DALLAS — "Pink slime." The words alone are enough to make your skin crawl.
On Wednesday, another North Texas grocery giant joined Tom Thumb in taking action against the controversial additive that's used in 70 percent of our ground meat.
Albertsons is now parting ways with the product, which the meat industry refers to as "lean, finely-textured beef."
Advocates for wholesome food say "pink slime" is potentially unsafe and unappetizing.
Albertsons now says it will no longer purchase ground beef containing the ammonia-treated additive. It follows Safeway, parent company of Tom Thumb, in taking a stand against pink slime.
Recent news stories caused considerable concern among shoppers like Melissa Kupchynsky. "I look for products that use more grass-fed or pasture roaming that don't require fillers to kill off these bacterias," she said.
The pink slime is a low-cost filler, comprised of fatty bits of meat. It's heated, spun, and then exposed to ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
Other North Texas supermarkets — including Target, Costco, HEB and Central Market — say you won't find the additive in their beef, either.
Whole Foods Market says its ground beef has never used pink slime.
As for Kroger, it continues to sell ground beef with pink slime, but a representative says "all ground beef sold at Kroger is USDA regulated, inspected, and approved for food safety and quality, including beef products made with and without lean, finely-textured beef."
And late Wednesday, Walmart told ABC News that its ground beef currently contains pink slime, but that "soon" it will offer consumers an alternative.
Shopper Jack Myer hadn't heard about the controversy until now. "I'd rather not have it in my diet," he said.
Albertsons said it will remove any beef products with pink slime from its North Texas stores by mid-April. That may be the only way to know, because pink slime does not have to be labeled as an ingredient to meet federal food safety standards.