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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Supermarkets Respond to Concerns Over "Pink Slime"

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Supermarket chains in Western New York are responding to customer concerns over the use of lean finely textured beef, or so-called pink slime, in ground beef.  

Wegmans says it will eventually stop carrying ground beef that contains “lean finely textured beef.”  The Rochester-based supermarket chain says it is not removing the products from sale, but will transition to ground beef without the filler as soon as it’s available from their supplier. 

Tops and Budwey’s say they don’t use lean finely textured beef.  Walmart and Sam’s Club say they will begin offering ground beef that does not contain the product. 

Regulators say the low-cost filler is safe and produces a product that contains less fat.  Critics say pink slime is treated with ammonia to kill bacteria and may be unsafe.  Supermarkets say recent stories on the additive have caused concern among customers.