Schools Lunches Will Be 'Pink Slime' Free
Montgomery County Public Schools will stop using meat with a finely textured beef additive known as "pink slime" for the 2012-13 school year.
Next year, public school cafeterias in Montgomery County will be serving up beef without the "pink slime."
Spokesman Dana Tofig said Montgomery County Public Schools would join many other companies and organizations in ceasing the use of Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) — referred to as "pink slime" — in its school lunches for the 2012-13 school year.
Montgomery County Public Schools gets its beef from two sources: contracted vendors and the federal government's commodities program, Tofig told Patch. Tofig said LFTB was used by one MCPS vendor and some of the federal government's processors.
"After this year, we will be opting out of purchasing or receiving any items that uses [LFTB] and we are adjusting the bids we have for our own vendors to indicate that it shouldn't be used," Tofig wrote in an email.
The USDA, which has maintained that LFTB is safe, recently announced that it would permit school districts to pick beef that didn't have LFTB "in response to requests from school districts across the country."
In Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools planned to switch to 100-percent beef patties by mid April, Fairfax City Patch reported.
The reach of the "pink slime" backlash extends beyond the school house lunch line.
Lean Finely Textured Beef is a meat product derived by separating fatty pieces from beef trimmings to reduce the overall fat content, according to the USDA. Ammonia is part of the LFTB-making process, according to Beef Products Inc., which manufactures LFTB.
Beef Products Inc. suspended production at three of its four plants amid the recent public outcry, The Associated Press recently reported.
Germantown Patch Editor Tiffany Arnold contributed to this story.