Loophole still allows E. coli O157:H7 into the food chain

An article by Stephen J. Hedges, published in the Chicago Tribune on 11/11/2007, points out that millions of pounds of beef that tests positive for the particularly aggressive strain of the bacterium each year are allowed to be served for consumption, just as long as companies comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations by labeling it as “cook only.”According to the USDA, cooking destroys the bacteria, rendering the meat safe to eat, e.g. in the form of precooked hamburgers, meat loaf, crumbled taco meat and other products.  This also includes the National School Lunch Program, administered by the USDA.

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