Amid concerns over the “pink slime” beef ingredient, the firm involved in making the substance suspended operations at three of four of its plants.
Rich Jochum, corporate spokesman for Beef Products Inc., told Reuters that the closures could turn into “a permanent suspension.”
“This is a direct reaction to all the misinformation about our lean beef,” he said.
The Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based company will close down plants in Garden City, Kan.; Amarillo, Texas; and Waterloo, Iowa, the news agency reported.
The shuttering of the Kansas plant could put 236 people out of a job, according to KSN-3 television.
Federal regulators have said that “pink slime,” which is meat filler treated with ammonia and known in the meat industry as “lean, finely textured beef,” meets food safety requirements. The additive is made from fatty bits of meat from other cuts and is used to manufacture ground beef and other meats.