Pink slime maker shuts 3 plants

KCAU-TV reports Beef Products Incorporated will shut down three of the company’s four plants effective May 25, 2012. The plants that will close are located in Amarillo, TX; Garden City, KS; and Waterloo, IA. The meat processor’s plant in South Sioux City, NE will remain open and could even see expanded production in the future.

Back in March, BPI temporarily suspended operations at the plants after a widespread public backlash against their product. BPI produces lean finely textured beef or LFTB, a product dubbed as "pink slime" by many critics. Once the term was used repeatedly on social media outlets and national news broadcasts, the demand for BPI’s product decreased and the meat processor was forced to scale back their operations. At the time, BPI announced that it would pay full salaries for the 650 employees of the 3 affected plants for a period of 60 days.

On Monday, BPI spokesperson Rich Jochum released this statement to Channel 9 Eyewitness News, "While we had hoped to be able to resume operations at those plants, that is not going to be possible in the immediate future and the temporary suspension of operations will in fact result in the elimination of those jobs effective May 25, 2012."

The BPI plant in South Sioux City, NE has remained open, but at reduced capacity. Jochum says, "We intend to continue operations at this location and expand production here as market activity allows."