U.S. defends treated meat dubbed “pink slime” in school meals. ‘I’ll take soy burgers any-day’
Fast-food chain McDonald’s stopped putting the USDA-approved ammonium-treated meat into its hamburgers in August after a number of food activists, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, drew attention to the additive.
The USDA, schools and school districts plan to buy the treated meat, categorized as “lean fine textured beef,” from South Dakota’s Beef Products Inc for the national school lunch program.
The BPI product makes up about 6.5 percent of the 112 million pounds (51 million kg) of ground beef that has been contracted for the National School Lunch Program, the USDA said.
As a part of our commitment to provide the safest lean beef possible, our research drove us to create the pH enhancement process, which relies upon slightly increasing the level of ammonium hydroxide already present in beef in order to elevate its pH. Ammonium hydroxide is naturally found in beef, other proteins, and virtually all foods. It is widely used in the processing of numerous foods, such as baked goods, cheeses, gelatins, chocolate, caramels, and puddings. One result of this food safety system is the dramatic reduction in the number of potential pathogens that may be present in foods, such as E.coli O157:H7.
Ammonia/ammonium hydroxide is one of a number of processing aids used with meat and poultry in order to ensure the safety of these foods before they are delivered to consumers. The pH enhancement process is an important component of our overall food safety effort. By adding a tiny amount of ammonia (gas) to the beef, we raise the pH in the beef to help kill any harmful bacteria that could possibly be present.
Maybe the graphic below helps to put it into a little better perspective.
The department oversees the program, which buys about 20 percent of products served in U.S. schools. The rest is bought directly by schools or school districts.more thanks jb
bpi contact information:
891 Two Rivers Dr # 1000 Dakota Dunes, SD 57049
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