One of the world’s largest meat manufacturing companies closed its doors in three states due to the “pink slime” controversy. Beef Products, Inc. closed plants in Kansas, Iowa and Texas. The Amarillo plant closing will affect 200 employees.
“While lean finely textured beef was given a catchy and clever nickname in ‘pink slime,’ the impact of alarming broadcasts about this safe and wholesome beef product by Jamie Oliver, ABC News and others are no joke to those families that are now out of work,” said American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle in a written statement.
A business closing like that in the small Panhandle town has a pretty severe impact on the families involved. Locally, a company called Workforce Solutions has been reaching out to the employees in hopes that the they will let the company help them with transition into new positions in other companies.
The three state closings account for more than 600 people who are now out of work. In all, the three manufacturing plants created 600,000 pounds per day in boneless meat products.
Beef Products, Inc. was founded by Eldon and Regina Roth, both of Amarillo, in 1981. They began production of what the beef industry calls “lean finely textured beef” rather than the “pink slime” term that caught like wildfire in both network and social media.
The process of creating the product involves removing fat from trimmings that result from the fabrication of beef cuts, treating the resulting beef fibers with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens and freezing the product. Once the process is complete, it resembles a frozen paste.
The FDA has approved the use of ammonium hydroxide to increase food safety for several decades, according to their fact sheet. There have been no report of illness caused by the meet product itself.