Consciously, I make a decision to avoid beef whenever possible. My turkey tacos are a staple in my household and spaghetti is typically done sans-meat and with lots of vegetables. It’s not necessarily because I’m a die-hard no-red-meat-eater, but largely based on the fact that I don’t trust the processing. I just don’t — and neither should you.
According to an in-depth research report conducted by The Kansas City Star, Big Beef is injecting millions of dollars of growth hormones and antibiotics into cattle, partly to fatten them quickly for market. Another primary concern surrounding recent recalls of bacteria-laden beef on the U.S. market is the governance and use of mechanical tenderizers in beef production facilities.
These machines are used in an effort to improve quality which in turn increase risk for dangerous pathogens to remain laced into the inner-dwellings of the meat, making it difficult to de-contaminate through cooking, unless consumers have been properly made aware and instructed to cook their meat longer. No such labeling of blade meat is required and often slips by into supermarkets (fresh and frozen) and restaurants undetected.
Victims of E.coli outbreaks due to undetected bladed meat feasted on steaks at Applebee’s or homemade burgers only to live a perilous journey of kidney failure, life with a colostomy bag or worse … death.
Just this fall, the article cites, an estimated 2.5 million pounds of E. coli-contaminated meat, including mechanically tenderized cuts, quietly crossed the Canadian border into the United States before it was caught by inspectors. Instead of the U.S. recalling the product, health alerts were posed in place of any real or direct action. Besides, the contaminated meat had already snuck its way into local Sam’s Clubs and Walmarts in over 30 states. The horror.
Despite the recalls and lawsuits, inspections are still lacking and proving to be ineffective in protecting the American public from tainted meat. “That’s because the federal government’s meat inspection program, called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), is implemented by meat producers, not government,” writes Mike McGraw in his article for the Star.
“The government requires meat plants to verify that their food safety systems work, but it does not require them to actually test meat, nor does it set standards for plants that do.”
Think before you meat and most of all ask for all of your meat to be cooked well-done. We don’t know what’s lurking and clearly neither do the meat inspectors.