Pink Slime Maker Files For Bankruptcy: Pink Slips Galore As The Pink Sheets Beckon

Tyler Durden's picture

In the first of two major bankruptcy stories du jour (the next one coming up shortly), we learn that AFA Foods, best known for being the maker of "pink slime", and a portfolio company of labor unions and Clinton afficionado Ron Burkle and his PE firm Yucaipa, has just filed for bankruptcy. The reason? The sudden public realization what pink slime is, and just how prevalent it is - perhaps it is best to think of it as the Bernie Madoff of the food industry - it was always there, yet it took a wholesale shift in public awareness and consciousness for the firm to realize it would have been prudent to come up with a slightly different name for its ground-beef product. As for whether or not the company is going to the pink sheets, well no. But one thing is certain: the management team is about to get a pink slip.

From Bloomberg:

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is among food activists who have criticized the use of what they dubbed “pink slime,” a filler produced by treating finely ground beef scraps with ammonia hydroxide to kill pathogens. Beef Products Inc. last week temporarily suspended production at three plants because of consumer concerns. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said March 28 that the product, referred to in the industry as lean, finely textured beef, is safe to eat.


“Ongoing media attention has called into question the wholesomeness” of the meat, and has “dramatically reduced the demand for all ground beef products,” AFA interim Chief Executive Officer Ron Allen said in court papers.


Ground beef demand will soften in the next several months as consumers shift to meat that doesn’t contain the lean, finely textured beef, said Ann Gurkin, an analyst for Davenport & Co. Last month, the USDA said schools in the government’s lunch program can order ground beef without the product following public pressure to remove it from cafeterias.

It is initially unclear what impact on cattle prices this development will have, as there are major shifts in both supply and demand.

Reduced use of the product will further tighten beef supplies, said Gurkin, a Richmond, Virginia-based analyst who has a “buy” rating on Tyson. U.S. beef production will drop 4.4 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, the USDA forecast March 9.


Given the issue has only come up in the past few weeks, the effect on Tyson’s sales and earnings is unclear, Gurkin said. She said she is “monitoring” it because demand usually rises with the approaching summer grilling season in the U.S.


Among AFA’s largest unsecured creditors listed in court papers are meat suppliers Orleans International Inc., owed $8.3 million, and Tyson Fresh Meats (IBP), owed $3.27 million.

One thing is certain: the company's 850 workers are about to be without a job, which ironically is good - in the BLS' seasonally adjusted lexicon this means a gain in jobs.

AFA has about 850 full-time employees and annual revenue of $958 million, according to the statement. The company obtained a $56 million credit line from GE Capital and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) to carry it through the bankruptcy process.

While one can hope that as a result of this food fiasco Americans will become more self-aware about the color of the slime they ingest, one would be wise to not hold their breath: after all we are talking about America here.

By the way, the caption picture is not of pink slime. It is of the just as appealingly titled "meat slurry", core product of chicken "nuggets."

From Fooducate:

Guess What’s in The Picture [Foodlike Substance]



A) Strawberry ice cream

B) Chicken

C) Plastic foam

D) None of the above


Answer below


What you need to know:


Folks, this is mechanically separated chicken, an invention of the late 20th century. Someone figured out in the 1960?s that meat processors can eek eke out a few more percent of profit from chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows by scraping the bones 100% clean of meat. This is done by machines, not humans, by passing bones leftover after the initial cutting through a high pressure sieve. The paste you see in the picture above is the result.


This paste goes on to become the main ingredient in many a hot dog, bologna, chicken nuggets, pepperoni, salami, jerky etc…


The industry calls this method AMR – Advanced Meat Recovery.


In 2004, as a result of  mad cow disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) ruled that beef could no longer be processed this way, because testing showed that parts of the bovine central nervous system ended up in the meat.


As for products using mechanically separated chicken and pork, FSIS ruled that they are safe to eat, but required them to be labeled as such.


Despite them being safe, FSIS states that no more than 20% of the meat in a hot dog come from mechanically separated pork.


What to do at the supermarket:


It’s always a better to choice to see a real cut of meat at the butcher counter in the supermarket and then decide what you want done with it. Buying something prepared in a factory, such as chicken nuggets, or hot dogs, you’ll always get the worst meat, and it will always be combined with additives and other sources of fat.

