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Area school districts vary on use of 'pink slime' in cafeterias

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Next time its hamburger day at schools in Pender County, students could bite into pink slime.

The USDA uses ammonia treated lean finely textured beef (LFTB), or "pink slime," to make beef stretch farther. The filler first used in pet food is now legal to put in our food.

The USDA buys nearly 12 million pounds of this beef for school lunch programs.

Pender County Schools spokeswoman Joyce Keith says there is a low level of it in the USDA beef the district uses in its cafeterias. She says for the 2013 school year all beef items made available to the schools in North Carolina will not contain any LFTB.

A Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman says schools in that county do not get any beef products from the USDA. Instead they turn to processors who do not use the filler. The school district says the decision is an effort to reduce the chance of food contamination.

In New Hanover County, a district spokeswoman tells us the schools do not use beef with pink slime. The same goes for Bladen County.

Columbus County Schools says the district suspended the use of USDA beef after reports of pink slime surfaced.

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