Sunday, October 4, 2009

e. coli traced to hamburger on MSNBC

Via the New York Times:
E. coli path shows ground beef inspection flaws
Hamburger patty traced to illness that paralyzed 22-year-old woman

Comes this terrifying 3 pager. The highlight of the article:

"The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties.” Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria."

Mmmmm, mmmm - the Chef's selection!!!

So what does Cargill have to say for itself?

"Cargill, whose $116.6 billion in revenues last year made it the country’s largest private company, declined requests to interview company officials or visit its facilities. “Cargill is not in a position to answer your specific questions, other than to state that we are committed to continuous improvement in the area of food safety,” the company said, citing continuing litigation..."

Bullshit. Cowshit, anyway.

Does the article offer any suggestions? No, other than the usual from the USDA about stepping up inspections.

No mention at all of the CAFO's role in e.coli outbreaks. No mention of grass fed alternatives.

My advice? Find a farmer. Pay a little more for beef that has been humanely raised, fed a diet that it was born to eat, slaughtered with compassion and butchered by a person that you can talk to if you have any questions.

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