Does my grocery sell meat with pink slime?

Get access to a FREE week of school lunch menus
All packaged beef must claim “beef” as their ingredient.  The USDA has classified pink slime as “beef” because it comes from beef; and therefore, it does not have to be listed on a label.  Deceiving, right?  I’m sure you are wondering, which stores sell ground meat with pink slime? Below is a list of 7 major grocery chains that answered ABC News’ request for further information in their investigation.

ABC News emailed the top 10 grocery chains in America and seven responded:

  1. Costco – Does not use pink slime. “Anything that we sell at Costco we want to explain it’s origins, and I personally don’t know how to explain trim treated with ammonia in our ground beef,” Craig Wilson, vice president of quality assurance for Costco, told ABC News. “I just don’t know how to explain that. I’m not that smart.”
  2. Publix – “We have never allowed the use of LFTB (pink slime) in our meat. It’s 100 percent ground beef with no LFTB.”
  3. H-E-B – “All our ground beef sold at H-E-B is 100% pure with no additives.”
  4. Whole Foods – Does not use pink slime.
  5. Safeway – “We rely on the federal government to help guide us on food safety issues. USDA has been clear in its judgment that Lean Finely Textured Ground Beef is a safe source of nutrition. However, we are reviewing the matter at this time.”
  6. Ahold (Stop & Shop/Giant) – “Stores operated by the divisions of Ahold USA do carry ground beef made with Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT), also called Finely Textured Beef (FTB). Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT) is beef and is absolutely safe for consumption. To make the product, beef companies use beef trimmings, which are the small cuts of beef that remain when larger cuts are trimmed down. These trimmings are USDA-inspected, wholesome cuts of beef. This process has been an industry standard for almost 20 years. Alternatives to the conventional ground beef supply, in the form of Certified Angus Beef and Nature’s Promise ground beef products, are available to customers in stores across all of the divisions of Ahold USA. These products do not include the use of BLBT. Customers are being encouraged to ask any meat associate should they have any questions or would like to be directed to meat that does not include Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings. Our labeling is in compliance with USDA regulations. BLBT is USDA tested and approved ground beef and therefore does not require labeling.”
  7. Kroger – “We do not use finely textured beef in our fresh ground beef. … We are routinely presented the finely textured beef as an option, but have always refused.”

In addition to Whole Foods, Tops Markets told ABC News it does not use “pink slime.” -List Source ABC News.

What’s the problem here? That some of these stores don’t see anything wrong with using the pink slime because it is a practice that has been allowed and deemed safe by the USDA.  And what about Walmart? Does Walmart put pink slime in its ground beef?  I am still waiting to hear the answer and I’m sure many of the 200 million people that shop at their stores weekly are too.  What can you do?  As mentioned in the post, What Is Pink Slime, if the beef is not stamped USDA Organic you have no way of knowing for sure the source of its contents.

Watch this ABC video: Tips for Checking your Beef.

Top Photo Source: Flickr

LOVE our MOMables® ideas? Get MORE delivered weekly to your inbox FREE

* indicates required


  1. look_at_it_this_way says

    This is not a reassuring statement from Costco. Craig Wilson is saying he is not smart enough to explain trim treated with ammonia in Costco’s ground beef. I really don’t know how to interpret his statement. It sounds like something a company drone would say if Costco’s ground beef contained “pink slime”, but wanted to dodge the issue. That is not what I want to hear coming from the mouth of the VP of quality assurance at Costco. This is not good…. Very unsettling… It really smacks of a cover up.

    • says

      Unfortunately, unless we buy “organic” meat or from somewhere like Whole Foods, we can’t really know 100% for sure since the FDA has decided to not make labeling mandatoty. An updated report is due to come out at the end of April. we will be updating this post. Thank you for your comment!

  2. says

    For those living in the Midwest, here is the answer I received from Meijer Stores:

    I would like to thank you for contacting us with your inquiry regarding lean finely textured beef (pink slime). Our customers are very important to us and we appreciate hearing from you concerning this matter.

    Most types of ground beef that Meijer sells do not have lean finely textured beef as an ingredient. We encourage customers who wish to avoid lean finely textured beef to ask a Meijer meat department associate for assistance.

    Our quality standards are specific to each product we carry, often exceed regulatory guidelines, and are audited by quality assurance teams at supplier level, internally, and through certified third party audits. You can trust that we monitor and continuously review our products to ensure only the freshest and best quality is distributed to your local Meijer store.

    We truly appreciate the opportunity to share this with you. As a representative of Meijer, I would like to personally thank you for shopping for more with us as we continue to strive towards higher standards at lower prices for our customers.

  3. Tracey says

    You get what you pay for. How do you think WalMart and Sam’s can sell meat so cheap? Fillers. No surprise here. Spend the extra money on higher quality. If you can’t afford it, buy it less often.

  4. Karen Simpson says

    What are these people getting paid to do? Lying freaks- another example of our government doing its best, really!!
    I am about there to be a vegan and then there are the pesticides, no winning here
    :( Upset and disappointed for our kids world !!

    • says

      you are right. what’s most upsetting is that they label it as “beef” and think it’s ok. It’s not ok with me. We are poisoning ourselves and our children and we don’t even know it. Our only choice is to eat less meat and buy it organic.

  5. says

    Laura, after a week of repeatedly asking Walmart and Sam’s, they are not responding that they do in fact sell prodcuts with Pink Slime . Read the last line. My original Question was do they plan on labeling products.

    Walmart Hi Corbin – Walmart is committed to providing our customers with safe and affordable food. We invest a lot of time and attention in making sure we have the best selection of products and that the foods we offer are safe. Walmart only sells …product from suppliers who comply with all government rules and regulations. Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) is widely used in ground beef products throughout the industry. LFTB is approved by the USDA and considered safe to use and we comply with all USDA standards with all our food. The ground beef we sell does contain LFTB.

    • says

      Yes, Walmart and Sams DOES indeed sell “pink slime” (LFTB) in their beef. I went to talk to the butcher/meat man at my local Walmart two days ago and he said yes… and that MANY people have asked. However, they, as employees are not supposed to comment on Walmart’s practices until corporate “officially” does. He did give me the same line: “Walmart is commited to providing our customers with safe and affordable food… etc” I guess he got the memo too.
      Thank you for your comment Gregg!

  6. diane says

    Just one more reason I am glad I buy my meat from my local farmer! I KNOW what is in my beef, what the cow was fed, where it grazed and when it was slaughtered!

      • Ron says

        Agreed. I saw a study that stated we (USA) waste over 50% of the food we buy on average. Isn’t that crazy? USA meat producers produce far more meat products that we need for our daily diet.

        • says

          that is a lot of food Ron! Crazy. we could feed so many people with that!! that is why I write down my meals, make a plan and hit the grocery. less waste! thank you for taking the time to comment!

  7. says

    Dont use ground beef much, Use ground turkey & ground venison, but for the rare occasions when I do use ground beef, will purchase from Costco I think . Thanks for the info :) Very informational !

    • chi chi girl says


      • says

        I agree…. but as a whole, we are dependent on someone else “hunting and gathering” our meats since we no longer do such things in modern society. I feel one should know where their beef comes from, be label appropriated, and… eat less and buy higher quality.

    • says

      I know Carole, I feel the same way! What bothers me is that some grocery chain are very ambiguous whether or not they use it and others claim the “the USDA has deemed it safe to use” etc. Either purchase from someone who doesn’t use it, buy organic and eat beef less often, or buy your own cow. geesh!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>