Cargill has announced it will be labeling any beef products it markets that contains Finely-Textured Lean Beef, otherwise notorious as “pink slime”.
It’s about two years since the “pink slime’ controversy hit the global news media, prompting public disgust, an immediate decline in sales and financial hardships for the companies that were extracting it from beef that would have otherwise been discarded as byproducts.
It’s never been approved for sale in Canada, however, it’s not clear how the Canadian government has managed to keep it out of the nation’s supply of meat products from the U.S.
Cargill has set up a special website to provide information on its labeling initiative - GroundBeefAnswers.com.
Cargill is also updating its traceback protocols and applying new labels to its ground beef.
In Canada, Cargill owns Excel Beef at High River, Alta., and Better Beef at Guelph.
Meanwhile, the Canadian and U.S. governments have still not required mandatory labeling for mechanically-tenderized beef.
Those steaks and roasts are as riskly as hamburger for harbouring harmful bacteria deep inside the product. Hamburger, however, is known to most consumers to be risky and they cook it to bacteria-killing temperatures.
That’s not the case for steaks and roasts that some consumers prefer to eat rare, which means interior temperatures are not high enough to kill harmful bacteria that might have been shoved there by mechanical tenderizing that consumers would not know about.