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Thoughts on the ConAgra beef recall

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Thoughts on the ConAgra beef recall

Christine DiBona | Jul 29, 2002 05:11 AM

Is anyone else as creeped out as I am by the enormous ConAgra ground beef recall? Looking to answer another query I pulled up the document linked below. Besides the sheer size of the recall, one of things really bugging me is while ConAgra is identified as the distributor of the contaminated meat, no one's piping up to tell consumers WHERE this meat conceivably ended up. ConAgra's huge - just visit their site and check out all those familiar brands (including lotsa hotdogs -Hebrew National, Armour for instance). And they've got a whole food service company - here they're talking about their raw meat " processed under the industry's most stringent food safety standards" (http://www.conagrafoodservice.com/abo... ). I got 18.6 million pounds of stringently processed ground beef right here for ya, ConAgra

And then reading along, I come to this charming passage:

"All 16 patients ate ground beef that was purchased at grocery chain A during June 10--24. E. coli O157 was cultured from an opened package of ground beef collected from a patient's home. A traceback by CDPHE of ground beef collected from a patient's home indicated that it was reground by grocery chain A with meat produced on May 31 by ConAgra Beef Company."

Oh, so not only is the contamination massive at the slaughterhouse, then even MORE meat is contaminated at the grocery store level. It's starting to sound like some really twisted version of homeopathic medicine - maybe if they get EVERYONE sick, our DNA will get active and we'll just whip this E coli 0157:H7 sucker!

As someone who loves to eat out. I'm getting angrier and angrier about how much contaminated food is out there. As an ex-chef I can tell you that it is extremely likely that most of your favorite inexpensive restaurants do business with a ConAgra or their brethern. And I don't trust any of them as far as I can spit. I hate having to go to a restraunt and first eliminate from consideration any menu items or ingredients I believe likely to be a health hazard. I apply the same rules here in the US that I used to use travelling in third-world countries - and why not? It seems I've become sick as often here as I have in Asia or Mexico.

Of course, I'm not talking about every restaurant, every burger. I still love food, and I am trying to stay that way. But I know, I can FEEL, how pervasive the corporate anonymous ingredients have become and coupled with some of the food handling practices I've seen in restaurants it frankly scares me.

So flame away folks, I just wanted to get this off my chest

PS: For dinner tonight we had rare hamburgers, made from Niman chuck I ground half an hour before cooking. The baby had a just a patty, but for her I cooked it well. So, you see, I haven't turned into a food-phobic-phreak; I just want to have the same level of confidence eating out that I do eating something I make myself.

Link: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrh...

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