Categories
Health Recalls

6.5 Million Pounds Of Ground Beef Recalled For Salmonella Contamination

For the second time in as many months, a massive quantity of ground beef is being recalled for pathogen contamination. Last month, 132,000 pounds of Cargill ground beef were tainted by E. Coli. This time, beef producer JBS is recalling a staggering 6.5 million pounds of ground beef following an outbreak of Salmonella.

Photo: Carnivore Locavore // Flickr, CC 2.0

The recall was just announced by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), who has been involved in tracking the potential outbreak since September.

At least 57 people from 16 different states were infected by the Salmonella bacteria that was linked to the affected ground beef.

In this outbreak, the pathogenic strain contaminating the meat is Salmonella Newport, which can cause a common foodborne illness known as salmonellosis.

Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fevers that start anywhere from 12-72 hours after consuming. The disease lasts for about 4-7 days, and while most recover without a need for treatment, diarrhea can become severe enough to require hospitalization.

A host of different types of ground beef, including steakburgers and ground chuck, were affected by the recall.

You can view a full list of the products under recall here. The USDA will also update with specific locations and institutions the beef was distributed to in the future, but have stated that the meat was sent nationwide.

If you have beef in you fridge or freezer that matches up with the USDA’s list of products, you can either throw it away or return it to the place of purchase, according to the USDA’s release.

Categories
Health Packaged Food Recalls

132,000 Pounds Of Ground Beef Are Being Recalled Following Deadly E. Coli Outbreak

If you’ve been saving some ground beef in your freezer for a bit, you may want to check it out right now. It may be part of a massive recall of over 132,000 pounds of meat following a deadly E. Coli outbreak.

Photo courtesy of the USDA on Flickr, CC 4.0

According to the USDA, 132,000 pounds of Cargill ground beef have been recalled. This follows a reported outbreak that has sickened at least 17, causing 1 death.

The causal contaminant was E. Coli 026. It’s similar to the infamous o157:H7 strain of the bacteria in that they both produce similar toxins that causes diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting for 2-8 days. On rare occasions, it can turn into Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can be fatal.

Cargill’s meat was produced in mid-to-late June and shipped out to retailers nationwide, so the entire country is affected by this recall. A nationwide list of locations that carried the meat will be listed once the USDA is able to create it. In the meantime, if you see a USDA sticker with the code “EST. 86R” on it, it is part of the recalled lot of ground beef. You can also check any of these labels to see if they match anything on your product.

If you think the ground beef you have may be part of this contaminated amount, the USDA recommends you throw it out immediately. Since the meat was produced 3 months ago, there’s a good chance it’s in the freezer by this point if you still have it, so make sure to check that as well.

Categories
News Now Trending Opinion Technology

Here’s Why ABC News Should Win The Massive Controversial ‘Pink Slime’ Lawsuit

Photo by BeefProductsInc on Flickr.

For the next two months, the food world’s attention is going to primarily be focused on the trial involving a major lawsuit between ABC News and Beef Products Inc. In the suit, Beef Products is looking for at least $1.9 billion in defamatory damages based on a report and investigation that ABC News conducted back in 2012 on the infamous beef product known as “pink slime.”

ABC looked into exactly how “pink slime” is made and it’s widespread usage in ground beef. For those of you that don’t know, “pink slime” is a beef byproduct legally known as “lean finely textured beef” made by separating meat from fat in the trimmings (or leftover cut-off parts) of beef. The meat is then treated with food-grade, safe levels of ammonia to prevent microbial contamination before being packaged, frozen, and distributed to grocery stores and vendors to mix into ground beef. The result is a safe and low-cost lean beef product that was used to make ground beef products healthier and more affordable.

ABC then published a report in which a USDA whistleblower called “pink slime” an “economic fraud” and scientists claimed that it should not be labeled as “real beef.” Beef Products Inc. compared those claims to a “disinformation campaign” and a “reckless disregard” for the truth in their lawsuit. Beef Products feels that ABC caused them to suffer “significant financial harm” as a result of their “wrongful conduct” regarding their reporting of “pink slime,” which is why they went after ABC with this major lawsuit.

While ABC’s reports and investigations did heavily ruin the reputation of “pink slime,” they should not be held at fault for the monetary damages lost. ABC didn’t coin the ugly and damaging term “pink slime.” That name was conceived by the USDA whistleblower that ABC interviewed. Additionally, both the New York Times and Jamie Oliver reported on “pink slime” long before ABC did. Their publications influenced major companies like Burger King and Taco Bell to remove “pink slime” from their food by the time ABC came out with their report, so the losses that Beef Products Inc. incurred from the entire scandal were already starting to add up.

ABC was continuing to report on an already buzzing and controversial topic, and as a result went deeper into its investigations than those who initially reported on “pink slime” did. That should not be grounds for defamation since the loss of reputation had already begun and would have continued even if ABC hadn’t published its findings.

Moreover, if ABC were to lose this lawsuit, it would be a devastating blow to investigative journalism, especially when it comes to food. It’s been the role of journalists and writers to help increase transparency in our food system, like what Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle unveiled about the horrors of meatpacking in the 1900s or how Rachel Carson informed the world about the pesticide DDT in Silent Spring.

ABC’s reports were a continuation of this duty, and to silence them through a hefty monetary punishment would scare other food writers and journalists into not looking deeper into food out of fear they could be persecuted for “defaming” a company.

