Here's a full report from McClatchy Newspapers' Maria Recio from today's Star-Telegram.
The food --described as ground beef extended with filler that is made from beef renderings and treated with ammonia hydroxide (AP photo, left) -- is safe, the feds say. But the US Department of Agriculture says they've gotten many requests on the matter from school districts across the country.
In a news release on Thursday, officials said: "USDA only purchases products for the school lunch program that are safe, nutritious and affordable – including all products containing Lean Finely Textured Beef. However, due to customer demand, the department will be adjusting procurement specifications for the next school year so schools can have additional options in procuring ground beef products.
In an interview with the Star-Telegram on Tuesday, Audrey Rowe, administrator of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, gave heads up that the agency was reviewing the matter and noted: "We believe in having safe and healthy foods."
Some local school districts weighed in briefly.
Fort Worth school district spokeswoman Barbara Griffith told Recio: "We don't receive any meat directly from USDA. We just don't do it. We use private vendors."
Birdville schools spokesman Mark Thomas said: "Birdville will evaluate the latest information and make the best determination for our students. At this time, we do not know if we will serve this new product choice next year."
Southlake Carroll's Director of Child Nutrition Services Mary Brunig said: "We buy a minimal amount of beef from the National School Lunch Program and prefer to buy fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables from the USDA," she said. "We plan to continue to monitor the issue to understand the concerns about the beef industry."