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Mar 7, 2012 06:52 PM

Ground Beef at Supermarkets Contains ‘Pink Slime’

sounds nasty to me. but not totally unexpected.

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  1. Soylent Pink, anyone?

    All the more reason to grind your own.

    1. I had only briefly caught this on ABC News last night but couldn't really listen to it, as I was on the phone with a family member. Having read this article - I'm thinking this might be a good use for two W-S gift certificates I received at Christmastime... a meat grinder for my Kitchen Aid mixer.

      5 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Before you buy the Kitchen Aid grinder, you might want to look at this:

        I'm very sorry I bought this and can no longer return it. I have another REAL meat grinder that I use to grind up chicken to feed my cats raw food. It's mentioned on

        1. re: walker

          Hmmm....too late. Ordered and shipped. I'll keep an eye out for this upon use, however - thanks! But great information on use of the grinder (especially by alanbarnes).

        2. re: LindaWhit


          By all means, add the meat grinder to the Kitchen Aid. I have had one for about 20 years. Great for making ground beef, and you can custom blend your beef mix to your taste.

          The flavor from fresh ground is much better.

          You can also grind pork, turkey, chicken, and lamb. Another benefit is making home made bread crumbs.

          1. re: Gary627


            Yes, do buy the grinder for your Kitchen Aid stand mixer. For all the reasons above + the topic of this thread.

            I quantify it this way: The total hours spent at the meat market or bakery can also be applied to the use with the stand mixer. 1 hour or 2 hours. Get the QUALITY of meat, fowl, or flour you want IN BULK, and enjoy using the machine.

            My routine is to keep items in the freezer or fridge, or in large containers, pull the stand mixer out, clean it, assemble it and use it. I hand wash most of the stand mixer parts by just letting them soak in hot, soapy water after use first. I use a small brush for the extruder and worm drive of the meat grinder, but if the parts all soak first, everything usually rinses out. Then wash, dry, and reassemble before putting everything away.

            Ground meat can be stored in the freezer and used whenever, and bread (or pizza ) dough in the fridge for use all week. Plus you know what you put in it: The little secret with the small meat services is ground meat could be any number of leftover cuts + fat.

            Compare it to Starbucks: If you have the same equipment and know the recipe, you can do a better job, and save a small fortune in a very short time.

            Anyone without access to a stand mixer might consider the value investment of a small meat grinder.

            1. re: SWISSAIRE

              Hi, SWISSAIRE:

              You couldn't be more correct. Would you please contact me at I would like to take you up on your offer.


        3. This is not new news. Something came out at least a year or two ago about this I think.

          We started grinding our own beef years ago. Am so glad we did.

          1. No more disgusting then the pink goop in processed chicken that was revealed quite awhile ago. Disturbing, but certainly not groundbreaking journalism.

            1. Thanks for this link; I saw something about this, but hadn't read the ABC story. I do think this is important information. I wonder if pink slime is in ground sirloin? ground chuck? or just regular ground beef. This is something I want to ask my grocer. Perhaps we should all ask our grocers. If enough of us made a stink, perhaps there would be changes. McD has already taken this ingredient out of its hamburgers, I believe.

              34 Replies
              1. re: sueatmo

                It's in all ground meat. I wouldn't expect the grocer to give you an informed and/or honest answer, unfortunately. I have not bought meat from the grocery store in years and continue to learn more and more about where I CAN buy it that's not a crap source. It shouldn't be this difficult.

                1. re: rockandroller1

                  I would expect an honest answer. But I understand what you are saying. I emailed the grocer on his website and asked if all the ground meat had this in it. I also said I disapproved. The chain where I shop is local, and if they didn't answer truthfully, somebody does know the truth. I am interested to see how/if they respond. In the meantime, won't be buying ground meat unless it comes from Whole Foods. (I suppose their ground beef is safe?)

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    I had a look at ground beef today my grocer. No ingredients are listed. On the label it said "100% pure." Pure as defined by whom, I wonder?

                    No answer from my email today.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Please, learn all you can about the food/produce that Whole Foods sell. Much of their food is shipped from countries that have no idea what organic even means. Standards vary greatly. Whole Foods is not all that people are led to believe. Research from reliable sources.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          There was a video circulating recently that was enlightening. I will try to get it.
                          It made me very skeptical.

