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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

“Pink Slime” and Food Safety

Screen Shot 2012-03-12 at 7.19.44 PM.pngBPI (without asking) has put out a quote of mine (from a newspaper months ago on a diferent topic):

“BPI has demonstrated a commitment to food safety. I see it as a big step in the right direction.”

I admit, I said it.  I said it, however, in the context of BPI’s move to test for E. coli pathogens that others refused to test for.  Damn, good for them and their customers.  

However, with praise comes responsibility.  BPI and the USDA/FSIS should do the right thing and be transparent – tell people what they are eating.  Its simple, the public will buy it out not – let the free market decide.

Long before this recent dust up, in December 2009 I wrote – “Will consumers continue to buy Beef Products Inc.’s Ammonia Meat Product?”

AP’s Christopher Leonard and Mae Anderson in their story, “Restaurants, food makers defend products after report that treated beef may still harbor germs,” asked the obvious question that the New York Times did not ask – “Would customers of Beef Product Inc.’ ammonia treated meat product, continue to buy it after the front page New York Times expose?”

Apparently the answer is, “keep that low-cost meat product coming.” According to the AP:

… Restaurant chains and beef processors defended their products’ safety Thursday after a report that an ammonia treatment thought to kill harmful germs in meat isn’t as effective as the industry and regulators believed. …

… McDonald’s said it doesn’t plan to change its relationship with the company. …

… Cargill spokesman Mark Klein said the company plans to continue to work with Beef Products, whose meat it uses in hamburger patties. …

… Burger King uses a “small percentage” of Beef Products Inc.’s beef trimmings in its U.S. hamburgers and does not plan to change that, spokeswoman Denise Wilson said.

Other restaurants and the federal school lunch program, which buy millions of pounds of the ammonia meat product yearly, have not yet weighed in on future purchasing plans.

And, they still have not.

Well, apparently to one mom in Houston, Texas, Bettina Elias Siegel of “The Lunch Tray,”  feels the public is not quite so ready to not know what is in their kid’s food.

Transparancy is a good thing.

  • Minkpuppy

    FSIS has been strangely quiet on this whole fiasco. I’m waiting for the quickly written notice or directive on how inspection is supposed to deal with this to drop in my inbox anyday now….

  • warts and all

    Aw, c’mon now Bill. I thought you no longer eat ground beef, haven’t for years, as I understood it. I rather doubt you are a regular customer at McDonalds. Why all the personal outrage over a food of the common man (who isn’t complaining about it, by the way)?

  • Guest

    I don’t really care about what Bettina thinks…about anything. Like you said, she’s “one mom” among about 50 million and one drama queen among a vast army of those. She does know how to frighten the children, though. Gotta give her that.

  • Paul F Schwarz

    Exactly what I want in my burger is ammonia or pink slime. I want to know if I can get my pink slime or ammonia on the side? Are these people trying to hide something? Don’t they think we have a right to know what we are paying for and eating?

  • http://www.thewatchers.us Jim Bynum

    There is a little inside joke here, ammonia does not kill bacteria.
    Disinfectant 101
    Ammonium hydroxide is an effective disinfectant against coccidial oocysts however strong solutions emit intense and pungent fumes.5 This substance is not considered effective againstmost bacteria. General disinfection should follow the use of this compound.
    http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/BRM/resources/Disinfectants/Disinfection101Feb2005.pdf