Lean Finely Textured Beef
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food considers Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) to be safe.
The UDAF cites a variety of reason for this; LFTB is all beef, it is not an ingredient added to ground beef, it is a product from a beef cow, just like the many other cuts of beef, and ground beef we consume.
It undergoes the same USDA inspection and regulation process that all other beef cuts go through.
We feel, as long as it is a safe product, consumers should have the choice of purchasing it or not.
Safety is how we evaluate this food product.
Lean Finely Textured Beef has been studied by the USDA and found safe. We don't see any studies that contradict that.
This is not a new product. It has been on the market for 20 or more years.
It is likely we've had some in the past. It is 95% lean and 5% fat. That is leaner than most ground beef we buy at the store. That's one of the reasons it was developed.
This process is a wise use of our natural resources.
According to the American Meat Institute this process is able to capture more usable meat product from the animals to reduce the number of beef cows slaughtered each year by more than one million animals. That means fewer truckloads of cattle going to market which translates to reduced costs to consumers and the ability to get more protein into the diets of people who can't afford it.
We feel the issue here is one of perception, not health and safety.
Some consumers may be put off by the slang term given the product by some mass media outlets. We feel that is unfortunate.
Regarding the issue of the use of Ammonium hydroxide.
Ammonium hydroxide is simply ammonia and water. It is used in small amounts to elevate the beef's PH level and prevent the spread of E-coli. Ammonium hydroxide, at food processing levels, has been around since 1974 when the FDA studied it and approved its use.
It is used in other food production such as baked goods, cheeses, chocolates and puddings.
More information is available at these links.
View a video from Beef Products International
Interview with Barry Carpenter, CEO of the National Meat Association
MEDIA ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Experts say other things worse than pink slime are already in ground beef.
How ABC News smeared a stellar company with 'pink slime'
'Pink slime' not based on facts
Links to other articles about Lean Beef Trimmings
posted March. 27, 2012