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Tainted ground beef leaves woman paralyzed and brain damaged





handfleisch
Personally I think anyone who eats ground beef after reading this article is crazy or masochistic. The meat you're eating comes from various parts of the cow, some that come in contact with feces, and could be from entirely different countries and then all mixed together. America doesn't even require testing for contamination from the final producer of the meat and so every year tens of thousands get infected like this women did.

How does the meat industry stay so free from regulation? Well this particular meat company gives politicians (mostly Republicans but also Democrats) lots of money, and the chairman personally raised over $200,000 for Bush in 2004.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html?hp=&pagewanted=all
Quote:
Trail of E. Coli Shows Flaws in Inspection of Ground Beef

Stephanie Smith, a children’s dance instructor, thought she had a stomach virus. The aches and cramping were tolerable that first day, and she finished her classes.

Then her diarrhea turned bloody. Her kidneys shut down. Seizures knocked her unconscious. The convulsions grew so relentless that doctors had to put her in a coma for nine weeks. When she emerged, she could no longer walk. The affliction had ravaged her nervous system and left her paralyzed.

Ms. Smith, 22, was found to have a severe form of food-borne illness caused by E. coli, which Minnesota officials traced to the hamburger that her mother had grilled for their Sunday dinner in early fall 2007.
...
Meat companies and grocers have been barred from selling ground beef tainted by the virulent strain of E. coli known as O157:H7 since 1994, after an outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants left four children dead. Yet tens of thousands of people are still sickened annually by this pathogen, federal health officials estimate, with hamburger being the biggest culprit. Ground beef has been blamed for 16 outbreaks in the last three years alone, including the one that left Ms. Smith paralyzed from the waist down. This summer, contamination led to the recall of beef from nearly 3,000 grocers in 41 states.

Ms. Smith’s reaction to the virulent strain of E. coli was extreme, but tracing the story of her burger, through interviews and government and corporate records obtained by The New York Times, shows why eating ground beef is still a gamble. Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe.

Ground beef is usually not simply a chunk of meat run through a grinder. Instead, records and interviews show, a single portion of hamburger meat is often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses. These cuts of meat are particularly vulnerable to E. coli contamination, food experts and officials say. Despite this, there is no federal requirement for grinders to test their ingredients for the pathogen.

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.

Using a combination of sources — a practice followed by most large producers of fresh and packaged hamburger — allowed Cargill to spend about 25 percent less than it would have for cuts of whole meat.

Those low-grade ingredients are cut from areas of the cow that are more likely to have had contact with feces, which carries E. coli, industry research shows. Yet Cargill, like most meat companies, relies on its suppliers to check for the bacteria and does its own testing only after the ingredients are ground together. The United States Department of Agriculture, which allows grinders to devise their own safety plans, has encouraged them to test ingredients first as a way of increasing the chance of finding contamination.

Unwritten agreements between some companies appear to stand in the way of ingredient testing. Many big slaughterhouses will sell only to grinders who agree not to test their shipments for E. coli, according to officials at two large grinding companies. Slaughterhouses fear that one grinder’s discovery of E. coli will set off a recall of ingredients they sold to others.


On edit, here's the link, a video and some photos of the woman


Video http://video.nytimes.com/video/playlist/health/1194811622283/index.html#1247464978948

Here's info on how companies like Cargill keep themselves free of regulations that might keep tainted meat from poisoning us

Quote:
Warren R. Staley, Chairman of Cargill, is a Bush Ranger having raised at least $200,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. [7] Cargill gave $223,000 to federal candidates in the 2006 election through its political action committee - 21% to Democrats and 78% to Republicans. [8]

