joined a growing list of supermarket chains that will no longer purchase fresh ground beef containing lean, finely textured beef, which contains a filler commonly known as "pink slime."
Today, Wegmans announced it would stop selling "pink slime," too.
"While the U.S. Department of Agriculture has indicated this product is safe for consumption and complies with all applicable standards for lean beef, many of our customers have voiced concern regarding finely textured beef," a press release from Giant Food Stores states. "We value the trusted relationship we have with our customers and their feedback on this issue."
and Sam's Club previously announced they would start offering beef that does not contain lean finely textured beef, according to ABC News.
Wegmans, however, will not be removing products containing lean finely textured beef currently on shelves. Instead, the supermarket chain will make the transition as soon as ground beef without lean finely textured beef is available from its supplier. That timeline is still being determined.
“We’ve made a decision to stop selling ground beef that contains lean finely textured beef," said Danny Wegman, the CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. "Having grown up in the meat business, we have always been proud of our ground beef and eat it ourselves. Because of the sensationalism of this issue it has become a concern for our customers. Every decision we make is with our customers in mind. Our commitment remains the same. We will continue to source the best quality ground beef, now without lean finely textured beef.”
According to the USDA, finely textured beef is a meat product derived from a process which separates fatty pieces from beef trimmings to reduce the overall fat content.
USDA continues to affirm the safety of lean finely textured beef product for all consumers and urges customers to consult science based information on the safety and quality of this product, the agency says.