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Giant to Stop Selling ‘Finely Textured Beef’

Giant says customers gave ‘overwhelmingly negative’ feedback regarding the lean beef.

Giant Food Stores said today that it will no longer purchase and sell fresh "finely textured ground beef."

The reason? Customers hate it, and they expressed it by telling store managers, calling the Giant consumer affairs department and via Facebook.

"More than 100 customers expressed concerns over finely textured ground beef; we of course listen and have a good relationship with our customers," Giant Food Stores spokesman Christopher Brand said. "The feedback has been overwhelmingly negative.

“I will tell you that we have a very educated consumer," he continued. "It’s not something that they wanted to purchase.”

According to Brand, finely textured ground beef is 100% lean beef manufactured by harvesting lean tissue that is not reachable by a knife. He added that it has been a standard in the meat industry for 20 years. However, Brand said he did not know how long Giant has been purchasing and selling the product, adding that the store has had relationships with many different suppliers over the years.

Finely textured beef is safe, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a March 15 press release regarding beef choices for students, the USDA said: 

“USDA continues to affirm the safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef product for all consumers and urges customers to consult science-based information on the safety and quality of this product. Lean Finely Textured Beef is a meat product derived from a process which separates fatty pieces from beef trimmings to reduce the overall fat content.”

As for the finely textured beef that’s already on the shelf, Brand said it will take a “few weeks to sell.” 

In the meantime, Brand said customers may want to purchase Nature’s Promise brand organic beef, Laura’s Lean Beef and certified Angus beef — none of which is finely textured beef.

Incidentally, Brand said he could not speak as to whether Genuardi’s is selling finely textured beef. , however the Federal Trade Commission has not yet approved the purchase.

“We were told in January that the process could take up to six months,” Brand said, “so we’re still in that window.”

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