American agribusiness major Cargill has cut down the production of beef fillers, dubbed as ‘Pink Slime’ by critics, in the wake of consumer resistance to its use as an ingredient in meat products.

The company’s four of five plants – two in Texas, one in Kansas and one in Nebraska that process cattle into beef – produce the filler beef, known in the industry as lean finely textured beef (FTB).

This move follows the recent announcement by Beef Products to temporarily shut down three of its plants – Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas and Waterloo, Iowa – that make the filler.

Several supermarkets in the US have already removed the products that use the beef trimmings from their shelves.

The low-cost FTB is made from leftover meat scraps that are heated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, and then treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria, before it is formed into blocks and frozen.

Cargill spokesperson said that a few customers have eliminated FTB from their products, while some new customers have asked for supply of ground beef without FTB.

Despite the fact that federal regulators are claiming that the beef filler is safe as it meets food standards, critics believe that the food could pose safety risk as it is treated with ammonia.

The ammonia-treated beef product of leftover meat has been in use for many years, but mass outrage erupted only after a recent social media campaign was initiated against the use of the beef product.