Beef E.Coli, Fecal Matter
Steak and other meat products such as hamburger may be contaminated more than previously known with E. coli bacteria and fecal matter, finds a new report published in the Kansas City Star. A year-long investigation has found that the beef industry is increasingly relying on a mechanical process to tenderize meat which then drives surface pathogens deeper into the meat. If the food isn’t cooked to the proper temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it can cause illness and potentially death. A 2008 USDA survey found that more than 90 percent of beef producers are using the method called “blading” or “needling,” however meat is often not labeled as such. The American Meat Institute has defended the final product as safe, but are awaiting further investigation into the process.
Would You Buy It?
At a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dutch scientist Mark Post, of Maastricht University, presented his latest project – “test tube” hamburger meat made from a cow’s stem cells. He notes that the ingredients for the meat are still in the laboratory phase but by the fall, his team will “make a couple thousand of small tissues, and then assemble them into a hamburger.” He hopes consumers will consider this alternative meat source as a way to care for the environment. Other speakers at the conference note that conventional meat and dairy production require more land, water and disposal of waste products than almost all other human foods. Demand for meat is expected to rise by 60 percent by 2050, resulting in “ongoing global catastrophe.”
Hot Doesn't Always Equal Safe
There probably isn’t a statistic for exactly how much party food will be consumed this Sunday before, during, and after the Super Bowl, but it is safe to say that with any large gathering that involves the preparation of food, there is a greater likelihood of developing a food borne illness if the proper precautions aren’t followed. Many savvy party food makers use a slow cooker or Crock Pot to keep foods such as hot dips and meatballs hot. But just because the food seems hot, do not automatically assume it is safe. The USDA offers answers to slow cooker safety questions on foodsafety.gov that include safe temperatures for foods such as meatballs and chili, a discussion of the food “Danger Zone”, and whether or not it is safe to thaw meats in a slow cooker.
Creates Drug Resistant Bacteria
The US Food and Drug Administration has, for the first time, estimated the amount of antibiotics sold for use in domestic food animal production. The agency concludes that in 2009, just shy of 29 million pounds were sold for use in animal agriculture in an attempt to ward off disease and promote growth. In June, the FDA drafted guidance on the judicious use of such drugs in animal agriculture in which they say “misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs creates a…process that enables antimicrobial resistant bacteria to increase in numbers more rapidly…and thus increases the opportunity for individuals to become infected by resistant bacteria.” The agency states that unnecessary or inappropriate use should be avoided by farm animal production facilities.
Make Mine Medium Rare Please
In findings presented at a US cancer research conference, people whose diets included high amounts of meat, particularly well-done or charred, had more than twice the risk of developing bladder cancer. University of Texas researchers found that frying or grilling meats at high temperatures caused the formation of cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Charred meat has also been linked to the increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. All meat significantly raised the odds of cancer, but red meats contributed the greatest risk. Cancer experts recommended limiting meat consumption, particularly avoiding processed meats, and to cook at lower temperatures for a longer time to avoid overcooking.