Saturday, August 8, 2009


Now that I am back from killing myself cycling around Ireland, and have duly recovered from the swine flu (not really all that bad, considering...except that all your friends avoid you), I am catching up on the latest in food safety.

There it was in my mailbox...a ground beef recall. I caught the beginning of this latest food nightmare when I was leaving the country. I was not at all surprised to find out that it developed into a much bigger issue over the weeks. Not an unusual pattern for an outbreak in our food system.

Ground beef is the riskiest meat to eat - the most outbreaks and the most cases of illness. It is often made from the riskiest bits of meat to begin with, and the processing it goes through adds to the risks already there. Bacteria love it.There have been a number of bad outbreaks over the years, with large numbers of confirmed illnesses and many times more unconfirmed. But actually, things appeared better now than they were in 2000 and 2001. This may be changing.

And don't mistake the symptoms for swine flu. At least in my case, they were quite different - almost no diarrhea or cramps, just aches, fever, general misery....But on ballance, I think I'd rather have this than come down with Salmonella Newport from my burger.

Bon appetit!


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