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Wegmans wilts under pink slime pressure

Posted by Mitch Lipka  March 23, 2012 01:02 PM

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The anti pink slime in ground beef juggernaut has pushed another grocery chain, Wegmans, away from using the meat scrap mixture that has grossed out consumers nationwide.

The high-end chain of mega grocery stores, with its first New England location now open in Northborough, defended the slurry but said the "sensationalism" of the issue forced its hand.

Here's a statement from Danny Wegman, CEO, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.:

“We’ve made a decision to stop selling ground beef that contains Lean Finely Textured Beef. 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.”

Krogers, the nation's largest supermarket chain, has also said it will no longer sell "Lean Finely Textured Beef," better known by the pejorative "pink slime." The filler is made of leftover and otherwise inedible beef scraps that are heated and then treated with an antibacterial.

McDonald's has said it stopped making burgers with pink slime last summer.

Krogers' announcement followed that of Safeway and Supervalu (owner of Shaw's) - the second and third largest grocery chains. Walmart, not technically a grocer, but the biggest food retailer in the country, did not follow suit. However, the retail behemoth said it would offer alternatives wherever it carried beef made with pink slime. Consumers would have to ask to find out which packages have the mixture and which don't.

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About the author

Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at


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