It’s legal for meat companies to sell meat with food-poisoning bacterium E. coli on it, as long it’s labeled “cook-only.” The result, say anonymous USDA inspectors speaking with the Chicago Tribune, is higher levels of E. coli are tolerated in the plants.
Relaxed standards increase chances of clean meat becoming infected. This “E. coli loophole” could be one reason for the surge in E. coli-related recalls lately. The USDA and food processors say there’s no danger, as long as people fully cook their meat.
Ew. We’re not sure we can order medium-rare again.
E. coli loophole cited in recalls [Chicago Tribune]