Monday, 8 October 2012

Where's the E.Coli?

Last night at dinner, we were talking about the MASSIVE beef recall. One of us mentioned hearing that the tainted steaks had been 'tenderized' with needles. Another one said: 'I heard that too, then nothing more about it.'

I went looking.

On September 26, the Edmonton Sun reported:
A “tenderizing” steak process could be to blame after four people contracted E. coli earlier this month after eating steak from a north east Edmonton Costco store, says the province’s health super-board.

Top health officials say they’re unsure if the bacteria was already on the fresh steaks when they were shipped from XL Foods Processing Plant, or if a meat tenderizing machine employed in all Costco locations is to blame.
E.coli is more common in ground beef, which is why consumers are advised to cook it thoroughly.

E.coli can be found on the outsides of 'intact' cuts, but is killed by cooking.

Normally. Because it is on the outside, not driven into the centre by potentially e.coli-contaminated needles.
Costco was cleaning the machine daily, he said, but health officials have ordered managers at Costco stores throughout the province to stop this particular tenderizing process, added Predy.
No other grocery stores in the province were found to employ similar techniques.
So, why didn't those Alberta BBQ-ers cook the literal shit out of their steaks?

Because treated meat is NOT labelled.
These steaks, as reported last week by CBC News, may have been mechanically tenderized meat – non-intact product that has been punctured with needles or blades to make the meat more tender. FIC [Food Integrity Campaign] has reported before the concerns of tenderized meat when labels don't make it clear to consumers the risks involved.

. . .
Currently, no labeling requirements exist that distinguish tenderized meat from intact steaks, leaving U.S. consumers in the dark. Fortunately, the USDA is expected to propose new labeling rules in the next few months. Processors of mechanically tenderized meat will have to indicate on the label the temperature to which their products must be cooked to eliminate pathogens. Canadian processors should do the same.

Ya think?

This is what no-holds-barred, self-regulated capitalism plus government-small-enough-to-fit-in-our-uteruses gets us.

Shit in our food.

In Ontario, we remember well when such CON deregulation led to shit in Walkerton's water.

This will be Harper's Walkerton. Without, it is to be hoped, any deaths or serious illnesses.

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