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Beef Recall is Another Good Reason to Eat Wild Game

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February 10, 2014

Beef Recall is Another Good Reason to Eat Wild Game

By David Draper

Two large-scale industrial food scares within the past week have me thankful my household subsists almost exclusively on wild game. Last week, PFP Enterprises, a Texas-based meatpacker, announced the recall of more than 15,000 pounds of beef that could be contaminated with up six different strains of E. coli.

If that’s not enough to make you think twice about picking up a shrink-wrapped Styrofoam tray of meat at the local Kroger, consider this USDA announcement released Saturday:

Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Petaluma, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 8,742,700 pounds, because it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection. Thus, the products are adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

According to the Huffington Post:
That's just over a year's worth of meat products processed by Rancho Feeding Corp., which has been under scrutiny by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. The agency said that without full inspection, the recalled products are unfit for human consumption.

The products were processed from Jan. 1, 2013, through Jan. 7, 2014, and shipped to distribution centers and retail stores in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas. They include beef carcasses, oxtail, liver, cheeks, tripe, tongue and veal bones.

Last month the company recalled more than 40,000 pounds of meat products produced on Jan. 8 that also didn't undergo a full inspection.

Think about that: A year’s supply of beef deemed unfit for human consumption. More and more, buying meat at a grocery store resembles a game of Russian roulette. Why put your health, and life, in the hands of corporations that obviously have little concern for their customers when you could be sourcing fresh, delicious meat yourself by going hunting.

Comments (6)

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from Drover1 wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

David: If you think there is no risk of food-borne illness from wild game or fish, you are sadly mistaken. It needs to be handled and cooked properly, just like commercially produced meat. Does your local game processor have a federal or state meat inspector on site? Does your garage? Next time you hunt on a cattle ranch, in the interest of full disclosure please remember to tell the owner you use your column to disparage his product.

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from Red Angus wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

Proper handling is the essential ingredient to food safety. Improper handling can cause problems on any food product, whether it be wild game or beef from a locker plant.

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from buckhunter wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

All the news I can find on this subject is vague. Appears the meat may have been good but did not go through the proper inspections prior to release to the public so it was trashed. Might be the USDA flexing it's muscles to prove a point.

Anyways, I butcher my own meat for this reason.

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from craig vaughn wrote 9 weeks 1 day ago

David, just because you like eating wild game (so do I) don't disparage the beef industry. They produce quality food that is just as safe as the meat most anyone kills in the wild. The proper handling of the meat is what's important, and meatpackers have it down to a science. Beside, the recalled meat isn't all tainted, they are recalling all the meat that could be tainted. Also, if everyone quit eating beef we would starve cause there isn't enough deer and fish in the country to feed everyone.

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from MattM37 wrote 8 weeks 59 min ago

"They produce quality food" -- except when they don't. IT'S FOOD. We put it into our bodies and the bodies of our children. Not only do we have a right to be disparaging when things like this happen, but we shouldn't hold back. It's not a tool or a car that might just inconvenience us if isn't produced perfectly; it's something that can kill us if it isn't produced perfectly. "Could be tainted" doesn't mean that the beef producer is free of blame; it means that it COULD BE TAINTED!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louis K. Muench wrote 2 weeks 6 days ago

As a food scientist, I completely disagree. You picked out a couple of bad examples of things that happened in the meat industry. However, the vast majority of the time, the food produced by the meat industry is wholesome and safe. When you say "corporations that obviously have little concern for their customers", it is completely inaccurate. Any company who wants to stay in business very long wants to be concerned for their customers. Obviously getting somebody sick or having a large recall such as your examples are bad for business, and nobody with a brain would want that for their company.

But more importantly, wild game has challenges and has MORE food safety concerns than commercially produced meat. Wild game is NEVER slaughtered under "the benefit of federal inspection", which you criticized one company for doing. Wild game is frequently contaminated by bacteria and requires appropriate handling and cooking.

Whether you eat wild game or domestic animals, food safety is always important and both could have problems.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Drover1 wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

David: If you think there is no risk of food-borne illness from wild game or fish, you are sadly mistaken. It needs to be handled and cooked properly, just like commercially produced meat. Does your local game processor have a federal or state meat inspector on site? Does your garage? Next time you hunt on a cattle ranch, in the interest of full disclosure please remember to tell the owner you use your column to disparage his product.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Angus wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

Proper handling is the essential ingredient to food safety. Improper handling can cause problems on any food product, whether it be wild game or beef from a locker plant.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

All the news I can find on this subject is vague. Appears the meat may have been good but did not go through the proper inspections prior to release to the public so it was trashed. Might be the USDA flexing it's muscles to prove a point.

Anyways, I butcher my own meat for this reason.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from craig vaughn wrote 9 weeks 1 day ago

David, just because you like eating wild game (so do I) don't disparage the beef industry. They produce quality food that is just as safe as the meat most anyone kills in the wild. The proper handling of the meat is what's important, and meatpackers have it down to a science. Beside, the recalled meat isn't all tainted, they are recalling all the meat that could be tainted. Also, if everyone quit eating beef we would starve cause there isn't enough deer and fish in the country to feed everyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 8 weeks 59 min ago

"They produce quality food" -- except when they don't. IT'S FOOD. We put it into our bodies and the bodies of our children. Not only do we have a right to be disparaging when things like this happen, but we shouldn't hold back. It's not a tool or a car that might just inconvenience us if isn't produced perfectly; it's something that can kill us if it isn't produced perfectly. "Could be tainted" doesn't mean that the beef producer is free of blame; it means that it COULD BE TAINTED!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louis K. Muench wrote 2 weeks 6 days ago

As a food scientist, I completely disagree. You picked out a couple of bad examples of things that happened in the meat industry. However, the vast majority of the time, the food produced by the meat industry is wholesome and safe. When you say "corporations that obviously have little concern for their customers", it is completely inaccurate. Any company who wants to stay in business very long wants to be concerned for their customers. Obviously getting somebody sick or having a large recall such as your examples are bad for business, and nobody with a brain would want that for their company.

But more importantly, wild game has challenges and has MORE food safety concerns than commercially produced meat. Wild game is NEVER slaughtered under "the benefit of federal inspection", which you criticized one company for doing. Wild game is frequently contaminated by bacteria and requires appropriate handling and cooking.

Whether you eat wild game or domestic animals, food safety is always important and both could have problems.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment