We're from the government, we're here to help... the beef industry.

Rules bar telling which stores, restaurants had tainted meat

Meat from a Washington state slaughterhouse that contained cuts from a lone cow that tested positive for mad cow disease was sold in as many as nine California counties, but current rules forbid the state or counties from telling consumers exactly where recalled meat was sold.

California Department of Health Services officials have begun notifying counties that meat from a recalled lot of 10,410 pounds of Washington state beef had been tracked to retailers, but also warned counties not to identify which stores or restaurants purchased it. [...]

"This is a zero-risk product," said Steven Cohen, a spokesman for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. [...]

Alameda County health officer Dr. Tony Iton said that local health authorities should be free to disclose information about the recall to their citizenry. "I do think that the USDA has erred in its judgment here. It has sacrificed the public's health in favor of the beef industry," said Iton. "It's absurd to think the most efficient way to conduct a recall is through visiting retailers to see if they have notified their customers." [...]

Bones from cattle with mad cow disease have been found in six restaurants and one food market in Santa Clara County, said Rick Fuchs, director of the consumer protection division of the County Department of Environmental Health.

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9 Responses:

  1. transgress says:

    freedom and justice for all who can pay for it.

  2. You know they're bullshitting you when they say zero-risk product. Every product has risks.

  3. teko says:

    It's not remotely zero-risk. They expect me to believe that on the meat production line, they carefully removed every scrap of diseased tissue, then filleted the rest pristinely?

    This is exactly why I am too paranoid about meat to eat it comfortably.

    • wfaulk says:

      Unless you're eating bone, marrow, or nerve tissue, there's no risk. Muscle doesn't contain the prion that causes BCE. Now, if you're eating ground beef or a hot dog (assuming there's any beef in your hot dog), then you may be at risk. But if you're eating a steak, assuming you're not sucking the bones, you should be okay. I'm not saying it's zero risk, but it's pretty darn close.

  4. papertygre says:

    mmmm... tainted meat.

  5. tady says:

    Bulls**t. Literally, in the case of e-coli in hamburger over the past few years. And, bulls**t in this case. And, once again, those in the lowest social and economic strata are likely to be buying and consuming this beef, which, if what we have heard is true, has been sold to discount and low-end asian or hispanic markets/restaurants in the Bay area.

  6. eqe says:

    Bones from cattle with mad cow disease have been found in six restaurants and one food market in Santa Clara County

    Bullshit. Perhaps "bones from cattle that were processed the same day as the cow which tested positive for BSE", but there is absolutely no way (at this early date) that anyone could know that a specific bone came from a cow with BSE. That is some really wretched reporting.

    The level of hysteria on this topic is stupendous.

    Simultaneously, claiming "it's perfectly safe as long as you don't eat brains" is absurd as well. There are serious problems with how the beef industry operates, and clearly some stuff needs to be fixed.

  7. billemon says:

    While I can understand the industry has many faults, as does the government, in this case I think they're right. All that would happen if such details were reported, is a small handful of retailers (who probably through no fault of their own became involved in this) would be pilloried, and lose business for a long time, when it is likely too late to prevent the consumption of any meat they had already sold. In other words, I think reporting these details would in no way assist maintaining public health; more likely it would hurt innocent (ok, I'm stretching it) business owners for nothing. *shrug* Not that they're usually right, but on this one ..