Time to give up pre-ground beef

Like most non-vegetarians, I buy my ground beef already ground. It’s easier and requires the washing of fewer dishes. It’s not necessarily cheaper, however – apparently you can make good, lean ground beef from London broil, which is often on sale for less than $2lb.
In any case, an article in today’s New York Times has convinced me that I should give up that practice. The article recounts how common is the contamination of ground beef by e-coli and how opposed to any testing of the product are both meat producers and processors (though specially the former). They don’t want liability, so they don’t want to test. Even when they do, it’s very infrequently.
E-coli can be quite dangerous – lead to uremic hemolitic syndrome and to death. My own sister got the syndrome when she was 9-months old and has since then had three kidney transplants and a life that revolved around hospitals. It only takes a few e-coli cells to make you virulently sick, and e-coli multiplies every few minutes. Moreover, it doesn’t go away by being cleaned with simple soap and water – you need to use bleach to disinfect your cutting boards to get rid of it. In other words, it’s very easy to get infected.
It’s not clear to me how dangerous is the handling of non-ground beef (what they call muscle meat), but it’s surely safer than ground beef. So I’m going to try grinding my own in the food processor – specially when London broil is on sale.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Food Items

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *