Beef Safety, Quality Highest Priority for SD Producers

Posted: 3/26/2012

South Dakota Beef Industry Council News Release       
For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
Ron Frederick, Executive Director
605-224-4722   *
Holly Swee, RD, LN, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information


Beef Safety, Quality Highest Priority for SD Producers 

PIERRE – (March 23, 2012) Vale, SD, beef producer Ed Blair says his livelihood depends on consumers feeling confident that the beef they feed their family is a safe and quality product. That’s why the President of the South Dakota Beef Producers Council (SDBIC) is directing consumers to the SDBIC web site for a link to accurate and scientific information about a specific beef product that’s come under question recently in both the social and broadcast media.

            Lean finely textured beef (LFTB) is produced, explains Blair, by taking the trimmings from traditional beef cuts like steaks and roasts and separating much of the fat from the lean beef in the trim. That 90-95% lean beef is then added to ground beef. “Lean finely textured beef is an excellent source of essential nutrients including protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins,” says Blair. It is not, he adds, a ‘filler’ as some have implied. “It is beef, and provides a way to capture the nutritional benefits of beef and utilize it in a safe, quality and economical product.”

            Blair adds that some media reports have also questioned the use of ammonia hydroxide in the LFTB process.  “Unfortunately, what many of those reports do not explain is that ammonia hydroxide is a naturally occurring compound in the environment, as well as in plants and animals, including humans,” says Blair. He adds that it has been used as an additive in a long list of foods since the 1970s when it was determined safe by the Food and Drug Administration. In terms of lean finely textured beef, ammonia hydroxide is used in small amounts as an antimicrobial agent to control pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7, which may be present in beef.

            “The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has reviewed and approved this practice as safe, and safety advocates applaud it as an effective way of ensuring safe beef for consumers,” says Blair. “Unfortunately, consumers do not always get the true and accurate story from news clips or YouTube videos designed to scare and cause harm to the food industry.”

            “I’ve worked for 30 years to build my beef herd in order to produce a quality product,” says Blair, who adds that fellow beef producers are doing what they can through the beef checkoff to ensure beef safety.

            “Raising safe beef is a top priority for all cattlemen,” says this South Dakota beef producer. “We have invested more than $30 million in beef safety research since 1993. The beef community as a whole invests $550 million annually to research and implement food safety measures that include science, testing, implementation and validation. We don’t take it lightly.”

            Blair adds that consumers can continue to feel confident buying and serving beef. “As cattlemen we will continue to strive to provide a lean beef product that is safe, wholesome and nutritious to an ever-increasing global population,” says Blair.

            Consumers can find more information on lean finely textured beef at


The SDBIC collects and administers the $1 beef checkoff on cattle sold in South Dakota. Checkoff dollars are utilized strictly for promotion, education or research programs. Fifty cents of every dollar is directed to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for programs on the national level. The SDBIC retains 50 cents, which is invested in additional national programs or in-state programs. 

The SDBIC is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations:  SD Beef Breeds Council, SD Cattlemen’s Association, SD Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, SD CattleWomen, SD Farm Bureau, SD Farmers Union, SD Livestock Auction Market Association and SD Stockgrowers Association.



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