Lobbying

The company spent $240,000 in the first part of 2004 to lobby on issues such as the Clean Air Act, the energy bill and corporate tax modifications." [9] The company spent $400,000 for lobbying in 2006. $100,00 went to two lobbying firms with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists.
Cargill is a member of the American Meat Institute and the Meat Promotion Coalition.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Cargill#Political_contributions
deanhills
Good point! Feel sorry for the young woman. I've always been worried about where meat comes from, and that has made me into a semi-vegetarian. There are just too many steps in the production line, too much processing and too much mass production. If I can't really picture where the meat came from in terms of hygiene and safety, I prefer to do without. That includes chicken as well.
ocalhoun
Or, you could just cook your meat properly, which would kill any E. coli or other viruses, parasites, or bacteria in the meat, making even contaminated meat safe to eat.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Or, you could just cook your meat properly, which would kill any E. coli or other viruses, parasites, or bacteria in the meat, making even contaminated meat safe to eat.
True, but then I really don't like the taste of overcooked meat either. My favourite is a good prime rib, but have not had that in ages. Think last one I had was two decades ago on the St. Mary's ship in LA in Churchill's Pub. The US really has the best prime rib in the world!
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
True, but then I really don't like the taste of overcooked meat either.
You really only have to raise the temp to about 140 F to kill bacteria. Not only that, but who eats ground beef that isn't thoroughly 'browned'? Cooking ground beef properly solves this problem.

I agree that it's heinous of politicians and slaughterhouses to be in bed together on the topic of refusing to test ground beef. But yeah, enough heat kills bacteria.
deanhills
Quote:
Ms. Smith, 22, was found to have a severe form of food-borne illness caused by E. coli, which Minnesota officials traced to the hamburger that her mother had grilled for their Sunday dinner in early fall 2007.
...
Meat companies and grocers have been barred from selling ground beef tainted by the virulent strain of E. coli known as O157:H7 since 1994, after an outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants left four children dead. Yet tens of thousands of people are still sickened annually by this pathogen, federal health officials estimate, with hamburger being the biggest culprit. Ground beef has been blamed for 16 outbreaks in the last three years alone, including the one that left Ms. Smith paralyzed from the waist down. This summer, contamination led to the recall of beef from nearly 3,000 grocers in 41 states.

http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-110738.html&sid=b4466ac75f918b02b9195f579213f624

Ophois wrote:
deanhills wrote:
True, but then I really don't like the taste of overcooked meat either.
You really only have to raise the temp to about 140 F to kill bacteria. Not only that, but who eats ground beef that isn't thoroughly 'browned'? Cooking ground beef properly solves this problem.

I agree that it's heinous of politicians and slaughterhouses to be in bed together on the topic of refusing to test ground beef. But yeah, enough heat kills bacteria.
I assume then that the mother undercooked the burger? If it takes so little heat to kill bacteria, how can that be possible, unless she served it raw/undercooked?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
I assume then that the mother undercooked the burger? If it takes so little heat to kill bacteria, how can that be possible, unless she served it raw?

Undercooked, or perhaps contaminated the food by re-using a cutting board or not washing her hands or something like that.

If this had happened at a restaurant, the cook would be the one taking the blame, not the government.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I assume then that the mother undercooked the burger? If it takes so little heat to kill bacteria, how can that be possible, unless she served it raw?

Undercooked, or perhaps contaminated the food by re-using a cutting board or not washing her hands or something like that.

If this had happened at a restaurant, the cook would be the one taking the blame, not the government.
Right, but her daughter would have had to be remarkably sensitive to it. Amazing that no one else had become ill with it. I remember I used to thrive on those patties in my earlier days, just so easy to prepare. Guess one has to be really vigilant when you use it, probably better to make your own burgers from scratch and be careful with preparation and cleaning.
[FuN]goku
ocalhoun wrote:
Or, you could just cook your meat properly, which would kill any E. coli or other viruses, parasites, or bacteria in the meat, making even contaminated meat safe to eat.

I agree. Anytime I eat any kind of meat, I make sure it's cooked thoroughly, especially when I barbecue, I usually just cook it until it's burnt to a crisp. I actually like it that way anyways Razz
Ophois
The danger with bacteria in meat is almost null when it comes to non-ground meat(under normal circumstances). This is because the bacteria is generally confined to the surface of the meat, which receives most of the heat during cooking. That's why it's much safer to eat a rare steak than a rare burger.
With ground meat, if there was any bacteria on a small part of the meat, it ends up getting ground and spread throughout the meat. A small amount of bacteria can, essentially, poison massive amounts of meat through the grinding process.

