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Cargill, Tyson don't plan plant closures due to 'pink slime'

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
 

Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc., the two largest beef processors, said they don't plan to close plants because of lower demand for finely textured beef, called "pink slime" by critics.

Cargill doesn't plan closures or job cuts as it scales back output of finely textured beef at two plants in Texas, one in Nebraska and one in Kansas, said Mike Martin, a spokesman for the Minneapolis-based company. Some retailers stopped using the product in ground beef they sell, the company said.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is among food activists who have criticized the use of what they dubbed "pink slime," a filler produced by treating finely ground beef scraps with ammonia hydroxide to kill pathogens. The drop in demand led AFA Foods, a ground-beef processor owned by Yucaipa Cos., to seek bankruptcy court protection. Beef Products Inc. last week temporarily suspended production at three plants.

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