I never thought I'd say this, but veggie burgers are starting to sound good. National Beef Company in Kansas is voluntarily recalling 50,000 pounds of beef due to possible e. coli contamination. A strain of the bacteria was found in a 10-pound bag of ground beef. No illnesses have been reported. "We are working closely with authorities to investigate this matter and are contacting our customers who have purchased this product," National Beef says on its website.
The bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure, so we need to take this seriously. The ground beef was sent throughout the country, so everyone should be checking their beef. It's sold under the brand names "NatureSource," "NatureWell," and "National Beef."
Here is a full list of affected products. Look for establishment number "EST.208A" inside the inspection stamp. Beef products were produced July 18 with a use by/freeze by date of August 7 and shipped to retailers, wholesalers, and food service distributors nationwide.
This is why I buy my meat from small, local farmers whenever I can. If you've ever looked into how the vast majority of our beef is produced, it's amazing there aren't more cases of contamination. But if you don't have that option, at least protect yourself by cooking your meat thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees for ground beef.
The other day a friend tweeted a photo of his veggie burger, made with quinoa and white beans topped with poblano pepper and melted cheddar -- and I had to admit, it actually sounded pretty good (I know, quinoa can post an ethical problem of its own). With veggie burgers getting less gross, I'm starting to think maybe I should be more open-minded and less disdainful about them.
How safe do you feel most ground beef is?
Image via Elliot/Flickr