Beef producers selling meat with E. coli

Nov 12, 2007

A loophole in U.S. regulations allows companies to sell meat that has come into contact with E. coli as long as it is cooked first.

It is against U.S. Agriculture Department rules to sell raw meat that, during processing, tested positive for the bacterium, a kind of food poisoning that can cause severe stomach cramps, kidney failure or even death, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

But the same meat can be sold in the form of pre-cooked meat such as hamburger patties and meat loaf, the Tribune said. Since E. coli cannot survive the cooking process, the USDA and meat producers say it is safe to sell to consumers, and no one has reported being sickened.

Some public health experts, however, say the loophole helps producers mask unsafe levels of the bacterium in meat-processing facilities, a possible explanation for an unexplained recent rash of E. coli cases.

Topps Meat Co. went out of business after it was forced to recall 21.7 million pounds of ground beef after E. coli was discovered in it, the newspaper said, and General Mills recalled more than 3 million pounds of pizzas made with pepperoni that tested positive for the bacterium.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: California company recalls food on botulism fears

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

5 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

7 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

8 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Recommended for you

Researchers review help for navigating 'Dr Google'

5 hours ago

With the onset of the digital age more and more people are turning to 'Dr Google' for health and medical information, however local researchers are worried about a lack of resources for helping consumers ...

User comments : 0