Ground beef processor AFA Foods filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, citing negative media publicity over "pink slime," the ammonia-treated beef filler which the company sells as finely textured beef.
Public reluctance to consume products containing pink slime led to major fast-food chains, including McDonald's and Burger King, to drop AFA Foods beef filler. In addition to supplying restaurant chains and supermarkets including Safeway Inc and Supervalu Inc, both of which have said they will drop the product, AFA Food also sells its finely textured beef products under the brand names "Moran's" and "Miller Quality Meats, according to MSNBC.
Bloomberg reported AFA Foods, which is owned by Yucaipa, filed Chapter 11 papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, listing assets of $219 million and debt of $197. AFA interim Chief Executive Officer Ron Allen said "Ongoing media attention has called into question the wholesomeness of the meat, and has dramatically reduced the demand for all ground beef products.”
In spite of the negative reaction to the issue of ground beef having pink slime added to it, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack insists the product is safe to eat.
Rick Perry, the Texan governor, joined other politicians in a visit to Beef Products Inc.’s operating plant in South Sioux City, Nebraska, another maker of the alleged "pink slime."
“Let’s call this product what it is. And let pink slime become a term of the past,” Gov. Perry said after the tour, critiquing the media for their supposed misrepresentation of the beef.