BPI suspends operations at Waterloo plant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

BPI suspends operations at Waterloo plant

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Beef Products Incorporated is suspending operations at three plants, including one in Waterloo, in the wake of public outcry over what some have called "pink slime."

BPI produces the beef filler product treated with ammonia known as "lean, finely textured beef (LFTB)." Several fast food chains and some grocery stores have stopped using the product after activists tried to have it banned. Recently the U.S.D.A. allowed schools to drop the product from their menus.

In a written statement, the company said, "We are working through plans for the future during these troubling times generated by all the misinformation about our company and the lean beef we produce in national and social media." 

Operations are suspended at plants in Waterloo as well as Texas and Kansas. Manufacturing will continue at the company's headquarters in Dakota Dunes, S.D.

BPI held a press conference at its headquarters on Monday afternoon to discuss the closures. Employees in Waterloo are also speaking out, saying misinformation about LFTB is costing them their jobs.

Monday about a dozen of laid off employees came to KWWL, asking for their voices to be heard.

"I would feed this to my daughter.  There's no way I could consciously work there if I thought it would kill someone,"said former BPI Quality Insurance Inspector Jamie Puckett. "Our product is 100 percent beef that through enhancement is made safer for the consumer."
"I prefer for my children to have this type of meat to be served because we tested so much and there's no E. coli in it. I have no problem having my kids eat this meat," said former BPI  Management Support Michael Buckendahl.


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