Cargill says it will label ‘Finely Textured Beef’

Cargill Beef announced Tuesday that it would begin labeling its branded, U.S.-made, ground beef products containing Finely Textured Beef, prior to the 2014 grilling season, with the declaration “Contains Finely Textured Beef.”

The ground beef product became controversial after some food bloggers and activists raised concerns about how the beef was processed. The beef is made from bits of meat left over from other cuts and are treated to kill bacteria. The product started to gain negative attention after a New York Times article in 2009, in which a federal microbiologist referred to it as “pink slime.”

Cargill says it has been making finely textured beef since 1993.

“Our research shows that consumers believe ground beef products containing Finely Textured Beef should be clearly labeled,” John Keating, Cargill Beef president, said in a statement. “We’ve listened to the public, as well as our customers, and that is why today we are declaring our commitment to labeling Finely Textured Beef.”

Cargill has launched a website that provides information about the product, including videos showing how Finely Textured Beef is made at its processing plants.