After consumer concerns about ammoniated beef—or “pink slime”—surfaced in recent months, the US Department of Agriculture decided in March to offer school districts the opportunity to forgo use of the substance, and the vast majority chose not to use it for student lunches. Only three states—Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota—will be purchasing the product for the next school year, according to Food Safety News. Three out of four production plants of Beef Products, Inc., its primary manufacturer, have closed due to a major drop in demand. However, roughly 40 percent of the ground beef used in school lunches is acquired through commercial means outside of the USDA, meaning that pink slime could still make its way to students’ plates.
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