As ocalhoun said, there are other factors involved too. She may not have washed her hands or the cutting board properly. She also may have done something like use a knife to cut the bulk of ground beef into sections, then later used that same knife to cut some onions or tomatoes. This is why restaurants have such strict codes of cleanliness that they should follow. That they often do not follow these rules, is why I almost never eat at restaurants.

I'm not trying to blame the girl for getting sick. Clearly, the FDA should have more strict guidelines regarding the entire ground beef process. Hopefully, this and other cases get more media attention and force some changes.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Clearly, the FDA should have more strict guidelines regarding the entire ground beef process. Hopefully, this and other cases get more media attention and force some changes.
How much stricter could it be however? I would have imagined that the rules for ground meat that will be used in frozen meals, such as that consumed by the girl, would have to be processed at even higher standards? I wonder whether most of the problem could have occurred with the thawing, cooking and general food preparation? Either that, or the supermarket fridge could have been faulty, without anyone knowing about that. I've seen a number of times when supermarket fridges go down, and wonder when they went down whether certain procedures have been followed to check that no defrosting of frozen food products had occurred. If the freezers would have gone down when the supermarket was closed, wonder how long it would have taken for the food to have partially defrosted, and then refrozen when they have been shifted to different freezers? Alternatively, the electricity could have been down during night time, without the store knowing about it and food defrosted and refrosted.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
How much stricter could it be however?
Well, according to the NYT artivle that handfleisch cited above...
Quote:
These cuts of meat are particularly vulnerable to E. coli contamination, food experts and officials say. Despite this, there is no federal requirement for grinders to test their ingredients for the pathogen.
So yeah, with "no federal requirements" in place for testing it for E. Coli, it's not exactly what I'd call strict.
deanhills wrote:
I wonder whether most of the problem could have occurred with the thawing, cooking and general food preparation?
That'd be my guess.
missdixy
Oh gosh, this makes me wish I was still a vegetarian. Although I guess I still mostly eat chicken and fish but still....I have the ocassional hamburger. :[ Now each time I eat one I'm going to be terrified. I'm gonna try to stick to always eating fully-cooked ground beef.

That said, poor girl! She was so young and this is really a sad story...
handfleisch
missdixy wrote:
Oh gosh, this makes me wish I was still a vegetarian. Although I guess I still mostly eat chicken and fish but still....I have the ocassional hamburger. :[ Now each time I eat one I'm going to be terrified. I'm gonna try to stick to always eating fully-cooked ground beef.

That said, poor girl! She was so young and this is really a sad story...


What struck me in the video was how she looked before and after. She now looks like a lot of unhealthy people look, the way a lot of people look when aging poorly. It makes me think that maybe that a lot of people suffer from low-grade E. coli infections (since this woman's case was just the most extreme, 200 people were poisoned all together) or from just too much meat in general.
Ghost Rider103
Even after reading the article, I'll still eat meat and I always will.

If the meat she had eaten was properly cooked to a specific temperature like recommended, she probably would not have gotten sick.

I too like a good prime rib, however as long as you get the meat hot enough (this includes the middle of the meat, not just the outside) you will be perfectly fine.

There has been very few times where I have been to a restraunt and gotten something that undercooked to where it could cause potential danger to my health. When I do get something that undercooked, I send it back right away.

I too don't like overcooked meat. I like a little redness/pinkness to it. But that is just fine. Eating it raw is what can be dangerous, and many, many people actually like their meat raw, believe it or not.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
So yeah, with "no federal requirements" in place for testing it for E. Coli, it's not exactly what I'd call strict.
deanhills wrote:
I wonder whether most of the problem could have occurred with the thawing, cooking and general food preparation?
That'd be my guess.
Guess the best testing then would be in the supermarkets on produce that are on sale. Ditto hamburger joints.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Ophois wrote:
So yeah, with "no federal requirements" in place for testing it for E. Coli, it's not exactly what I'd call strict.
deanhills wrote:
I wonder whether most of the problem could have occurred with the thawing, cooking and general food preparation?
That'd be my guess.
Guess the best testing then would be in the supermarkets on produce that are on sale. Ditto hamburger joints.

