15,000 Pounds of Delicious Hot Dog Filler Spill in Highway Crash

The pink slime “catapulted” out of the truck and took four hours to clean up.

Seven and a half tons of pink slime—the stuff that goes inside hot dogs—oozed onto a Pennsylvania highway earlier this month, when a speeding semi-truck driver lost control and ran off the road.

According to a report from the Pennsylvania state police, on May 20, a truck driver was traveling “at a high rate of speed” on interstate 170 near Rostraver, Pennsylvania when he started to lose control and veer onto the shoulder. The truck only stopped when it hit trees, causing the massive sacks of meat byproduct to lurch in the trailer and break loose onto the roadway.


“Due to the violent stopping motion” of the truck, the report states, “the load contained inside... became dislodged causing approximately 15,000 pounds of hot dog filler to catapult onto the roadway.” Photos from the Rostraver Central Fire Department’s Facebook page show the stuff pouring onto the road from the back of the trailer like a pink meaty lava flow.

Rostraver Central Fire Department’s Facebook page

“Pink slime” is the word for what the meat industry calls “finely textured beef” or “boneless lean beef trimmings.” In a 2012 report, ABC News uncovered the use of pink slime as an additive to ground meat, created in a process where fat is spun out of, and separated from, meat, and  the resulting product is sprayed with ammonia to kill bacteria. The investigation and resulting panic caused a major decline in sales, but it made a comeback in 2014.

The hot load stopped traffic for four hours. The temperatures on that evening in Rostraver reached the mid-80’s. 

The driver and a passenger had minor injuries; the driver will have numerous citations filed against him, likely including ones for faulty brakes. “Multiple brakes on the vehicle were completely inoperable,” the report said, “resulting in a total loss of stopping power.” 


Pennsylvania, Crash

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