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groundbeef.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:17pm.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Agriculture Department says that starting next fall, schools can stop feeding students a common ammonia-treated ground beef filler dubbed "pink slime" by critics. The department says it will give school systems a choice of beef patties made with the lean finely textured filler, or less lean bulk ground beef without it. Concern about the ammonia-treated filler exploded last week as a social media topic. The Agriculture Department says the filler is safe. But it says it wants to be responsive to schools that want a choice. The low-cost filler is heated and processed so most of the fat is removed before it is compressed into blocks for use in ground meat. It is exposed to a "puff of ammonia hydroxide gas" to kill bacteria. (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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