Iowa Gov. urges schools to accept "pink slime"

Letter says ingredient is safe despite public outcry.

April 2—Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad sent a letter to school officials encouraging them to continue to serve finely textured beef, which has come under fire lately under the term "pink slime." Local foodservice operators have said that they do not know if "pink slime" is used in their districts' beef because it was not tracked or labeled as such.

"The safety of this food is unmatched," Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the letter. "In more than 20 years, there has not been one sickness or death associated with E. coli or other bacteria. If lean, finely textured beef is pulled from schools in Iowa, the risks will be greater in using products deemed less safe."

Federal regulators say the product meets food safety standards, but the media attention around the term "pink slime" has caused many districts to announce that they won't serve the product.