Lifestyle & Belief

Pink slime producer forced to shut down three factories


SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 24: A stack of ground beef patties moves on a conveyor belt at a meat packing and distribution facility June 24, 2008 in San Francisco, California.


Justin Sullivan

Beef Products Inc., the company responsible for the production of "pink slime" will close three of its processing plants in the US. 

According to Business Week, close to 650 jobs will be lost when the plants close on May 25 in Texas, Kansas and Iowa. A plant in Nebraska will remain open but run at reduced capacity, said company spokesman Rich Jochum.

"While we had hoped to be able to resume operation at those plants, that is not going to be possible in the immediate future and the temporary suspension of operations will in fact result in the elimination of those jobs effective May 25, 2012," the company said in a statement to ABS-CBN News. 

The company blamed the closers on what they deemed to be unfounded attacks over a product that it calls "lean, finely textured beef," said NBC.

ABC news described the beef byproduct as something, "Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler."

More from GlobalPost: Pink slime, what's for lunch

The report defined the beef "slime" as waste trimmings that are simmered and centrifuged to separate fat from muscle.

In a news release the company said, "We are making significant progress in setting the record straight and are encouraged by recent market research which shows that consumers are very interested in consuming high quality, safe lean ground beef - which is exactly what we have done for the last 30 years."

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, told NBC, "This is a sad day for the state of Iowa. The fact that a false, misleading smear campaign can destroy a company's reputation overnight should disturb us all." He continued by adding, the workers will, "go home to their families and will soon be without a job, all because some media on the coasts decided to unfairly and viciously smear the product they so proudly produced." 

More from Global Post: Ground beef processor AFA Foods files for bankruptcy over 'pink slime' uproar