Nationally, there has been wildfire around grocery stores that carry Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) after a former United States Department of Agriculture scientist said that 70 percent “of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls 'pink slime,'" according to an ABC report.
, is "waste" meat and fat that is often ground and turned into processed meat products or combined with higher quality meat to make low-fat ground beef.
Because beef trim is often filled with E. Coli and salmonella, it's treated with ammonium hydroxide, creating "pink slime," a term coined by some scientists who claim the resulting product "isn't really beef."
Grocery stores are now rolling out releases making statements that they are pulling the beef from their shelves or reiterating that they never offered it in the first place.
Here’s what the grocery store companies are saying:
“Wegmans is not removing these products from sale. We will transition to ground beef without lean finely textured beef, as soon as its available from our supplier. That timeline is now being determined.”
Giant: Giant Food announced Thursday it was working to convert its fresh and frozen store brand beef products to those that do not contain LFTB, though LFTB is "safe and in compliance with all USDA standards for lean beef."
BJ’s: "Beginning April 7, BJ’s will only offer fresh ground meat that is boneless lean beef trimmings-free. BLBT-free frozen ground beef will be available by April 20. All ground beef ground in-club does NOT contain any BLBT. BJ’s will continue to offer fresh all-natural NatureSource ground beef and frozen Earth’s Pride ground beef which are and have always been BLBT free."
: “As a result of customer and member feedback, Walmart and Sam’s Club will begin offering fresh ground beef that does not contain lean finely textured beef (LFTB). We are working aggressively with our suppliers to have new offerings in our stores and clubs as quickly as possible. As these products become available, associates in our meat department and at our customer service desks will share updates with customers who inquire.”
Harris Teeter: "Harris Teeter's own brand suppliers do not use ‘pink slime’ in any Harris Teeter Brands ground beef including Harris Teeter Naturals, Rancher and Angus ground beef products."
: "We have never sold pink slime and never will. Our store has no artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives,” said Katie Wolffe from Whole Foods Vienna.
Shoppers Food: “We are currently working with our suppliers to ensure a smooth transition to this new policy. All current beef products in our stores meet strict safety and quality standards approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
Safeway: “Our customers’ concerns matter to us, which is why our meat departments will no longer purchase fresh ground beef or frozen ground beef patties that contain lean, finely textured beef.”
Food Lion: "Food Lion has made the decision to no longer carry fresh ground beef products that contain lean finely textured beef (LFTB) or boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT), as a result or our customers' feedback. We are currently working with our suppliers on a transition plan based on product availability."
Fresh Market: “We just want to let you know that The Fresh Market has never and will never use any kind of slime in our ground beef. In fact, we offer a Ground Beef Guarantee that no other retailer can match.”
According to this NPR article, Costco’s beef never contained LFTB.
: "Our ground beef is 100 percent pure beef with nothing added."
Vienna Patch editor Erica Hendry contributed to this article.