The government is adding six more, relatively rarer, strains of E.coli to the list of banned beef. Meat mongers are balking.
German sprouts are not the cause of the deadly e.coli outbreak that has killed 22 and sickened over 2,000, according to initial tests of samples from a farm that a German agriculture minister had earlier named as the epicenter. The retraction is only the latest in a series of confusing finger-pointings and “cucumber slurs,” and has left European consumers afraid to eat a salad.
A virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant E.coli has left 18 dead in Europe, left over 1,800 sick, and touched off a continent-wide scare against all produce, suspected to be the source of the infection.
A couple weeks back we told you about some Gouda cheese sold at Costco that had been recalled after being linked to an outbreak of E. Coli. And then last week, it was the same thing, just with gorgonzola. Now the company that produced the Gouda cheese has recalled all of their cheeses, regardless of where they were sold.
Alright, you know the drill: go to your freezer and look for meat products labeled “EST. 8268,” which is now code for everybody’s favorite stomach bug: E. coli. The Valley Meat Company of California announced this week that they plan to recall nearly one million pounds of ground beef contaminated with the icky stomach bug.
Huntington Meat Packing Inc. is recalling 864,000 pounds of beef due to potential E. coli contamination. Inside, the six different Huntington products subject to the recall.
After Nebraska Beef, Ltd., recalled 531,707 pounds of beef for a possible E.coli contamination, Kroger is recalling beef from its stores and from stores selling beef under its label. The recall includes nearly all kinds and weights of ground beef with Kroger labels sold between 5/21 and 6/08. The sell-by date on them will fall between 5/21 and 6/05. Not included are ground beef in sealed tubes in 1,3, or 5lb sizes, or Frozen Beef Patties or Ground Beef Patties found in the frozen food aisle. Other caveats apply and there may be more updates, check the Kroger Recall page for the latest information. E.coli can cause food poisoning or even death. If you have any of this meat, you can either throw it away or return it to Kroger for a full refund.
How will we survive? On Tombstone alone? The horror!
The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service has used “DNA fingerprints” to trace the source of recent U.S. outbreaks of contaminated beef back to one shoddy supplier in Alberta, Canada. The company most likely responsible is Rancher’s Beef, Ltd, which went out of business on August 15th, but not before helping sink Topps and contributing to nearly 100 illnesses in the U.S. and Canada.
Blue Ribbons Meats in Florida is recalling over 8,000 pounds of “seasoned beef and meatloaf” frozen patties due to suspected E.coli contamination, although no illnesses have been reported yet. The patties were shipped to a Florida correctional institution and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is the fifth E.coli-related recall this month. [Reuters]
From the “boring but important” category of meat-related news, the Consumer Federation of America has joined with other advocacy groups as well as union and labor groups, under the assistance of men and women in Congress, to work out a compromise in response to July’s ill-conceived attempt by Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson to do away with the federal inspections requirement for interstate meat sales. The new plan augments Peterson’s measure in a way that ensures state-inspection procedures meet or exceed federal ones.
An article in the Chicago Tribune takes yet another look at our broken food safety system, declaring that a USDA Food Inspector’s job is now less about inspecting meat and more about inspecting paperwork.
After the Jack in the Box case, the USDA required each meat plant to adopt a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan. The plans let companies design their own food safety measures, usually around the need to process beef quickly.
Americans should have more poop in their diets, writes a doctor at Slate. Like superbugs and anti-bacterial products, we’ve become too successful at cleansing our food supply of all manner of contaminants—so that kids, for example, “have zero experience with routine gut infections, and when they encounter one that has slipped past our pipes and filters, the result can be catastrophic.”
Seventeen days after Topps launched the second largest meat recall in U.S. history, the 67-year-old company announced that it’s going out of business. Topp’s COO told American Agriculturist:
“In one week we have gone from the largest U.S. manufacturer of frozen hamburgers to a company that cannot overcome the economic reality of a recall this large… We want to thank our loyal employees and customers who have supported us throughout the 67 years in which Topps Meat has been in business,” D’Urso said. “Topps has always prided itself on providing the utmost quality and safety and never had a recall in our history until now. This has been a shocking and sobering experience for everyone.”
Kroger has announced the recall of their store brand “mustard” and “southern-style” potato salad because it may contain dangerous e. coli bacteria. Oh no!
Yes, even freezing meat for 1 year will not dampen the power of e. coli. From the LA Times:
The meat was produced by Richwood Meat Co. on April 28, 2006, dated either “4-28-06” or “118-6,” for the 118th day of the year, said Mike Wood, the company’s president. Although the product was manufactured a year ago, the patties still may be present in freezers at home or in stores, officials said.