Testing at the processing plant would be more efficient, and whole contaminated batches could be removed without a time-consuming recall.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Ophois wrote:
So yeah, with "no federal requirements" in place for testing it for E. Coli, it's not exactly what I'd call strict.
deanhills wrote:
I wonder whether most of the problem could have occurred with the thawing, cooking and general food preparation?
That'd be my guess.
Guess the best testing then would be in the supermarkets on produce that are on sale. Ditto hamburger joints.

Testing at the processing plant would be more efficient, and whole contaminated batches could be removed without a time-consuming recall.
Problem is that the supermarket could have faulty freezers, or the freezer trucks may have had a break-down. I'm almost certain there is good testing at the processing plant, but my worries would be in between processing and when the person buys it from the supermarket.
Moonspider
handfleisch wrote:
Personally I think anyone who eats ground beef after reading this article is crazy or masochistic. The meat you're eating comes from various parts of the cow, some that come in contact with feces, and could be from entirely different countries and then all mixed together. America doesn't even require testing for contamination from the final producer of the meat and so every year tens of thousands get infected like this women did.


I agree that food manufacturing practices should be well regulated to reduce the risks of just such an incident as you mentioned. However, what are the actual statistics? How many people become ill in the United States each year from beef? Chicken? Lettuce? Onions? Etc. What is the rate of illness compared to the rate of consumption?

Yes, this is a case of poisoning due to contaminated beef. But just recently we had cases of contaminated peanut butter. A year or two ago we had an outbreak of poisoning traced to contaminated lettuce. Several years ago Taco Bell stopped serving sliced green onions on their products due to poisoning from contaminated green onions.

One cannot indict an entire industry unless the problems are statistically significant.

Respectfully,
M
Ophois
missdixy wrote:
Oh gosh, this makes me wish I was still a vegetarian. Although I guess I still mostly eat chicken and fish but still....I have the ocassional hamburger.
Heh. I just noticed this. Fish and chicken are generally more risky when it comes to bacteria.
Moonspider wrote:
Yes, this is a case of poisoning due to contaminated beef. But just recently we had cases of contaminated peanut butter. A year or two ago we had an outbreak of poisoning traced to contaminated lettuce. Several years ago Taco Bell stopped serving sliced green onions on their products due to poisoning from contaminated green onions.
Oh, and remember the taco shells from Taco Bell being contaminated because of the corn meal? It seems like we have a new something-or-other every year.
Quote:
One cannot indict an entire industry unless the problems are statistically significant.
Well, asking the industry to test their ground beef for E. Coli is hardly a tall order. Asking the FDA to enforce it is, well... it's their damn job.
Moonspider
Ophois wrote:
Well, asking the industry to test their ground beef for E. Coli is hardly a tall order. Asking the FDA to enforce it is, well... it's their damn job.

Agreed. However if one cannot prove that a statistically significant problem exists, calling something an industry wide problem is, well, problematic.

One can take a case like the one cited, investigate it, find the root cause and prosecute any who committed wrong doing and make changes to the government oversight if the investigation finds a problem with that as well.

Respectfully,
M
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:
Well, asking the industry to test their ground beef for E. Coli is hardly a tall order. Asking the FDA to enforce it is, well... it's their damn job.

