DailyDirt: Meet Your Meat, And Cook It Thoroughly

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Penicillin and its derivatives haven't actually been around for that long in the scheme of things, but antibiotics have enabled an incredible age of prosperity without people having to worry about common infections killing us off. Unfortunately, nature has a way of evolving and adapting to our not-so-clever use of antibiotics, and we've been breeding superbugs in our hospitals and in our industrialized food chain. Sketchy meats have been around for a long time, but hopefully, it won't take a public health nightmare to get folks to take a closer look at food safety. After you've finished checking out those links, check out this holiday gift guide for some awesome deals at the Techdirt deals store.

Filed Under: bacteriophages, e coli, fda, food, food safety, hamburger, meat, microbes, outbreak, penicillin, salmonella, superbugs, turkey
Companies: consumer reports


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2015 @ 5:57pm

    The food supply chain

    I have a very firm belief that the reason we have to cook things to death is the failure of those entities charged with ensuring the food supply have failed for a variety of reasons. We used to be able to get medium rare hamburgers at McDonald’s, no more.

    I have even been refused medium rare in nicer restaurants (I tend to get up and walk out). Their issue is liability, and the real liability is actually before they get the food (in the case of hamburger if they ground their own and controlled the fat content their liability would be in their control, but they don't). The issue is further back in the supply chain. There are insufficient numbers of USDA inspectors and they have been know to be compromised. From the corporate standpoint, it is cheaper to loose a few customers than withstand the lawsuits and bad publicity for a food borne illness.

    The bacteria tends to be added, not internal to a meat muscle. So the grinding equipment, or other parts of the processing plant are more likely to be blamed. I have years of experience of buying high quality meat and grinding it in-house and never had a problem. In addition we should look at things like carpacio and steak tartar, which are in fact raw meat, and sushi which is raw fish, and salads or crudites, which are for the most part raw vegetables, and millions of these are served every day. Sometimes there are problems, but for the most part those problems are found in the supply chain.

    There are sometimes issues where a kitchen employee does not practice sanitation standards as they have been taught, but these are survivable incidents. It all depends upon managements reaction to that incident. I have lived through one of those (in a long career) and no business failed, though we did take a serious hit, we overcame the issue by doubling down on making our food safety programs (already in existence) know publicly via the press and the health department who we often invited in for both courtesy inspections and training our employees.

    Fix the food supply, fix the inspection process we can have a better experience in restaurants rather than having all meats cooked to death and dried out and tough.

    While it has nothing to do with this article, I highly recommend reading The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan for a different look at our food supply.

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