“Pink slime,” the derisive term used to describe leftover beef trimmings blended into ground beef products and brought to public attention by TV chef Jamie Oliver, is still being used in the national school lunch program, David Knowles of The Daily reports.
The controversial meat product, which is mixed with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria, is banned for human consumption in the U.K. where it is primarily sold as pet food.
“We originally called it soylent pink,” a former microbiologist at the Food Safety Inspection Service told The Daily. “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.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to buy 7 million pounds of the boneless beef trimmings from Beef Products Inc, the word’s largest supplier of the product, according to Knowles.
The news comes just one month after McDonald’s announced it was removing the ammonium-hydroxide-laced trimmings from its burger recipe in the United States.
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