With the reclassification, you may now be purchasing ground beef with added ‘ground beef’
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has now reclassified the product once dubbed “pink slime,” a meat filler product described as “lean finely textured beef,” as “ground beef.”
Beef Products Inc (BPI), the South Dakota manufacturer of the product, has received approval from USDA to label its product as “ground beef.”
The reclassification comes several years after BPI filed a defamation lawsuit against ABC News in 2012 after the news organisation coined the term “pink slime” in a report about its product. In 2017, the lawsuit resulted in a settlement between ABC News and BPI for about $177m, the highest ever in this type of corporate legal case.
The USDA’s reclassification of the product was based on “an extensive review that took well over six months and included consumer reviews, [and] nutritional panels,” BPI Vice President of Engineering Nick Ross told Beef Magazine.
Mr Ross said the review also included tours of BPI’s plant so that USDA personnel could get an inside-look at the process.
But as Geek pointed out, the reclassification for the “lean finely textured beef” just means that meat consumers have the option to purchase “ground beef” with added “ground beef.”
The reclassification was made official in December 2018 and was first reported by Beef Magazine, a publication dedicated to providing source and product information on the beef cattle industry.