts beef exports". The Australian. June 19, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- Wessler, Brett (June 25, 2012). "Former BPI employee plans lawsuit for pink slime frenzy". Drovers/CattleNetwork Magazine. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- Siefer, Ted (July 10, 2012). "School board votes to donate 'pink slime'". New Hampshire Union Leader. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- Stebbins, Christine (July 12, 2012). "Cargill buys AFA Foods Fort Worth beef processing plant". Reuters. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- Engber, Daniel (October 25, 2012). "The Sliming". Slate. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Russell, Joyce (June 19, 2014). "'Pink Slime' Is Making A Comeback. Do You Have A Beef With That?". NPR. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Isidore, Chris (August 13, 2014). "'Pink slime' is back and headed for your burger". CNN Money. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Sanburn, Josh (August 26, 2014). "'Pink Slime' Ground Meat is Back". Time. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Burton, Bonnie (October 15, 2014). "'Pink slime' in burgers? McDonald's hires former MythBuster to find out". CNET. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Runge, Kristin (March 23, 2016). "Pink Slimed: The Beef Industry Learns The Importance Of Social Media Literacy". Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
|Pink slime kibble|
|Giant rolls of pink slime being flash frozen|
|March 26, 2012. "'Pink Slime' Manufacturer Suspends Operations". ABC News.|
|March 16, 2012. "The Facts About Lean Finely Textured Beef". American Meat Institute|
- Beef Products Inc. – official website
- "Have you ever used so-called 'pink slime' in your burgers?". McDonald's official website.
- "Do you use so-called "pink slime" or "pink goop" in your Chicken McNuggets?". McDonald's official website.