The country’s school lunch program is bringing in tons of pink slime. The pink slime is ammonia-treated meat that looks like Pepto-bismol. The slime was rejected by Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Burger King. Seven million pounds of the slime has been purchased by the United States Department of Agriculture for school lunches. The slime is actually called ‘Lean Beef Trimmings.’ It is a ground-up combo of beef scarps, connective tissues from cows and other trimmings of beef. All of the ingredients are then treated with ammonium hydroxide in order to kill salmonella and E. coli. The combo is then put into regular meat products such as hamburger patties and ground beef.
“We originally called it soylent sink” microbiologist Carl Custer, said. Custer worked for the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years. “We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.”
Gerald Zernstein said that the trimmings in the slime are a ‘high risk product.’ Zernstein also said “scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval” when the George H.W. Bush administration was in office. It has been said by the USDA that their beef purchases ‘meet the highest standard for food safety.’
From 2005 to 2009, E. coli had been found three times in the pink slime and salmonella was found 48 times in the pink slime. This included two contaminated batches of the pink slime that was 27,000 pounds of meat.