The FDA is extremely underfunded and undermanned, which is why it is so weak.
I don't know how much of that has to do with food companies, but drug companies (by lobbying the government) have decimated the FDA. (After all, drugs have to get FDA approval too, and an understaffed FDA is more likely to rubber-stamp their approval... especially when being pressured about 'needlessly delaying life-saving drugs'. The FDA also awards 'exclusive marketing rights', which are just as effective as a patent, and allow drug companies to monopolize distribution of that drug.)
Ophois
Moonspider wrote:
Agreed. However if one cannot prove that a statistically significant problem exists, calling something an industry wide problem is, well, problematic.
True.
Quote:
One can take a case like the one cited, investigate it, find the root cause and prosecute any who committed wrong doing and make changes to the government oversight if the investigation finds a problem with that as well.
I agree. But if I take the NYT article at face value, there is zero testing for E. Coli in the ground beef industry, and "tens of thousands of people are sickened annually" from it. I haven't researched it myself, but if that's even close to true, then I would imagine that changes need to be made.
ocalhoun wrote:
The FDA is extremely underfunded and undermanned, which is why it is so weak.
I don't know how much of that has to do with food companies, but drug companies (by lobbying the government) have decimated the FDA. (After all, drugs have to get FDA approval too, and an understaffed FDA is more likely to rubber-stamp their approval... especially when being pressured about 'needlessly delaying life-saving drugs'. The FDA also awards 'exclusive marketing rights', which are just as effective as a patent, and allow drug companies to monopolize distribution of that drug.)
That is so true. Yet another example of how the pharmaceutical companies are completely screwing everyone they come in contact with.
deanhills
I guess the most fool-proof way to protect ourselves is to make ourselves responsible for checking what we eat. I try and stay away from meat/fish/chicken that have been severely processed in some sort of production line. For example I would stay away from MacDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and all similar type places. Make sure I know where the meat comes from when I do buy it. It would be more expensive of course, but there are places that sell organic grass fed beef for example, or if one cannot afford that, maybe it would not be such a bad idea to go vegetarian.
handfleisch
it's happened again

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/03/beef.recall.e.coli/index.html
Quote:

2 dead, 28 sick from E. coli outbreak
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

* Two people have died after becoming infected with E. coli in this outbreak
* E. coli is a bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure
* Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of beef



New York (CNN) -- Two people have died and 28 people have fallen ill with matching strains of E. coli after an outbreak in ground beef, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Sixteen of those people are in hospitals and three have developed kidney failure as a result of the contamination, the CDC said late Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that Fairbank Farms in Ashville, New York, was recalling more than half a million pounds of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with a strain of E. coli, a potentially deadly species of bacteria.

The products subject to recall were sent to retailers including Trader Joe's, Price Chopper, Lancaster and Wild Harvest, Shaw's, BJ's, Ford Brothers, and Giant Food Stores. The exact products affected are listed on the USDA's Web site.

The recall was for distribution centers in eight states, but Fairbank Farms said some retailers may have sent the affected beef to other states.

Each package is printed with "EST. 492" inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the nutrition label. They were packaged on September 15 and 16 and may have been labeled at the retail stores with a sell-by date from September 19 through 28, the USDA said.

Consumers should ask at their point of purchase if the products they have purchased are subject to recall, the USDA said.
Afaceinthematrix
Well I am not a beef eater, but I do disagree with the statement about anyone who does eat beef is crazy or a masochist. Am I crazy or a masochist because I drive a car (and thousands of people die in car accidents every year)?

People die all the time doing things that you do on a daily basis. I cannot think of anything that doesn't at least involve a miniscule -and eating beef is about as miniscule as you can get - amount of risk. Believe me, I have worked in food service and there are insane amounts of regulations for our food (at least in the U.S. where I have worked). Our food is far safer than it used to be.

Furthermore, proper cooking should eliminate any of the bacteria in the food. Just make sure that it's not past the expiration date and that you freeze what you're storing.

Not eating beef because of this one example is silly. There are many reasons not to eat beef; I myself do not eat beef. However, this is not the reason why I do not eat beef...
handfleisch
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Well I am not a beef eater, but I do disagree with the statement about anyone who does eat beef is crazy or a masochist. Am I crazy or a masochist because I drive a car (and thousands of people die in car accidents every year)?

People die all the time doing things that you do on a daily basis. I cannot think of anything that doesn't at least involve a miniscule -and eating beef is about as miniscule as you can get - amount of risk. Believe me, I have worked in food service and there are insane amounts of regulations for our food (at least in the U.S. where I have worked). Our food is far safer than it used to be.

Furthermore, proper cooking should eliminate any of the bacteria in the food. Just make sure that it's not past the expiration date and that you freeze what you're storing.

Not eating beef because of this one example is silly. There are many reasons not to eat beef; I myself do not eat beef. However, this is not the reason why I do not eat beef...

