Dear Parents/Guardians,

A recent media report suggesting up to 15 percent of ground beef in government subsidized school lunches contains a lean, finely textured beef, sometimes referred to as “pink slime,” has initiated some concerns among parents in our community. To alleviate any concerns, the Glen Cove Schools has been in contact with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and has taken immediate action to opt out of receiving any ground beef alternative that could in any way contain this textured beef. We are also discontinuing the serving of beef for the remainder of the current school year, merely as a precaution.

I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that we have every reason to believe that the meat provided to the Glen Cove Schools is safe. The beef approved by the USDA, which holds very high food safety standards that include extensive pathogen testing, is our only source of ground beef.

The use of the textured beef began in South Dakota several years ago as a process to treat beef against Salmonella and E. coli bacteria. It undergoes stringent testing and has been deemed safe by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. There have been no indications that any of our meat has ever been exposed to the bacteria that this product guards against.

The USDA has assured us of their commitment to ensuring that the food products supplied to the National School Lunch Program are safe and healthy for school children. Their practices are equivalent to, and often exceed, best industry practices.


Sincerely,

Joseph A. Laria, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools