Last year the school lunch program sold 5.3 milliion pounds of the pink stuff. It lowers costs by three cents per burger to replace 15% of the regular ground beef with the stuff. Touchingly enough, the school lunch folks do require pathogen testing. But about serving kids ammonia... Apparently it really stinks. A Georgia prison sent back 7,000 pounds of slurry because the smell was revolting to the folks in the kitchen. When they get complaints about the smell, Beef Products cuts back a bit on ammonia. But then, less ammonia means more E. coli. In response to test results presented to them by the New York Times recently, the USDA decided Beef Products shouldn't be exempt from testing anymore.
Little kids are still being served ammonia treated scraps of high risk beef trimmings, but the good guys at the USDA obviously have the situation under control. Phew. And it seemed for a moment there like this might be a really revolting, unconscionable situation!
The mastermind of the ammoniated scraps product is one Eldon Roth. Is he sitting in prison somewhere eating ammoniated meatloaf? Why no!
Dr. Theno, the food safety consultant, applauds Mr. Roth for figuring out how to convert high-fat trimmings “with no functional value.”Yeah, just a few issues.
“There were some issues with that,” Dr. Theno said. “But he, and God bless him, amassed a tidy fortune for it.”