I make a distinction between what we put into our bodies voluntarily and activities we have no choice in, like using a car to get around when no good alternatives are available.

And actually, in the first article it details how there really aren't adequate regulations on ground beef. The fact that these poisonings are happening so often, this latest incident leaving two dead, shows that there is a serious problem. I think that there are maybe many cases of low-level contamination and poisoning that doesn't make it into the news, and that people get slightly poisoned regularly. Which is why, given the info in the first article about the truly shoddy hygienic situation and other practices of the ground beef producers, it's crazy to eat ground beef in the USA.
Afaceinthematrix
handfleisch wrote:
I make a distinction between what we put into our bodies voluntarily and activities we have no choice in, like using a car to get around when no good alternatives are available.


Ever flown in an airplane? People die in plane crashes yet billions of people get by their whole lives without ever even going inside of an airplane. People get by without driving, you know. You voluntarily do activities that contain risk because everything contains risk. As far as this beef situation goes...

Quote:
And actually, in the first article it details how there really aren't adequate regulations on ground beef. The fact that these poisonings are happening so often, this latest incident leaving two dead, shows that there is a serious problem. I think that there are maybe many cases of low-level contamination and poisoning that doesn't make it into the news, and that people get slightly poisoned regularly. Which is why, given the info in the first article about the truly shoddy hygienic situation and other practices of the ground beef producers, it's crazy to eat ground beef in the USA.


Well that article is wrong, in my opinion. There are regulations in the beef industry - beef gets recalled all of the time. As for it being adequate or not, it's mere opinion. I can tell you from first hand experience that there are so many regulation on food in the U.S. that it gets annoying to the point of being ridiculous.

Now let's look at this:

Quote:
Past expiration date
The contaminated products are at least 23 days past their expiration date, which means that they are no longer being sold as fresh by the shop owners. The concern, however, is the beef that has made way into the homes of the consumers.


http://www.themedguru.com/20091103/newsfeature/e-coli-claims-2-lives-tainted-beef-recalled-86130646.html

So here is one case (well several, actually) where regulation was in place, it was simply the fault of a retailer (for selling food past a regulated expiration date) and the fault of the consumer (for not checking the date). You also have to look at how much beef is actually consumed.

We've had all sorts of cases of tainted food. Several fast food chains a few years ago quit serving tomatoes, briefly. We've also had problems with lettuce, onion, chicken, etc. There were documented cases of illness here, but we still have to eat. One reason why beef is so documented is because the consumption of beef is so incredibly large.

Greater consumption means that there will be more documented cases of illness. Eating beef isn't crazy. Sure, I do not eat beef. But that has nothing to do with craziness. I personally do not eat beef because cattle is an extremely inefficient way to feed a growing population. Furthermore, 80 percent of Amazon rainforest destruction is because of cattle ranching...
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
I make a distinction between what we put into our bodies voluntarily and activities we have no choice in, like using a car to get around when no good alternatives are available.


Ever flown in an airplane? People die in plane crashes yet billions of people get by their whole lives without ever even going inside of an airplane. People get by without driving, you know. You voluntarily do activities that contain risk because everything contains risk. As far as this beef situation goes...

And the beef risk is actually not as bad, because it can be easily eliminated.

You can never fully eliminate the risk from driving or flying, but you can completely eliminate the risk of infection from beef: just cook it properly.

Anyway, you're a LOT more likely to die from choking on your food than contracting a disease from it!
Moonspider
ocalhoun wrote:


Anyway, you're a LOT more likely to die from choking on your food than contracting a disease from it!


Absolutely. However I did hear recently (forgive me for not being able to cite it, for I saw it as I channel surfed through news stations last week) that the FDA conducts inspections on food manufacturing facilities (not just beef but all) only about every 10 years, rather than the preferred bi-annual inspections, due to a lack of staffing and funding. If true this certainly needs to be rectified.

But like you said, eating beef...still safer than driving a car.

