food safety <http://consumerist.com/consumer/food-safety/
Meat Industry Showing Signs Of Larger Problems
This summer, almost 6 million pounds of beef were recalled due to E.
coli contamination. Last week, almost 22 million pounds of frozen
hamburger meat were recalled after reports surfaced of E. coli
infections. It was the biggest meat recall in 10 years, and "the
American Meat Institute (AMI) says it noticed a slight rise in positive
E. coli tests by the government this summer
says a USA Today article. In fact, 2007 is the first time in 3 years
that the rate of positive USDA sample-tests have gone up. At the same
time, the Chicago Tribune reports that in July, a congressman from
Minnesota slipped a special measure into the 2007 farm bill that would
reduce the need for federal inspections for small meat producers
The Chicago Tribune writes that "the requirement for a USDA inspection
and stamp on meat that will be sold interstate hampers sales for smaller
meat processors, according to beef industry advocates," and that the
state of Minnesota feels its own state inspection procedures are equal
to the those of the FDA. However, not all states have quality inspection
procedures, or any at all.
The union that represents federal meat inspectors has argued against the
"[It] would seriously endanger food safety by weakening the USDA
federal meat and poultry inspection program and by increasing
reliance on the more lenient, institutionally weaker state
inspection programs -- at a time when our nation's food supply is
subject to increased risks from both accidental and intentional
Over the weekend, the Topps recall was expanded to include a full year's
worth of meat production---"an unusually long time frame -- after USDA
inspectors found that the plant lacked appropriate controls regarding
beef carried over from one day's production to the next."
"Meat recalls point to possibility threat is growing"
"Bill would reduce meat inspections"
* Should Artificially Colored Meat Have A Warning Label?
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