It is my understanding that currently, the USDA does not have mandatory recall authority on tainted meat. Therefore, public health is compromised by producers or processors who do not voluntarily come forth when their meat is contaminated with the likes of E. coli, listeria, or mad cow . Where does this meat, this tainted meat really go? Some States actually decided that we, the people, did not need to know where the meat was retailed at. Imagine that!
U.S. Department of Agriculture is poised to adopt a controversial new proposal that would weaken restrictions on cattle and cattle parts imported from Canada–a country facing a significant problem with mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy).
The proposal would allow Canadian cows born on or after March 1, 1999, to be shipped across the border. Since older animals are more likely to exhibit symptoms of the fatal brain disease, only cows 2.5 years or younger are currently allowed into the U.S . However, I read that 3 out of the 5 cows that did come down with mad cow disease last year, were born after March 1st.
The USDA is also proposing to allow imports of cattle blood and intestines from Canada to be used as animal feed, though these parts may harbor infectious material. Last month Canadian officials announced that they had detected the country’s ninth case of mad cow since May 2003.
The past decade has had 300 outbreaks of school food poisoning affecting 16,000 students. Think about that.
Pathogens that thrive in animal foods are among the primary causes of food poisoning. The biggest culprits are Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Campylobacter jejuni, and Listeria monocytogenes. These diseases cause several days of misery and occasional deaths. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 9 million cases occur annually, though most are not reported.
How many people dine out and get food poison?