Respectfully,
M
handfleisch
well it's the internet, so I guess it's no surprise that a discussion of the grossly inadequate enforcement of food safety regulations on ground beef devolves into... don't worry, you're more likely to die in a car crash. Maybe we should just apply that to all safety features and regulations -- anything less likely to kill you than a car crash can now be ignored, no need to enforce the safety regulations, or have them at all. Yeah, good idea.
Afaceinthematrix
handfleisch wrote:
well it's the internet, so I guess it's no surprise that a discussion of the grossly inadequate enforcement of food safety regulations on ground beef devolves into... don't worry, you're more likely to die in a car crash. Maybe we should just apply that to all safety features and regulations -- anything less likely to kill you than a car crash can now be ignored, no need to enforce the safety regulations, or have them at all. Yeah, good idea.


Dude... What's your problem? You're the one being ridiculous. You made a claim. That claim was that you'd have to be crazy or be a masochist just to eat beef.

I found that claim to be ludicrous and I called you out on it. Not only did I explain that there are regulations for beef (beef is recalled all the time, expiration dates are set yet retailers/consumers often ignore them, etc.), but I also explained the logic behind your statement and how silly it was.

To say that you're crazy or a masochist because you eat beef, even though the chance of actually getting sick from it are extremely tiny (and preventable) is about as insane as saying you'd have to be suicidal to fly in an airplane.

Now... Instead of responding to the points, you gloss over them with and basically say that we're all retarded, or a bunch of morons with computers, and say that you're not surprised that an internet discussion (what... so the internet (or maybe this forum) is full of dumbasses?) would turn out this way!
handfleisch
It's happened again. Same company. So much for adequate ground beef regulation in the USA. Another child almost dies, and now has kidney failure, due to bad ground beef in her school lunch.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2009-12-06-beef-recall_N.htm?obref=obnetwork
Quote:
Company issues 2nd recall for tainted beef

For the second time this year, a Fresno beef company is recalling thousands of pounds of ground beef contaminated with a drug-resistant strain of salmonella.

Beef Packers Inc., owned by Cargill, announced the recall Friday. It covers 22,723 pounds of ground beef products that were sent to stores in Arizona and New Mexico.

WHY: Recall didn't include school lunches
SECOND INFECTION: Family's nightmare begins

The Arizona Department of Health Services has linked two illnesses to the ground beef, made at the Beef Packers plant on Sept. 23. The beef was "repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names," according to a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-12-01-lunch-tainted-beef_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip
Quote:
Family's nightmare began with secondary infection

Eighth-grader Faith Maxwell is a pretty happy kid. Considering that she isn't allowed to play soccer or eat school lunches regularly and every visit to the doctor might end with word she needs a kidney transplant.

Her family is still reeling from the worst time of their lives, 11 years ago. That's when Faith, then 2, almost died from E. coli O157:H7 she caught from an infected kid who got it from eating undercooked ground beef at school.
jmi256
Quote:
A Safeway spokesman said the recalled product is no longer in stores and urged customers to check all ground beef in their freezers and discard any with "sell by" dates of Sept. 28 through Oct. 11.


What the hell were these people doing using meat that was supposed to be discarded over two months ago? Even if meat is frozen, it doesn’t mean it’s fresh indefinitely. Seems less of a problem with the processing and more with people not using some commonsense.


Quote:
A USA TODAY investigation published last week raised questions about whether orders the company made for the National School Lunch Program also should have been included in the summer recall. Although the orders made for schools tested negative for salmonella, food-safety experts and lawmakers say the beef produced for schools should have been rejected by the government. Instead, it was sent to schools.

Why wasn’t the meat rejected for use in the government-run National School Lunch Program when the company issued the recall of the meat? Bureaucracy at its finest.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
It's happened again.
Unbelievable that it was allowed to happen again. Does this mean that the Arizona Department of Health Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service had not dealt thoroughly with Beef Packers in the previous case? Something has to be very wrong somwhere. As jmi said, bureaucracy at its finest.
silverdown
THis is sad however if she would have followed food preperation instructions she might have been able to prevent this.... Get welll!
Flakky
Terrible story, now I don't trust food again. Even the good ones.
ocalhoun
Flakky wrote:
Terrible story, now I don't trust food again. Even the good ones.

Rolling Eyes
Just cook it properly, which will kill any pathogens on/in it, then it's safe.
Flakky
ocalhoun wrote:
Flakky wrote:
Terrible story, now I don't trust food again. Even the good ones.

Rolling Eyes
Just cook it properly, which will kill any pathogens on/in it, then it's safe.

But my dad started cooking recently Razz
deanhills
Perhaps pickling and curing it with lots of salt and vinegar, fresh onion slices, and Worcester and Tomato Sauce would be able to do the trick as well, in addition to cooking the meat thoroughly. That is what they usually do with fish too. Once the fish have been caught they are stacked in layers upon layers of salt en route to the markets. In Holland they love their pickled raw herring. In countries like South Africa they love dried raw meat, which is quite healthy and has been cured using loads of salt.
pscompanies
Yay I'm vegetarian Smile
ocalhoun
pscompanies wrote:
Yay I'm vegetarian Smile

Rolling Eyes
Vegetables can be contaminated as well...
WHITEBEAR
we could still infect people say your makingpatties hamberger how many burger joints wash there hands we stil can infect people from the ecoli on our hands
deanhills
I have organic beef patties, but even organic is no guarantee for it being handled properly. Another preventitive measure may be to make sure there is a large turnover of burgers, as with my organic beef patties, and to buy them in the middle of the morning instead of the start or end of day. Again, not a guarantee, but good to watch out for. When I'm in a different country I stay clear of the restaurants that don't have people in them, or have too many people in them. Not a guarantee, but something in that makes sense to me.
ocalhoun
WHITEBEAR wrote:
we could still infect people say your makingpatties hamberger how many burger joints wash there hands we stil can infect people from the ecoli on our hands

Supposedly all of them, or they get shut down by health inspectors... but, of course, it isn't a perfect world.

deanhills wrote:
I have organic beef patties, but even organic is no guarantee for it being handled properly.

It's no guarantee at all.
I'd bet good money that any study of e-coli infection rates among organic or non-organic beef would bring up the result that there is no statistically significant difference.
Organic just means that artificial chemicals and hormones are not used... a good thing, particularly abstaining from hormone use (in my opinion), but it in no way makes e-coli less likely.
Quote:
Another preventitive measure may be to make sure there is a large turnover of burgers, as with my organic beef patties,

--again, may I point out that a wide variety of foods can be subject to e-coli contamination.
A while ago, Taco Bell had a big problem with e-coli infected lettuce.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I have organic beef patties, but even organic is no guarantee for it being handled properly.

It's no guarantee at all.
I'd bet good money that any study of e-coli infection rates among organic or non-organic beef would bring up the result that there is no statistically significant difference.
Organic just means that artificial chemicals and hormones are not used... a good thing, particularly abstaining from hormone use (in my opinion), but it in no way makes e-coli less likely.
Totally agreed. In fact, I'd go as far to say that since some of the systems dealing with organic food are not as sophisticated as those that are run by large commercial conglomerates, that organic could be more at risk.
LxGoodies
Quote:
dance instructor 22 yrs of age


Wowww Surprised Surprised this is a really awful case of Hemolytic-uremic_syndrome Sad Sad Sad Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to 100% prevent this kind of infection.. According to the Wiki page, it can be caused by mutant e-coli (=bad luck) as well as e.g. hamburgers (=bad habit). Early treatment will help..

Lx
Possum
I buy a lot of my meat directly off hunters..
ocalhoun
Possum wrote:
I buy a lot of my meat directly off hunters..

Wild game can also carry diseases... and it's even more important that you cook it properly, since there's no regulatory system at all checking it.
capricornis
But burgers taste so goooood
LxGoodies
Hmmm get it out of your system. It's devastating.

In hundred years from now, they will laugh at us.. being so stupid to eat so much bad meat.

Lx
handfleisch
LxGoodies wrote:
Hmmm get it out of your system. It's devastating.

In hundred years from now, they will laugh at us.. being so stupid to eat so much bad meat.

Lx
Exactly
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