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swissaustrian's picture

Any chance that they have received bailout and/or stimulus money?

ILikeBoats's picture

If not at the Fed level, then at the state or local level, in the form of "re-training" or other money.  The way this scam works is, once you get to a certain size of company, you can threaten to move elsewhere - so in order to retain jobs the state will give you some benefits in order to keep them where they are.  The workers get the same pay, no raises, and small companies that are not large enough to qualify for these benefits also get shafted since they pay an effectively higher tax rate.

Ahmeexnal's picture

It’s always a better to choice to see a real cut of meat at the butcher counter in the supermarket and then decide what you want done with it.



Over 50% of meat products are treated with carbon monoxide in order to restore "good looks" to decomposing meat:

5880's picture

relax debbie downer

stop "inhaling" your food and you'll be fine

smiler03's picture

If only Consumer reaction could bankrupt Governments as quickly as this.

Sun_Tzu's picture

Paging The Limerick King...

Paging The Limerick King...

Please report to the Pink Slime discount window...

AldousHuxley's picture

Some African country is about to get tons of "US beef" from USAID as a sign of generosity from uncle sam.


Like US did with genetically engineered corn that was rejected by EU.

erg's picture

An endless play-doh like tube of skittled unicorn shit.

hedgehog9999's picture

I also heard Japan is sending Fukushima fish as a goodwill gesture as well to some poor african nation.......



GetZeeGold's picture



Are you going to eat that?


Because if you're not....


Abitdodgie's picture

The picture of the pink stuff is actually chicken McNuggets before it has been bleached and shaped.

AldousHuxley's picture

It is Barnie Frank's shit after eating taxpayer funded pork.

dolly madison's picture

relax debbie downer

stop "inhaling" your food and you'll be fine

So if I slowly eat this ammonia soaked meat that is then turned into products filled with additives, everything will be fine.  Thanks for letting me know that.  NOT.  I'll stick to my real food diet.

You know eating better is not just about obesity.  My husband is one of the naturally thin people.  But he still felt like crap before we got off of the crap food. 

Amish Hacker's picture

+1  "Healthy" isn't just a matter of being careful to read the label. It's about eating things that don't have a label.

SemperFord's picture

Depends on where you live...just saying.

Dugald's picture

And don't forget the GLUE that is used to cobble together random lumps of meat to look like a one piece cut...bugger quality..the bottom line rules! There are more people than politicians who should be decorating lamp posts!

CompassionateFascist's picture

CF finishes his midnite meal of Pork Product, Wonder Bread, and lime-flavored potato chips, all washed down with Dr. Pepper's "amazingly smooth" cherry cola. Emits plangent belch. God that was good. Apparently idiots on this site think they will live forever on a diet of rocks and twigs.  

onthesquare's picture

All smoked meat is treated with CO.  It is the product of incomplete combustion.

Idiot Savant's picture

What's the cause of the drastic increase in obesity over the last fifteen years? Americans had soft drinks, fast food and processed foods in '94. I don't get it.

hedgehog9999's picture

How about pink slime and related additives to food to turbocharge the food industry bottom line..... and once you get fat you have to eat more to calm down the hunger feeling, then you have to buy more xit food, they call that marginal per head incremental revenue......this revenue component is growing exponentially by the way........

wuld you like some extra pinkslime to go with that?

Cathartes Aura's picture

do some research on high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, GMO foods and the pesticides used with them - you'll learn more than you want to know, but it will begin to answer your question.

Marigold's picture

Animal growth hormones, factory raised animals and poultry,factory food,sugar,food additives,,polyunsaturated fats ie most vegetable oils,fast food all mixed with a touch of sloth and gluttony and the increasing desire for instance indulgence and gratification peddled by Hollywood . Manifested mainly by American culture but now regrettably spreading to the rest of the world by McDs , Burger King , Subway, Coke, Pepsico, Heinz, P&G, Starbucks, Fritto Lay to name but a few manufacturers of ' food of mass destruction " That is now becoming ubiquitous.

onthesquare's picture

but is Zero Coke realy absolute zero?

