Safeway pulls 'pink slime' beef

Safeway, the second largest US supermarket chain, announced Wednesday it will no longer stock "lean finely textured beef," or what has become commonly derided as "pink slime."

Brian Dowling, vice president of public affairs at Safeway, told NewsCore the grocery chain would "sell through" its existing stock, but moving forward, would no longer be purchasing that particular product.

"While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product. Safeway will no longer purchase fresh or frozen ground beef for our stores' meat departments that contains lean finely textured beef," Safeway said in a statement.

Other major regional grocers owned by Safeway, including Vons in California and Randalls in Texas, will also discontinue the purchase of "pink slime" beef.

"Pink slime" is a cheap meat filler -- made of scraps of connective tissue -- and was found to be in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets and up to 25 percent of each American hamburger patty, ABC News first reported last week.

In the days following the report, "pink slime" became a top search term on Google and a top-trending subject on Twitter.

Though the low-grade trimmings have not been deemed hazardous by US health officials, some experts warn "pink slime" could harbor pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella.

Several large grocery chains --  Publix, Costco, HEB and Whole Foods -- told ABC they do not sell beef that contains "pink slime."

Click here to read more from ABC News.