Ground Beef Recall in 20 States

July 7, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Every time there is another recall it only enforces my desire to eat locally sourced foods, plus they taste better.  Mass producing foods also means a mass of possible things that can go wrong.  Here is a segment from a story at foxnews.com and a link where you can read the full article.

“Fourth of July picnic tables are getting a careful look as familiar hamburgers are feared to be among the tainted ingredients in separate food safety scares.

On Wednesday, The Kroger Co. expanded its voluntary recall of some ground beef products to its stores in more than 20 states, saying the meat may be contaminated with E. coli.”

READ ON

For those who do not know E. coli is bacteria found in the excrement of warm blooded animals and when it occurs in food products it is usually from rodents.  Here is what wikipedia has to say on it:

“Escherichia coli (commonly E. coli), is a bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some, such as serotype O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for costly product recalls. The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, or by preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine.

E. coli are not always confined to the intestine, and their ability to survive for brief periods outside the body makes them an ideal indicator organism to test environmental samples for fecal contamination. The bacteria can also be grown easily and its genetics are comparatively simple and easily-manipulated, making it one of the best-studied prokaryotic model organisms, and an important species in biotechnology. E. coli was discovered by German pediatrician and bacteriologist Theodor Escherich in 1885, and is now classified as part of the Enterobacteriaceae family of gamma-proteobacteria.”

E. coli is bad, m’kay.  Because ground meats are, well, ground you need to cook them well done, an internal temprature of 160 to 165 will kill the E. coli bacteria.  For solid cuts of meat like roast or steaks you need only get the outside flesh to a safe temperature as E. coli does not penetrate the muscle tissue.  Meaning that a medium rare steak is perfectly safe, in fact medium rare is far healthier than well done since well done red meat is a common cause of colon cancer.  If you are squeamish about blood strive for medium, anything beyond that and you are getting into Cancer Country.  So when it comes to steak, choose your poison – squeamish or dead?

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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."

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