Anyone who drinks that stuff has a zero IQ

pods's picture

Americans have eaten more calories than they have burned.


evolutionx's picture

Summer 2012: Iran war, crash in the markets and financial institutions


five devastating storms will mark the summer of 2012 and thus accelerate the process of world geopolitical swing:

    . US relapse into recession against the background of European stagnation and BRICS slowdown
    . dead end for the central banks and interest rate increases
    . storm on the foreign exchange and Western sovereign debt markets
    . Iran, the war ´ too far ª
    new crash in the markets and financial institutions.


Full Analysis:

swissaustrian's picture

I doubt that we'll have an Iran war before the US election.

Not Too Important's picture

Launching an attack on the Iranian Oil Bourse would be like China attacking the Comex.

MAD doesn't approach what would happen next.

Besides, the BRICs all know we're radioactive. Our food, our water. They can't run away fast enough.

But they sure know who to blame.

When you're breaking up with a girlfriend, you lie just long enough to get all your stuff out before she 'nationalizes' it. And if she's batshit crazy, you sure as hell don't go back.

iDealMeat's picture

+1,   I love the term "batshit crazy"..


What about the other old stand by - " Crazier than a shit house rat "

Or, the Shatner response - " Dumber than the Klingons from Uranus " 

Coldfire's picture

Same, and "batshit insane", too.

Ahmeexnal's picture

When you're breaking up with a girlfriend, you lie just long enough to get all your stuff out before she 'nationalizes' it. And if she's batshit crazy, you sure as hell don't go back.

That's why you never, never keep your PMs at your GF's place.

lotsoffun's picture

obama already promised that - after the election he has 'more flexibility'


onthesquare's picture

that comment is a sad reflection on the election process.  Political science is a perversion.

CompassionateFascist's picture

Netanyahu intends to take down both Oran and Obama. It sure will be "before the US election". Looks like about August. Anybody w dollars or dollar-denominated paper, get out before then.

Ripped Chunk's picture

Sounds like a fun summer. But I have been saying that every summer since 2008. Somehow people seem to hold it together.  Somehow?

CaptainTripps's picture

amazing to hear people defend pink slime


the corruption never ends


embedded fraud in every system or mode of production out there


tyler, still waiting for you to cover the wheat belly book and fits right into your recent posts about how unhealty america is


Dr Benway's picture

If pink slime falls into the yucky-but-safe category I'm fine with eating it, like I eat hotdogs. Or like how gummy bears are gelatin made from snouts and hoofs. I don't care, lol.

I love how everyone is aghast at the waste in the western world, and then when someone tries to utilize cattle more efficiently they get burned. Now those meatscraps will be thrown away.

FEDbuster's picture

Nothing gets thrown away.  They will just end up in "premium" dog food, which is more expensive than pink slime.  I was in a pet store today and saw some 25lb. bags of dry dog food that were just shy of $60./bag. 

Dr Benway's picture

Yeah I guess you're right.

It's funny that one of the big trendy gastronomic movements right now is "snout to tail" cooking, using the whole animal.

Maybe pink slime could be rebranded as a delicacy! Taste the whiff of ground anus modified by molecular gastronomy!

CheapBastard's picture

"Pink pâté...

Rebrand it + $10 Million marketing with sparkling packaging on TV shows like "Dancing with the Idols"....and you will have the next Fad.

onthesquare's picture

Pink slime came about as a need to get rid of a waste product.  Now, with it gone, there will be a waste product again.  But not for long.  It will find its way back into the fast food and other markets.

Cathartes Aura's picture

that would bring the slop full circle, given that "mechanically reclaimed meat" was originally used for pet food - then pets got the diseased parts, ground feathers, etc. padded out with yummy GMO grains which are giving them diabetes, colon cancers, and much more. . .

Bunga Bunga's picture

If you like to eat chemically processed slaughter waste, I am fine with that. Probably with the same method they could turn poop into "food".

At least I want to know the ingridients when I buy a pack of ground beef. Since they don't have to label it, I don't buy that stuff anymore.

One more reason to switch to vegetarian, organic, local or all of the above food.



New World Chaos's picture

Already been done by Japanese scientists:

When the BLS does its next recalibration of the consumer price index, pink slime (formerly known as "steak") will be replaced with butt loaf.

Cue Brown Slime, Poopzilla, and Fukushima Shit Sandwich comments relevant to bobola's thread immediately below.

Idiot Savant's picture

Yeah, about the whole poop-burger thing, it's a hoax.

Dr Benway's picture

Dude I already know how to turn poop into food.

It's called growing mushrooms