BUFFALO, NY- Wegmans stores are adding their name to a growing list of grocery stores who say they are moving away from selling ground beef that contains lean, finely textured beef, also known as 'pink slime.'
Wegmans says they not removing these products from sale, but will transition to ground beef without lean finely textured beef, as soon as it's available from their supplier.
Danny Wegman, CEO, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. made this statement:
"We've made a decision to stop selling ground beef that contains Lean Finely Textured Beef. Having grown up in the meat business, we have always been proud of our ground beef and eat it ourselves. Because of the sensationalism of this issue it has become a concern for our customers. Every decision we make is with our customers in mind. Our commitment remains the same. We will continue to source the best quality ground beef, now without lean finely textured beef."
BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. also said it will stop selling beef products with the additive, starting April 7 for fresh products and April 20 for frozen.
Walmart also released this statement:
"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.
While the USDA and experts agree that beef containing LFTB is safe and nutritious, we are committed to listening to our customers and providing the quality products they want at prices they can afford."
Earlier this month, the Agriculture Department said that starting next fall, schools can stop feeding students the common ammonia-treated ground beef filler dubbed "pink slime" by critics.
The department says it will give school systems a choice of beef patties made with the lean finely textured filler, or less lean bulk ground beef without it.
Concern about the ammonia-treated filler exploded last week as a social media topic. The Agriculture Department says the filler is safe. But it says it wants to be responsive to schools that want a choice.
The low-cost filler is heated and processed so most of the fat is removed before it is compressed into blocks for use in ground meat. It is exposed to a "puff of ammonia hydroxide gas" to kill bacteria.
Many local store shelves are free of pink slime including Tops, Dash's, and Budwey's. The Save-A-Lot manager says he thinks so.
Target sent Two On Your Side this statement:
"Target places great emphasis on sourcing food from industry leaders in safety and quality. Currently, the ground beef sold in Target does not involve an ammonium hydroxide treatment that has recently become associated with the term "pink slime." Additionally, Target is working with vendors to remove finely textured beef in the production of all ground beef items offered at Target going forward. Any additional questions can be directed to vendors."
WGRZ / AP