From and my friend Diane Sawyer.

"Mom. does this burger have pink slime in it?" I don't think Johnny will be asking this question any time soon.  But all you folks that grind your own beef better make sure you let your customers know whats in your beef. 

The fallout of this story is yet to be seen only 4 of the 10 retailers polled responded to ABC's  request for ingredient lists on their ground beef.

This is a great MARKET opportunity for all my "local" grinders to publicize "THIS PRODUCT DOES NOT CONTAIN PINK SLIME".

One good way to fight the big boys.

“Pink slime,” a cheap meat filler, is in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets and up to 25 percent of each American hamburger patty, by some estimates...It kind of looks like play dough,” said Kit Foshee, who was a corporate quality assurance manager at Beef Products Inc., the company that makes pink slime. “It’s pink and frozen, it’s not what the typical person would consider meat.”

The “pink slime” does not have to appear on the label because, over objections of its own scientists, USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled it meat.  “The under secretary said, ‘it’s pink, therefore it’s meat,’” USDA Scientist Carl Custer told ABC News.

For the moment let's put aside our personal preferences and feelings regarding meat filler and focus on two lines in the story:

There is no way to even know from labels or even from the butchers here whether it contains pink slime,” said ABC News producer Candace Smith in New York.

A viewer, Miles Herbert, wanted to know, “Is there any evidence that organic meat contains this pink slim?”  It turns out there isn’t. If your meat is stamped USDA Organic, it’s pure meat with no filler.  But critics say everything else is suspect because pink slime does not have to appear on the label. And the USDA is giving no indication it will force meat packers to lift the veil of secrecy any time soon.

Chalk one up for the USDA Organic Label!  Then take it away because the news is indicating that customers still wouldn't understand that USDA Organic means it has no filler.  This highlights how critical it is that you make your own value statements and clearly pass that information along to your customers and your customer's customers.  "No Pink Slime" might be a bit much for your label but if you qualify for "No Filler" then you might want to investigate adding those value statements to your packaging and making certain your customers know the quality of your product.

We believe the USDA is taking the correct course of action but the consumer confidence will erode anyway. 

Use this as an opportunity to use the Government Regulations to help you get more business.

Differentiate your product for better margins and volume.

Getting like the Gold Rush. - Issue 625 of Food Connex News

As we prepare for the first big summer Holiday of the year a lot of us will be running to the grocery store to stock up on Holiday goodies.  I would like to get all of you folks up to date on the further automation of the grocery industry.  It has an effect on all of us, but can have a great impact on your business as you prepare for the changing industry.

Read more ...