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NJ Schools Won't Be Serving 'Pink Slime' Next Year

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New Jersey schools won't be serving beef with so-called "pink slime'' in the next academic year.

The state Agriculture Department has notified school districts it will only offer beef without the ammonia-treated filler, as per federal directives.

Federal regulators say the product, which has been used for years and is known in the industry as "lean, finely textured beef,'' meets food safety standards. The USDA says the ammonia used to disinfect the beef additive dissipates so rapidly, it's barely detectable in the finished product.

But critics call the product an unappetizing example of industrialized food production.

State agriculture spokeswoman Lynne Richmond tells The Record newspaper the decision to stop using it followed a federal recommendation.

Schools can cancel beef ordered for the remainder of the year. However, they will not receive subsides attached to those orders.

Though he insisted it's not dangerous, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said last week that burger meat with the odious ingredient will be gone from city schools by September.

"Well, it's safe because the USDA says it's safe, so we're following that," he said. "But at the same time, we understand the concern so we're going to do the right thing and phase it out over a period of time."

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, however, said he wants it out of city schools immediately, saying "the slaughterhouse floor is not where the meals for our children should be prepared."

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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