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No More Pink Slime For Kroger Customers

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Kroger is dropping "pink slime" from its stores.

The big grocery store company said today that it will stop buying ground beef containing "lean finely textured beef," also known as "pink slime."

Kroger reversed itself on the issue after saying yesterday it would continue to sell ground beef with and without the product. Today the company said it is dropping "pink slime" because of customer complaints.

The controversial beef product, which is approved by the USDA as food, has been in the news recently.

"Pink slime" is made from beef trimmings treated with ammonia to remove E. coli and other potentially dangerous bacteria.

It is used as a filler and mixed with "regular" ground beef.

The name "pink slime" was coined by USDA microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein in 2002. He said he did not consider the product to be ground beef.

The beef industry disagrees, and until recently the product was widely used in restaurant hamburgers and in school lunches.

But in January, McDonald's announced it would no longer use the product in its burgers.  And the USDA says it will allow schools to decide for themselves whether to use burgers containing "pink slime" in school lunches.

Several other grocery chains have also said they will stop selling beef containing the product.

According to a recent Associated Press food editor's homemade burger test, unadulterated meat was tasty and juicy with just the right texture. A pink slime burger wasn't very tasty, didn't release juices and contained bits of gristle.

In addition to its grocery stores, Kroger operates a dairy in Fort Worth and a beverage manufacturer in Irving.

A number of North Texas school districts also were asked about their use of ammonia-treated beef.  Click here to read their responses.

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