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Which area grocery stores do not use ‘pink slime’ beef?

Cassie Foss


Controversy continues over whether the use of cheap meat filler, finely textured lean beef, commonly known as link slime, should be eliminated from beef products has continued across the nation and in the state.

The low-cost ingredient is made from fatty meat trimmings left over from other cuts of beef. The pieces are heated to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and spun to remove most of the fat. The mix then is compressed into blocks for use in ground meat and then exposed to ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella.

The pejorative nickname came from a federal microbiologist who is critical of the product, according to CBS News.com.

Several North Carolina and national chains have responded to the controversial product by pulling it from shelves.

The StarNews asked some of the grocery chains in the area if they carried beef products containing the substance. Below are the stores’ responses:

1. Piggly Wiggly

112 A Village St., Leland [Map this], N.C. 28451, Phone: 910-371-2253

“All North Carolina Piggly Wiggly stores are owned independently. At our Leland store, all the beef we carry is Preferred Angus Beef. We also ground all of our own ground beef at our meat cutting facility at the store. Our distributor, Merchant Distributors, Inc., the company that supplies our beef, also sent memos out a few months ago stating that it doesn’t carry beef that contains the product.” – Dan Teachey, store manager

2. Food Lion

1929 Oleander Drive, Wilmington [Map this], 910-762-2439

South Kerr Avenue, Wilmington, 910-343-1997

2432 South 17th Street, Wilmington [Map this], 910-794-8138

“Food Lion no longer carries fresh ground beef products that contain lean finely textured beef, or boneless lean beef trimmings BLBT, as a result of current consumer preferences and feedback. While we understand that both the USDA and food industry experts agree that LFTB and BLBT are safe and nutritious, Food Lion is committed to offering high-quality, wholesome products for our customers based on their preferences.” –Christy Phillips-Brown, company spokeswoman

3. Carolina Farmin’

2101 Market St., Wilmington [Map this], 910-338-5426

“We do not have pink slime in the store. We grind our own ground beef inside the store. Typically the ‘pink slime,’ I think, comes in a lot of pre-packaged beef. We checked with our distributor to make sure it wasn’t coming in – we’re packaging our meat right in our store. That’s the key, I think, to the pink slime being present in a product. A tip to ask grocers: where did the meat come from?” –Susan Johnson, store spokeswoman

4. Target

4711 New Centre Drive, Wilmington [Map this], 910-395-5057

“None of our stores sell beef products that contain the finely textured beef products,” Target said in a statement.

5. Whole Foods

3804 Oleander Drive, Wilmington [Map this], 310-798-4077

Does not use pink slime, according to ABC News.com.

6. Costco

5351 Gingerwood Drive, Wilmington [Map this], 910-798-3250

Does not use pink slime, according to ABC News.com.

7. Wal-Mart

5226 Sigmon Road, Wilmington [Map this], 910-392-4034

5135 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington [Map this], (910) 452-0944

Sam’s Club

412 S College Rd, Wilmington [Map this], 910-392-2995

In March, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told CBS News that its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores would begin selling meat that doesn’t contain the additive. It did not say it would stop selling beef with the filler altogether. The chain also said it would have new product without the filler in stores as quickly as possible, and that its meat department and customer service staffers would tell customers who ask about the stores’ meat offerings, according to CBS News.com.

8. Lowes Foods

5309 South College Road, Wilmington [Map this], 910-790-5335

341 South College Road, Wilmington [Map this], 910-796-9616

2316 North College Road, Wilmington [Map this], 910-392-7230

“We do not carry any ‘pink slime’ products. It was completely removed from the shelves about two months ago.” –Debbie Williams, company spokeswoman.


Can you tell me why you can’t find canned corned beef in stores?

How many jobs will Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s offer to the area?


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