BPI responds to Lean Finely Textured Beef debate - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

BPI responds to Lean Finely Textured Beef debate

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Thursday's announcement by the USDA comes after criticism that questions a pasteurization process that a local company has been using for years. Beef Products Incorporated located in Siouxland, developed technology as means for safe processing of lean finely textured beef and also, to save the consumer money.

The process is coming under fire but BPI says there is no reason for concern because the process is being misrepresented with false information and photos. BPI says "LFTB" technology separates the fat from the beef with heat, and treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria before being blended with ground beef.

"This really is a great process that helps us from wasting beef from the cattle that we process  and we do it under federal inspections so that its safe and nutritious," said Janet Riley, American Meat Institute.

The beef industry says this process has been around for 20-years and is safe. A spokesperson for BPI, says the company is the leader and pioneer in the process to make Lean, finely textured beef, but they're not the only ones using it.

Rich Jo chum says the process is very important to the meat industry, helping make it more sustainable.

"If we and Car gill and the others who produce this lean beef weren't engaged in this process, it would be necessary to have an additional 1.5 million cattle processed, killed each year, in order to make up for that lack of lean beef," Rich Jo chum, Beef Products Inc. said.

With the USDA announcement, school districts can now choose how they want to purchase ground beef products. The Food Services Director for the Sioux City School district says only 6.5% of the beef the U.S. D.A. has purchased for Iowa schools may have contained Lean Finely Textured Beef product.

The district says these products have the potential to be in Sioux City school lunches, since 20% of the district's overall food comes from the U.S. D.A.

Despite that, the food services director say there isn't a need for concern.

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