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Published February 11, 2014, 01:09 PM

Cargill says finely textured beef now disclosed on its labels

Cargill Inc., one of the world’s largest beef processors, says as of Jan. 20 labels on its Cargill-branded, 100 percent U.S. fresh-ground beef products specify if they contain finely textured beef.

By: Reuters,

Cargill Inc., one of the world’s largest beef processors, says as of Jan. 20 labels on its Cargill-branded, 100 percent U.S. fresh-ground beef products specify if they contain finely textured beef.

The move, first reported by Reuters in November, comes as consumers are increasingly demanding to know the origin of their food. It also comes in the wake of a media furor over a rival’s beef product, which critics dubbed “pink slime.”

The Minnesota-based company says both consumer and bulk products, including Cargill’s Our Certified brand products, carry the finely textured beef declaration.

Along with the more detailed labels, Cargill also launched informational website GroundBeefAnswers.com and says it is developing other materials ahead of the U.S. and Canadian grilling season, including further updates to packaging formats.

“More than ever, consumers are interested in how the food they eat is produced, and we are committed to providing industry leadership with a greater level of transparency,” said John Keating, president of Cargill’s beef business.

Cargill said in November that it would change its ground beef packaging after surveying more than 3,000 consumers in 18 months about their views on ground beef and how it is made.

The survey arose after intense media coverage of a similar product made by South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. called lean, finely textured beef, which critics dubbed “pink slime.” Cargill had largely escaped the social media furor as its process uses citric acid to kill potential pathogens, generally perceived by the public as more palatable than BPI’s process using ammonium hydroxide.

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