Cafeteria's 'Pink Slime' Being Served to School Children

A report that was released on Monday explains that ammonia-treated beef byproducts have been incorporated into the school lunches that millions of children eat every day, even though some major fast food chains have stopped using the product.

The "pink slime," as it has come to be known, takes meat byproducts such as excess fat and other trimmings and treats them with ammonia hydroxide.

The chemical bath kills any pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella and is deemed by the United States Department of Agriculture to be safe.

The reason that ammonia hydroxide is not listed on the list of ingredients is that the government considers it to be used in the production process not as an ingredient.

"We don't know which districts are receiving what meat, and this meat isn't labeled to show pink slime. They don't have to under federal law," said Bettina Siegal, of

Siegal has started a petition that aims to ban the ammonia treated meat from school menus. As of Thursday, the petition had received over 4,000 signatures.

But it is not just school lunches which contain the pink slime as filler in beef products. Major fast food chains use it in their burgers.

McDonald's was one of the chains to do so before they decided to discontinue using that product in their burgers last August, yet others- such as Burger King and Taco Bell- still do.

The USDA's incorporation of pink slime in school lunches was first reported by, which spoke to two former microbiologists at the Food Safety Inspection Service.

The USDA has stated that no more than 15 percent of each serving of the beef that school children eat at school contains the "pink slime."

"We should step back and say, 'why would we feed this to our kid?'" said Siegal.

The beef byproducts account for 70 percent of all ground beef consumed in the U.S., according to reports.