A King of Prussia company is blaming its bankruptcy on public outcry over the “pink slime” added to ground beef. In a written release, AFA Foods said it made the decision given recent changes in the market for its ground beef products and the impact of media coverage of the additive known as boneless lean beef trimmings.
Nancy Childs, a professor of food marketing in the business school at St Joseph’s University, said the controversy over the ammonia-treated beef products is about perception, transparency and trust.
“This sounds really unappetizing — the way it’s been described and presented. What it does do is give the opportunity for ground hamburger to be leaner and to be lower priced,” she said. “We, as a culture, have this ‘Walmartization’ focus on the lowest price, and not realizing that to get there, it also involves a lot of compromises.”
AFA Foods facilities process more than 500 million pounds of ground beef products each year, selling them to some of the largest food service and retail companies in the country.
An AFA official said the company hopes to keep up operations while it goes through bankruptcy.