An e-mail from a federal inspector confirms the U.S. Department of Agriculture knew that millions of frozen hamburger patties could be contaminated with E. coli in early September but waited 18 days before concluding Topps Meat Co. should issue a recall, a lawyer for a teen sickened by the beef said Thursday.What is not very funny is that on just Monday the US Agriculture department said the U.S. meat is the "safest in the world". Hello, I know we may not be reading the right papers or watching the foreign TV stations but I sure don't hear about the British or French or anybody else recalling nearly 22 million pounds of beef on a regular basis.
The recall came Sept. 25, and was soon expanded to comprise 21.7 million pounds of hamburger produced by Elizabeth-based Topps, the second-largest beef recall in U.S. history.
The Florida teen was hospitalized with kidney failure in August and the meat her family bought was tested by the USDA.
"I think the American meat supply is the safest in the world," Raymond said in an interview on CBS's "The Early Show." "A recall like this does show that we are on the job, we are doing our inspections, our investigation, and we respond when we find problems to make sure that supply is safe."The thing is, in most other countries you go to your local butcher and he provides you with the cut of meat you want. If you want 'mince' or ground meat then he grinds it right there from cuts of meat that he has cut off a primal cut or even a whole animal. You just don't see the large industrial meat processors that make frozen burgers or frozen anything in the quantities we see here in the U.S. It is all these industrial processors that are putting the contaminated beef and chicken on the market and who the USDA is protecting.
If you are going to eat meat, and I am, then go to a real butcher that actually buys his meat in either sides or primals and then cuts it on premises into the market pieces. He should grind his own burger and sausage(or better yet sell you the chunks and let you grind it yourself). If you can't look the guy or gal that butchers the meat in the eyes then don't buy it. And for Goddess' sake don't buy meat that is prepared in a factory somewhere and packaged in Carbon Monoxide filled airtight containers or in giant sausages of ground meat or frozen into patties. You have no idea how long this stuff has taken to get to market and you typically won't know where it was processed or whose hands have touched it.
You want a hot dog then buy Kosher (Hebrew National) dogs as the sanitation and quality control on those is very strict. If you want chili on that dog make your own.
The trend these days in supermarkets and the big food warehouses is to market prepackaged meat and very rarely is there even a real butcher in the store. You might save a buck or two this way but you are gambling with your life and that of your family.