The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection relabeled “pink slime,” as “ground beef” clearing a victory for the South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. (BPI).
After the 2012 pink slime controversy left financial turmoil and settled lawsuits for BPI, they finally won the their battle.
According to Beef Magazine, BPI’s Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) is now simply ground beef and the change happened after the USDA’s inspection that took place over six months.
The USDA found that the product meets their definition of ground beef under the law in 9 CFR 319.15(a).
The Takeout reports that LFTB is “the result of a mechanical process that begins with beef trimmings.”
About a third of a cattle’s weight is trimmings, or fatty portions of meat that slaughterhouse workers separate from the muscle with knives. Beef Products Incorporated then heats those trimmings and passes them through a centrifuge, which divides the fat from the small portion of meat in the trimmings. Fat can be sold as tallow, while the small remaining portion of lean meat is what’s been referred to as lean finely textured beef, or “pink slime” to its critics. The UDSA has previously allowed this for use as a component of ground beef without any special label; but what changed in December is that the USDA now allows this lean finely textured beef to itself be labeled ground beef.
BPI has been working overtime to fix its image and even created the slogan “Dude, it’s beef” to get people to move on.
The product is not going to be sold in stores but it will still be used in ground beef products.