Daily Archives: October 4, 2009

The dangers of Escherichia coli

New York Times: Trail of E. Coli Shows Flaws in Inspection of Ground Beef. (Link via dangerousmeta!)

Just reading the description of how hamburger meat is manufactured makes me sick to my stomach. And that’s just a metaphor; for Stephanie Smith, the E. coli infection with a very dangerous strain called O157:H7 was life-threatening, and she will likely be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

The rules for processing meat might be a little tighter in the European Union or Germany, but the danger of contamination still remains high if meat from several sources is combined for grinding. The companies combine sources for hamburger in order to save money, but personally I don’t mind paying a bit more for safer meat.

We are lucky to have a good butcher in town: Each week they put up a notice stating where the animals they slaughtered were bred (all farms in a 30 mile radius), and if you want to buy ground meat, they always prepare it fresh and right before your eyes, and they use only meat, no fillers. It might be a little more expensive than pre-packaged groud meat from the supermarket, but it’s safer and tastes better.

Update: There’s a MetaFilter thread now as well: Welcome to the jungle.