About E. coli

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About E. coli Blog

New York Times – Fairbanks Farms did not test trim for E. coli?

Michael Moss breaks yet another concerning E. coli story – "E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Company That Halted Testing of Ground Beef."  Apparently, Fairbank Farms purchased incoming trim to add to its hamburger and failed to test it for E. coli – Why?

A deadly outbreak of E. coli has been traced to a large producer of ground beef that stopped testing its ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers.

AFA Foods has defended its testing protocols, saying they meet the beef industry’s “best practices” guidelines. Company officials said that their plants, including the one in New York, a subsidiary known as Fairbank Farms, require slaughterhouses to test their trim and that the company then tests samples of its finished ground beef as frequently as every 10 minutes.

“During the relevant production period, all such tests were negative,” Fairbank Farms said in written answers to questions from The Times.

However, the company added on Thursday that it was re-evaluating its testing procedures. “In addition to those controls, Fairbank is evaluating the addition of another firewall such as additional testing of incoming product,” the company said.

Well, better late than never.

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