                          1. re: LindaWhit


                            Here is something from ABC News today:

                            My apologies if this has been previously posted.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              A few years ago I looked at a package of frozen produce (can't remember what it was anymore) at WF and found that it was from China. Since then, I'd read articles about it. Apparently they've made some changes since then but I don't shop there much anymore anyway.


                            2. re: linda54

                              Well, I'm actually posting about ground beef, not produce.

                              You know--I have to shop somewhere. If I can't trust WF, who can I trust? I don't have yearlong access to farmer's markets. I want to respectfully suggest when you warn someone away from a resource, that you suggest a practical alternative.

                              1. re: sueatmo

                                Have you looked at Costco? I've liked what I've read about them. And, friends who are in the meat industry, have highly recommended them. It's where I buy most of mine now. Plus, the price is much better than WFs. Another option is Wegman's but those are few and far between. I also buy from Trader Joe's.

                                1. re: chowser

                                  I didn't think to check Costco yesterday! But I also admit I don't buy a lot of ground beef. At our next trip I'll have a look. No Wegman's in StL. I'm not sure beef from WF is in my future, although I am considering my options. I would be thrilled not to be consuming pink slime or antibiotics in my meat. But then, we've been eating less red meat in general for several years. Its really a budget thing for us.

                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                    Costco is listed as one supermarket that does NOT use pink slime, so that sounds like a good place for you, sueatmo.

                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                      WF might be fine for their meat; I haven't heard otherwise. I just find them cost prohibitive and I can buy from local vendors more cheaply if I want to go that way. I have been happy w/ Costco and like that they do their meats in house. I agree, less is better anyway.

                          2. re: sueatmo

                            i'm pretty sure this is a different ingredient than that removed by McDonalds several weeks ago.

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              What is your basis for that conclusion? What I have read is that this is exactly the ingredient that was removed.

                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                  besides going back to abc new's as they have upgraded their report,you should also go to

                                2. re: GH1618

                                  my mistake, you are right... i only rememberd the ammonium hydroxide.

                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    I once asked a butcher in a large California grocery chain how the meat was ground, and what cut they used.

                                    He said that the ground meat came from the leftover scraps and chunks that could contain sirloin, round, or " any combination of other cuts. " Beef, I supposed and hoped he meant. He went on further how they "tried" to keep the at 15% or less.

                                    From that point on I began using a hand-cranked meat grinder, and later, when I could afford one a stand mixer with a meat grinding attachment. So it has been about 24 years now. Better value, more clean, more fresh, no fillers, and little fat.

                                    I can say two points learned: One, I know exactly what I choose to grind ( and more importantly, what I don't wish in the mix ), and Two, I know I keep my grinding equipment clean and maintained at all times.

                                    Reading the linked article, one might well now understand how it is possible to actually achieve an advertised level of " lower prices and higher standards. "

                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                      Like you I have a machine to grind my meat,but that really is not the point,If you and I went to the store and ate a donut without paying for it they'd be able to arrest us for stealing,so by them adding that junk to only 30 percent of the meat isn't that also stealing??? from us the public.

                                      1. re: mutti

                                        I concur.

                                        I must continue to buy meat, but remain selective where it comes from, the quality, and what I choose to, and choose not to put into our grinder. The suspect material is notably not a binder, but an addidtive FILLER to extend the volume of the end product. It would appear that the grocery chain executives have accepted the rationalization that being an animal product, it is somehow actually meat. No doubt this is a short concern enroute to the bank each Friday.

                                        Not being the advertised 100% meat that is packaged, that isn't honest. Using that creative logic, one could then include ground up feet, cow hooves, tails and other parts into the "100% meat" extrusion.

                                        Breadcrumbs, flour, sawdust, and the Michael Palin/Maggie Smith film " A Private Function " comes to mind.

                                        If " lower prices and higher standards" is taken into account, that would actually translate into " lower standards ( 30% - 33% connective tissue, non-meat additive, included in ground meat ) will ultimately equal someone higher profits. "

                                        1. re: mutti

                                          I agree that for those who grind their own meat, this isn't a big deal. But the vast majority of us don't grind our own meat. And, yes if we are buying what we think is "pure" ground meat, but it isn't really pure, then we've been deceived. But I am more interested in the healthfulness of this practice. This practice hasn't been studied, surely. How can it be justified in terms of the health of the person who consumes it?