We’ll be monitoring the massive trial between Beef Products Inc. and ABC News to see how it progresses, and hope that ABC scores a big win for food journalism when the jury reaches its verdict.

Categories
News Packaged Food

There’s A Chance Our Ground Beef Always Contained Cow Hearts

Burger-Grill-Stk-01

We’ve always known that ground beef is cheaper than most beef cuts because its made with cheap cuts of beef. Often, it’s made with the trimmings from butchering meat, which is still wholesome quality and awesome beef.

However, according to some clarifications in language from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), one of the more unsavory cuts of meat has always been allowed in ground beef – hearts.

In the Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book, FSIS stated in a memo from the 1980s that heart meat was not an acceptable ingredient in chopped/ground beef or hamburger meat, making us feel safer about the quality and appeal of the cuts being used to make our ground beef. However, in an interview with Food Safety News, FSIS’s Aaron Lavallee said beef hearts ARE permitted in the usage and regulations of ground beef.

“There is no change to FSIS regulations. Ground beef that consumers purchase every day is made up of various cuts of meat, as allowed under federal regulations. The addition of heart and tongue meat to ground beef does not make it any less safe or wholesome to consume,” Lavallee said.

This interview followed an FSIS response in July that went viral, saying heart could be used in “unlimited amounts” in ground beef, and fit into the definition of meat acceptable for ground beef.

An official statement and modification from FSIS on the post also says the original policy memo is “not consistent with FSIS regulations and may be removed or rescinded as necessary.” That means ground beef’s definition will be clarified to include beef heart as an acceptable ingredient.

I’ve tried grilled beef hearts before, and don’t get me wrong, they are delicious. However, putting them into ground beef, which people may view that as more unsavory and not okay, may not be the best idea.

Fortunately, because of the original policy memo from the 1980s, the beef industry hasn’t been using hearts in their ground beef as of now. It’s still to be seen if that will change in the future, however.

Categories
Recipes

Beefy, Cheesy Breakfast Pockets Are The Perfect Breakfast On-The-Go

Setting out to reinvent classic breakfasts, celebrated Instagram bro-chef Josh Scherer, aka Mr. Culinary Brodown, set out to class-up the pop tart we all know and love.

Imagine a flaky puff pastry filled to the brim with Ground Beef, onions, mushrooms, eggs and cheese. Then imagine eating this pop tart-esque treat in the car on your morning commute and you’ll have Josh’s incredibly delicious and easy recipe, the Beefy, Cheesy Breakfast Pocket:

beefy-pop-tar

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb. Ground Beef (93% lean or leaner)

1 tbsp oil

½ minced white onion

3/4 cup sliced button mushrooms

1 tsp ground sage

1 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

4 large eggs

1 box (2 sheets) store-bought puff pastry

1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

– Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large non-stick saucepan on medium-high heat, then add minced onions, mushrooms, and Ground Beef. Sauté for 15 minutes, or until beef and veggies are cooked through then add sage, paprika, salt and pepper.

– Reserve beef and veggie mixture in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together your eggs, season with salt and pepper, then scramble over medium heat in a nonstick pan. Set aside.

– Heat your oven to 400°.

– Roll out the store bought puff pastry on a large cutting board dusted with flour. Cut out 8 separate 4-inch by 6-inch squares of dough.

– Lay down ¼ cup of shredded cheese into 4 dough squares then evenly distribute your scrambled eggs and beef mixture on top. Lay a second sheet of dough on top of each half-formed tart, then use a fork dipped in water to seal all the edges.

– When the tarts are sealed, cut three slits in the top of the dough so steam can escape, then carefully place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

– Allow the tarts to cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer. Microwave for 60-90 seconds to reheat in the morning.

Recipes created in partnership with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Funded by the Beef Checkoff. 

Categories
Cravings

EAT THIS: Hawaiian Burger Bacon Balls Stuffed with Pineapple & Oozing with Provolone

bacon-balls

There was this, and then there was thisHawaiian Burger Bacon Balls. Stuffed with provolone melting into sweet pineapple chunks and enveloped in a carnivorous hug of ground beef and bacon, these babies are the new hors d’oeuvres-gone-beast.

Tell me you don’t want to wrap your lips around these luscious pieces of juicy meat and bite down as cheese oozes down your chin. You can’t, because you want to. Oh. So. Badly.

Head over here to check out the recipe by crapsoup, the same mad, glorious genius behind Bacon-Wrapped Mac & Cheese Meatloaf. 

H/T instructables

Categories
Cravings Hit-Or-Miss

Fried Jamaican Beef Patty

Aw, yeah! Jamaica… Jamaica! Welcome to the island mauun! Fried Jamaican Beef Patties are usually fried and filled with a mixture of ground beef, red onion, garlic, nutmeg, salt, brown sugar and all spice. Trust me, they are too good to pass up! Eating a couple of these while sitting on beautiful Jamaican beaches would be the life!

Categories
Cravings

Burger Pizza decorated like a burger

We’ve seen our fair share of Pizza Burgers, but this one definitely takes the pie (terrible pun). This one focuses more on collaborating the actual products used on a cheeseburger (meat, tomato, cheese, ground beef, basil leaves) into a more decorative topping display, giving the allusion of a cheeseburger from a topographical view. Somehow, this still looks delicious. Eat on! (PicThx Burger365)