Friday, August 8, 2008

More Bad Beef

E.Coli Magnified Photo From

Two more E. coli related beef recalls. The most serious effecting kids at a scout camp. The second is a recall of beef sold in June in Whole Foods stores. People have gotten sick on ground beef purchased from Whole foods in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

At least 73 people who attended the popular camp at Goshen Scout Reservation in the Blue Ridge Mountains have reported falling ill, Virginia officials said. So far, the E. coli infection has been confirmed in one adult from Maryland and 21 children from Virginia. Eight were hospitalized.

The outbreak began between July 20 and July 26, and may have continued into the next week, health officials said.

The first week, 1,647 scouts, leaders and staff members attended the camp, with 1,310 participants the next week, according to the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scout officials closed the camp Sunday.

Since spring 2007, more than 19,500 tons of E. coli-tainted beef have been recalled in more than 30 separate incidents, according to Seattle attorney and food safety expert William D. Marler.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Monday that it was investigating six cases of E. coli that might be linked to a multi-state outbreak involving tainted meat from Nebraska Beef of Omaha. So far, at least 50 people have been sickened.

"Nobody I've talked to has any idea why we're seeing an increase, though everybody has a different theory," Marler said. "The meat industry basically has no answers. It's pretty frustrating -- there'll be some hand-wringing, a bunch of lawsuits and nothing will be done until three months later, when it all happens again." -- Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
So when are we going to really investigate all these industrial food safety incidents? When are we going to crack down on corporate perpetrators of unsafe, unsanitary practices? This is the kind of thing that people just don't really get their heads around and yet this food is in our fridges, at our restaurants, at the summer camps where we send our kids.

I will say it again, there needs to be a MAJOR overhaul of our food system and our food safety monitoring institutions. The Marler quote above says that no one knows why this stuff is happening more frequently?!

WTF? Gut departments that are responsible for health and safety and then put incompetent people in the driver's seat for 8 years and you wonder why this is happening?! I know exactly why it is happening more often. What I want to know is what are we going to do about it?