Don't say we never did anything for you: AFA Foods, a ground beef processor (read: pink slime supplier), has filed for bankruptcy today and blamed media coverage of "pink slime" for the sudden lack of demand in their products. “Ongoing media attention has called into question the wholesomeness” of the meat, and has “dramatically reduced the demand for all ground beef products,” AFA interim Chief Executive Officer Ron Allen said in court papers obtained by Bloomberg. It's worth nothing that AFA foods isn't the first pink slime company to feel the backlash: As NPR reported last week, Beef Products Inc., a rival pink slime company, suspended production at three plants because of consumer concerns.
If this pink slime hoopla is sort of new to you, pink slime is the layperson's term for what the beef industry calls "lean, finely textured beef" or "boneless lean beef trimmings" which, even with dressed up with words like "lean" and "finely textured" (it sounds artisanal right?) still looks unappealing. Some experts say it can harbor nasty pathogens (which calls for it to be treated with ammonia), but it's the fact that the pink slime was being served in public schools, fast food joints and in our supermarkets that caused the outrage.
Since then, the USDA has given school officials the option to order slime-free beef next year. Bloomberg reports that McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell have all stopped using the lean beef filler, which have all in turn affected pink slime business, and AFA Foods's $958 million annual revenue.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.