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RIT Gets Rid of Pink Slime

Recent reports of ground beef filler, dubbed “pink slime” by a federal microbiologist, have sparked national outrage, as citizens demand to know just what is in almost 70% of national beef products.
 
Students at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) have expressed concern with its campus’ food as well.
 
“Any food made on a grill on a college campus is going to be unhealthy,” said an upper-class student, employed by campus restaurant Ritz Sport Zone. 
According to the same student, the majority of foods containing ground beef are fried on grills throughout the campus. But does this unhealthiness extend past the greasy outcome of its method of cooking and into the ground beef itself?
 
“I think it’s definitely a possibility. I work in food services, and the circumstances for preparation is sketchy,” said Justin Peterson, a second-year majoring in Software Engineering who works as Student Supervisor at Beanz.
 
He and many other students were correct in their suspicions; our ground beef did contain the filler. However, since the national outing of it, about two weeks ago, the Institute has taken the correct measures to remove the pink slime.
 
“We conducted an audit to determine if any products being sourced to RIT contained it, and where it was found we have directed the vendor to make the appropriate changes,” said Patty Spinelli, Director of Food Services at RIT, in an emailed statement. 
 
She continued on to point out other recent measures undertaken by the Institute to promote healthy decisions including foods that are made fresh daily, and providing gluten-free products. A registered dietician is also a part of the RIT Food Services team.
 
More about Pink Slime:
Beef Products Inc. (BPI), one of the nation’s leading manufacturer of boneless lean beef, according to their site, is the company under fire for the creation of the pink slime, which is technically called “lean finely textured beef.” According to the Washington Post, it is the beef too close to the fat to be separated by hand. As a result, it does not have to be listed on packaging because it is recognized as beef.
 
“The product is made from bits of meat left over from other cuts. It’s heated and spun to remove the fat, then compressed into blocks for mixing into conventional ground beef,” said the Associated Press.
 
In response to anger about the meat being treated with ammonium hydroxide, pinkslimeisamyth.com, 
a new website started by BPI, stated that the treatment is essentially water and ammonia and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed it to be “generally recognized as safe” since 1974.
 
However, despite this assurance, many restaurants, including McDonalds, has  eliminated the filler from their beef products. More recently, schools, including RIT, are looking to the do the same and are asking their vendors to avoid the filler.

I am a second year student at RIT, double majoring in Journalism and Political Science. I am also minoring in Public Policy and Writing Studies. I have been with Her Campus RIT for a little over 6 months now and have been thoroughly enjoying the Please feel free to follow my work on twitter: @TiannaManon.
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