Safeway has become the latest company to announce its intentions to discontinue the supply of ammoniated beef, known colloquially as “pink slime.” Responding to what it calls “considerable consumer concern,” the supermarket chain says it will no longer purchase products containing the substance—cheap, low-quality scraps of beef trimmings treated with ammonia to kill bacteria—despite its insistence that the US Department of Agriculture-approved substance is safe. Ammoniated beef has been the subject of national controversy in recent months: fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King stopped using it in January. Safeway’s announcement comes less than a week after the USDA announced that schools enrolled in the national lunch program will soon be able to opt out of serving the substance.
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