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'Pink slime' burgers put through taste test

A man bites into a burger in this undated file photo.
March 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The controversy over "pink slime" has made consumers wary of ground beef, but can you really taste the difference when you bite into a burger?

The Associated Press conducted a taste test between burgers containing pink slime and burgers without it.

They found the pink slime burger wasn't very tasty, didn't release juices and contained bits of gristle. However, you may not notice the difference until you take a bite. The test found the burgers smell the same and basically look the same.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that schools can opt out of ground beef containing pink slime.

Previously, it was difficult for schools to know whether the beef they bought from the feds had pink slime or not. That's because pink slime really is made from beef and therefore doesn't need to be listed as a separate ingredient.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials say pink slime burgers are not on school menus.

"We buy only 100 percent pure ground beef. No additives, no fillers, no TVP (textured vegetable protein), no mechanically separated parts, and we've chosen to do that," said Dennis Barrett, LAUSD's director of food services.

Here are a couple tips for consumers who want to stay away from pink slime. Experts say the "all natural" beef label doesn't mean anything because the term is unregulated. The term "organic" is regulated, so look for ground beef labeled organic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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