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If you’re not acquainted with pink slime, or lean, finely textured beef (LFTB), here’s a quick summary. Trimmings from beef are mechanically divided to produce an item that looks somewhat like hamburger and is about 95% lean and 5% fat. This product is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens, then iced up in blocks and distributed to stores that blend it in a 15/85 ratio with hamburger. While it is not approved offer for sale as beef on its own, when mixed with ground beef it is labeled as 100% beef. It is approximated that as much as 70% of beef marketed to customers contains LFTB.

Craig Letch, director of food safety and security and quality control at Beef Products, Inc., the globes biggest manufacturer of LFTB, says the LFTB begins as fat trimmings from roasts and also steaks and also has to do with 50% lean, 50% fat. The trimmings are gone through a centrifuge to divide the lean beef from the fat. The resulting product is roughly 95% lean beef and resembles hamburger. Because any type of contaminates in hamburger are blended in and not on the surface as they are with steaks, roasts, or various other cuts of meat, food preparation is not as reliable a technique to sterilize the beef. The LFTB is treated with ammonium hydroxide to raise the PH to eliminate any type of microorganisms contained in the LFTB. Ammonium hydroxide is a natural item, which, according to Letch, makes no long lasting modifications to the beef.

The reality is that pink scum has, along with trimmings from steaks and also roasts, cartilage material, connective tissue, and also any type of other part of the cow that makes it right into the centrifuge. This can include digestive as well as digestive tract matter, bone fragments, and also organs. Expecting pink sludge to consist of only remnants from steaks as well as roasts is optimistic yet not at all realistic. According to retired microbiologist Carl Custer, a 35-year veteran of the Food Safety And Security Inspection Service, “We looked at the product [LFTB] and we challenged it due to the fact that it utilized connective tissues as opposed to muscular tissue. It was merely not nutritionally comparable [to ground beef] My primary objection was that it was not meat.”

Ammonium hydroxide, utilized to sanitize the LFTB, is the result of dissolving ammonia in water. It is found in numerous industrial items and cleansers such as floor covering strippers, brick cleaners, and concretes. Signs of direct exposure to ammonium hydroxide are: difficulty breathing; coughing; swelling of the throat; wheezing; severe pain in the throat; serious pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue; loss of vision; blood in the stool; burns of the esophagus and tummy; throwing up, perhaps with blood; collapse; low blood pressure; cut change in pH; burns; holes in skin tissue; irritation. The levels of ammonium hydroxide found in our food are arguably very small, however it doesn’t seem to be something we should be spraying our food with, does it?

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