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Firemen’s Fundraiser May be Victim of E. coli Regulation Loopholes


September 23 2008

Tri-tip beef served at a September 6 fundraiser for the Forest Ranch, CA volunteer fire department has been cited as the probable cause of an outbreak of toxic E. coli O157:H7. At least 18 have fallen ill, four of whom required hospitalization. Many meat-related E. coli outbreaks are traced back to ground beef, but the fundraiser served tri-tip, which has its own, lesser known, history of problems.

“Meat can become contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 in many ways,” said Denis Stearns, attorney with the food borne illness firm Marler Clark. “There are some regulations in place to detect that contamination and prevent tainted meat from reaching the marketplace, but tri-tip beef can fall through a dangerous regulatory loophole. Larger cuts of meat like tri-tips are sold as ‘intact meat’ even though they are intended to be cut into smaller pieces (like steaks or stew meat). The meat industry claims that the USDA allows it to sell contaminated intact cuts of meat, but the Sizzler case illustrates E. coli O157:H7 regulations on intact meat are ill-defined, and that’s a recipe for contamination. It makes no sense.”

Continue reading, "Firemen’s Fundraiser May be Victim of E. coli Regulation Loopholes" at the Marler Clark Website.

More on this outbreak: Forest Ranch Fire Department Fundraiser E. coli Outbreak

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