Pink slime, be gone! How grocers avoided a PR crisis

Lean, finely textured beef—commonly known as pink slime—became a hot topic this month, and the companies using it responded in time to avert disaster.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Thanks once again to the world of social media, everybody now does know about the ammonia-treated meat additive, and they want it removed from their beef products. Following a grass-roots social media outcry that went viral two weeks ago, customers are getting their wish.

“Pink slime” has been discussed for years, but this month the issue caught fire on social media and in online petitions seeking, among other things, to make sure it was not served in public schools. A petition to get lean beef trimmings out of America’s food supply has garnered almost 250,000 signatures.

The USDA, already under fire for having allowed the product for years, this week announced that it would offer an alternative beef product—one without the additive—for school lunch programs.

Also this week, most large supermarket chains relented and removed meat with the filler from their refrigerated sections. In a note on its Facebook page Thursday, Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocer (2,435 supermarkets in 31 states), said:

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.