the recent beef patty recall, there apparently was a lot of warning signs that something just wasn’t right. Christopher Drew and Andrew Martin of The New York Times investigate:Leading up to
As output rose, federal regulators said in interviews, Topps Meat factory was neglecting critical safeguards meant to protect consumers. Three big batches of hamburger contaminated with a potentially deadly germ emerged from the plant, making at least 40 people sick and prompting the second-largest beef recall in history.In my opinion, this is just another example of profit over social responsibility.
Topps is now out of business, but the case points up broader problems in the nation’s system for protecting consumers from food-borne illness…
…Additionally, Topps, like many other beef processors, had bought an increasing amount of meat from overseas. Some types of meat from foreign countries — where E. coli has not been prevalent — are not required to be tested for contamination. But the Agriculture Department said the Topps case had prompted it to consider requiring such checks.
In response to the problems, the Agriculture Department directed its inspectors on Oct. 12 to conduct a nationwide survey of what meat plants are doing to fight E. coli., and it plans to send special assessment teams into any plants that seem to be lagging to urge them to adopt more stringent measures.