May 8, 2012- Beef Products Inc., based in South Dakota, has announced it will close three plants in Texas, Kansas and Iowa. It has placed at least part of the blame on the “pink slim” controversy. Because of the closing of the three plants, up to 650 people will lose their jobs said a spokesman from the company. The plants will be closed on May 25. A Nebraska plant will continue to operate but at a reduced production capacity.
The company said the closures were due to attacks, which were unfounded, over its finely textured lean beef. In the processing of the beef, small bits are heated and receive a small portion of ammonia to kill any bacteria.
Last month, the company suspended its operations at the same three plants. Officials of the company had hoped they could recover from the loss of income and possible customers, but recently have realized that it was impossible.
The company released a statement that said, “We will keep communicating our lean beef’s benefits, but doing that is much easier than trying to counter the campaign of misinformation that has put us where we are today.”
State officials have supported the business and blamed a smear campaign against them, which has drawn a great deal of scrutiny even though officials say it is safe.