                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            from what I have read, it is pure ground cow with an organic amonia wash

                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                              and it's used to "clean" meat that isn't fit for human consumption.

                                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                                Does the term "hamburger" imply only muscle or just beef? From what I'm understanding, the "pink slime" is all beef products treated with a little ammonia to kill off potential salmonella & e coli. Hamburger (ground beef) with pink slime still appears to be 100% beef.

                                                Hmm - I wonder what's in an all-beef hotdog.......

                                                1. re: Clams047

                                                  someone must have a great hamburglar joke to add to this thread!

                                                2. re: Bellachefa

                                                  <re: sueatmo from what I have read, it is pure ground cow with an organic amonia wash>

                                                  And why would ANYONE think that's a good thing to eat -- or to feed their kids? Ammonia in any amount is not intended for human consumption, regardless of what the meatpackers would have you think.

                                                  Not only that, but what's in that high end hamburger you get at a restaurant (that's not a fast food joint)?

                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                    >>>Ammonia in any amount is not intended for human consumption<<<

                                                    From the article linked below:

                                                    "Ammonia is formed naturally in the body as a result of protein digestion ammonium hydroxide.... It is normal and usual to find a certain amount of ammonium hydroxide in meat.

                                                    "Ammonium hydroxide has been used as an antimicrobial agent in meat for more than 40 years. Its safety was reviewed in 1974 by the US Food and Drug Administration's Select Committee on GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) Substances, who had this to say:

                                                    "Ammonia and the ammonium ion are integral components of normal metabolic processes and play an essential role in the physiology of man... There is no evidence in the available information ... that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in future."

                                                    "Ammonium hydroxide also is included in the USDA's list of Safe and Suitable Ingredients ... It is used as a pH control agent in brine solutions for meat products, and as an antimicrobial agent for beef carcasses..."

                                                    Really, if everyone would just read this article, there'd be a lot less silly panic over this.

                                                    But if it makes you uncomfortable, the obvious solution is to grind your own, as I've been doing for about thirty years now. Better quality, you can customize the grind and it's cheaper, too.

                                                    1. re: acgold7

                                                      It's not a panic, but a "WHY?" questions. "normal metabolic processes" and adding an additional sheen of ammonia wash are two different things.

                                                      And those meat brines you find in cryovac'd meats in the stupidmarkets? Just make the meat mushy and tasteless.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        With all due respect, using a phrase like "sheen of ammonia wash" is indicative of an irrational panic and fear of science and facts, when there isn't the slightest evidence that it is accurate.

                                                        Using hyperbolic phrases unsupported by fact only feeds panic and irrationality. Besides, Ammonia, like Chlorine and Alcohol, is pretty volatile and burns off and evaporates pretty easily, and it is doubtful that significant amounts remain in the product.

                                                        The "Why" is pretty obvious: To use, rather than waste, perfectly edible meat instead of throwing it away, to keep prices low(er) and profits high(er), assuming said meat can be made safe(r) and pathogen free(r).

                                                        I'm not a fan of pre-brined meat either, but I don't know what that has to do with this topic.

                                                        1. re: acgold7

                                                          Pre-brined meat - you quoted "Ammonium hydroxide also is included in the USDA's list of Safe and Suitable Ingredients ... It is used as a pH control agent in brine solutions for meat products,"

                                                          As for "perfectly edible" - that's a matter of opinion, isn't it? How about LIST IT on the ingredients list and let *me* choose whether or not to buy a product that has pink slime in it.

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Ah, got it. Didn't make the brine connection.

                                                            And I agree, it should be listed so we can choose.

                                                      2. re: acgold7

                                                        Be careful where you get your information. The beef industry is in damage control mode telling people that this garbage is good for you. Pink Slime has not been around for 40 years. It wasn't invented until 2001. Doping meat with ammonia is not "the norm" or safe. The panic, is far from silly. People are freaking out a bit because they finally realized what is in their food and feel betrayed because not a thing about this goo is in the labeling.