Schools will get choice to drop "Pink Slime" beef

USDA says schools can choose whether or not they buy hamburger that contains 'lean finely textured beef.'

March 15—School districts soon will be able to opt out of a common ammonia-treated ground beef filler critics have dubbed "pink slime."

Amid a growing social media storm over so-called "lean finely textured beef," the U.S. Department of Agriculture was set to announce Thursday that starting in the fall schools involved in the national school lunch program will have the option of avoiding the product.

Under the change, schools will be able to choose between 95 percent lean beef patties made with the product or less lean bulk ground beef without it. The change won't kick in immediately because of existing contracts, according to a USDA official with knowledge of the decision.