Monday, October 22, 2012


The Safe Food Handbook calls ground beef the riskiest meat to eat. Yet it remains very popular in the American diet and is used in all kinds of dishes - not just everybody's favorite hamburgers. But yes, we have recalls of ground beef all the time. Usually it is because of E.coli bacteria being found in the product.

And two more recalls have just been announced today.

Higa Meat & Pork Market, of Honolulu, Hawaii, is recalling approximately 4,100 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This beef was only sent to restaurants in the Oahu, Hawaii, so people elsewhere need not worry.

The other recall is by Main Street Quality Meats, of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is recalling approximately 2,310 pounds of ground beef bulk and ground beef patties that may also be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. They too were distributed to restaurants, this time in Utah.

Even though these are area-restricted recalls, far apart geographically, one does wonder if they are linked through a common restaurant supplier. I can guess..but don't want to commit myself yet. And, I wonder if more recalls will follow.

So back to the question: Is ground beef safe to eat? Yes. All you have to do is handle it carefully and cook it well. Therefore, if you eat it at home, you can be pretty safe. As for eating it out...well, don't forget those magic words if you order a hamburger: "well done please." And let's just hope that whoever handles the raw meat doesn't contaminate your lettuce leaf, or slice of onion or that tasteless tomato while they are at it.

To your good health,

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