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Ground Beef: Do you know how it's made?

You may not want to read this.  I almost wish I hadn’t.

The article from the NY times shares the story of Stephanie Smith a dance instructor left paralyzed from the waste down after E-Coli from a hamburger made her sick in 2007.

It was eye opening to learn more about how ground beef is often made and what increases our risk for exposure to E-Coli.  I might have to watch my beef be ground after reading this story!

A few excerpts…

“Ground beef is usually not simply a chunk of meat run through a grinder. Instead, records and interviews show, a single portion of hamburger meat is often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses. These cuts of meat are particularly vulnerable to E. coli contamination, food experts and officials say.”

Further… in regard to the E-Coli incident in Stephanie’s story…

“The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria.

Using a combination of sources — a practice followed by most large producers of fresh and packaged hamburger — allowed Cargill to spend about 25 percent less than it would have for cuts of whole meat.

Those low-grade ingredients are cut from areas of the cow that are more likely to have had contact with feces, which carries E. coli, industry research shows.”

Read the whole story:

Woman’s Shattered Life Shows Ground Beef Inspection Flaws – NYTimes.com

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • M'lou Arnett July 19, 2010, 3:47 am

    Nasty, nasty.  I’ve read that grass fed/grass finished (some “grass fed” beef is “finished” with grain) beef is not susceptible to e coli.  Not sure if this would still apply to ground beef but worth considering.  Thanks for the info.

    • Tania Reuben July 20, 2010, 12:37 am

      My understanding is that the problem with e coli comes from the meat packers using meat that is a little too close to the derriere so it gets contaminated with fecal matter. I would avoid all ground meat from the major meat packers – given they say that meat filler that is washed in ammonia is used in 70-80% of the ground beef.

  • Janis January 3, 2013, 10:31 pm

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