Add Wal-Mart to the list of businesses that won't be selling meat with the filler known as “lean, finely textured beef.”
The world's largest retailer said in a statement that while while the USDA and experts agree that it is safe and nutritious, its Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores will start offering fresh ground beef that does not contain the filler, know by critics as "pink slime."
"We’re committed to providing our customers with quality products at the right prices,” said Deisha Barnett, a Wal-mart spokesman.
Supervalu, Food Lion and Safeway also have decided to stop buying ground beef with the filler.
The low-cost additive, which has been used for years, is made from fatty bits of leftover meat that are heated, spun to remove the fat, compressed into blocks and exposed to ammonia to kill bacteria. Producers often mix the filler into fattier meat to produce an overall leaner product and reduce their costs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this month that, beginning in the fall, the National School Lunch Program will let school districts decide whether to buy ground beef that contains the filler. Previously, it was difficult for schools to know whether beef they bought from the feds had it or not.