Beef recalled for e-coli

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by homebirtha, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/07/beef.recall.ap/index.html

    Does anyone else find it odd that a lot of this beef, and the spinach with e-coli, was organic. I wonder what percentage of the nation's ground beef and spinach is organic compared to the percentage of those that were contaminated. And I wonder how much the big beef producers (the majority who don't do organic) are losing to organic beef producers. And I wonder how much influence those big, conventional producers have with the processing plants. Things that make me go hmmmmmmmm....
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Contamination can come from the processor NOT keeping its equiptment clean. Or in the case of meat. There can be A busted gut leaking onto the meat. Or equiptment. The majority of the food processors are doing great. but when you here about A small percentage ,The public then looks at ALL of them .As it should be.
     

  3. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    The spinach was not organic and E. coli occurs naturally in all cows. What does being organic have to do with either being contaminated?
     
  4. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some the reading I did indicated that beef cows that are fed corn, which is not their natural diet, tend to have more acidic stomachs which raises the levels of E. coli.

    Then, since they are normally packed in together so closely the chances of it spreading is increased.

    Grass fed, pastured cows may decrease the chances of it occurring.
     
  5. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Why...you wouldn't be suggesting a conspiracy, would you, now? :rolleyes:

    But I'll put mine one! :TFH: :p
     
  6. JHinCA

    JHinCA Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that there are many kinds of e coli in the guts of all animals but the really nasty e coli O157 that causes kidney failure in small children is found only in the intestines of grain fed ruminants. It does not exist in grass fed animals at all.

    MaineFarmMom, you are right, the spinach processor that was linked to the e coli outbreak packaged many brands of spinach, but NONE of the organic brands that went through the plant were implicated in the contmination, only a couple of the conventional brands.
     
  7. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Would you have a link that 0157 does not exist at all in grass fed beef. This sounds like a claim that would be very hard to prove :shrug:
     
  8. JHinCA

    JHinCA Well-Known Member

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    This is a link to an article in the New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/21/opinion/21planck.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    This is a quote from the article:
    "In 2003, The Journal of Dairy Science noted that up to 80 percent of dairy cattle carry O157. (Fortunately, food safety measures prevent contaminated fecal matter from getting into most of our food most of the time.) Happily, the journal also provided a remedy based on a simple experiment. When cows were switched from a grain diet to hay for only five days, O157 declined 1,000-fold.

    "This is good news. In a week, we could choke O157 from its favorite home — even if beef cattle were switched to a forage diet just seven days before slaughter, it would greatly reduce cross-contamination by manure of, say, hamburger in meat-packing plants......."
     
  9. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    I think there is a big differance between declined and does not exist :shrug: The big problem is sanitation in the slaughter operation. If the contents of the gut does not touch the meat there is no prob. at all!
     
  10. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Buy your own chuck or round steak and grind your own.Far safer than buying patties that may be mixed with parts from 2000 cows.

    Ground burger is a dangerous product in my book,especially when you have options that are safer,cheaper and better tasting.

    BooBoo
     
  11. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

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    When crowded feed lot cattle are brought to the slaughter house they tend to have a goodly amount of fecal matter (manure) crusted from hoof to belly or worse!They try to skin the animal without getting any on the carcass besides trying to keep from rupturing intestines:shrug:.
    When I butcher a grass fed animal right off the pasture they are clean to begin with.
    If you go to the grass fed sites(google it I don't have it book marked here at work) and look at the charts you will see the chance of getting E-coli from (grass fed only), is so minimal as to be nearly non-existant!
    Rumanants where not made to eat grain which does acidify the intestinal tract creating a breeding ground for e-coli.
    Eat healthy :dance:
    Chas
     
  12. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    A 1000-fold decrease means that by switching to grass, 1000 infected cows would be reduced to 1 infected cow. 1 is pretty darn close to 0 in my opinion. Then you have the cumulative effect of a 1000-fold decrease in the number of infected cattle in the slaughterhouse, which decreases the incidence of cross-contamination 1000-fold for each 1 cow out of 1000 that make it to the slaughterhouse infected.
    Seems like a net gain to me, not that I eat anything but grass-fed local to begin with.
     
  13. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Other benfits of grass-fed...

    The cow is allowed to be a cow and has a good life while it is alive; not crammed in a pen and standing in its own fecal matter.

    Grass-fed beef has higher levels of Conjugated Linolinec Acid (CLA) (did I get that spelled correctly?) which is an essential fatty acid (ESA) that helps with weight control. The cow gets it from the grass and we get it from the cow.
     
  14. lwj2

    lwj2 Well-Known Member

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    The local co-op sells organic beef. Miserably thin shoulder (half to three-quarters inch) cuts at $10/lb. Kroger's sells it for a similar price range.

    Somehow, I seriously doubt Missouri Beef Packers and their ilk have little to fear from organic beef, it's not their market.
     
  15. lwj2

    lwj2 Well-Known Member

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    Not really. A 1000-fold decrease means that a GI tract with an e-coli presence of 100ppm will have a presence of 0.10ppm, not that there will be one infected cow instead of 1000.
     
  16. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    LOL, I knew a math professor would come along eventually...still compelling evidence, though.
     
  17. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    Well.. you are probably both right as well as wrong to a certain degree. Given a sample size of 1, lwj2 would be perfectly right. Given a sample size of 1000, surely the samples of each and every cow would vary. On one extreme, one cow might have 100 ppm and the others might have 0 ppm. That would make fin29 correct. On the other extreme, .10 ppm in each and every 1000 cows would make lwj2 right but that would assume a perfect distribution. It is more likely to be somewhere in between.
     
  18. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    But regardless, it's a net gain... :)
     
  19. lwj2

    lwj2 Well-Known Member

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    Now that's funny. Math professor.

    Actually, I'm a radiographer, closer to a physicist than a math prof.

    It's dependent on average. Given your sample, 0.10ppm (BTW, that was pulled out of my hat just to make the numbers simple) would be the average, some higher, some lower, breeds would throw it off one way or another, dependent on their specific GI tract efficiency.

    But yes, grass fed is going to be lower overall. Besides, it tastes better.

    Bon appetit!