Thursday, August 24


This story is by no means unique or, unfortunately, all that rare. But it's a stark example of how in thrall our culture is to a food source that literally deals death to unsuspecting consumers. A 73-year-old woman died Sunday of complications from an E. coli infection after she ate contaminated food at a church supper in July. The E.Coli in this outbreak sickened 30 other people.

The source was - surprise! - the ground beef in meatballs at the supper, which also cross-contaminated other foods.

And note this part: "The investigators eventually traced the contamination to E. coli that had been discovered during a routine federal inspection of a Nebraska meatpacker. A distributor bought beef from that plant and sold it to a Longville grocer, who in turn sold the beef to a local restaurant and to the organizers of the church event. The victims who weren't infected at the church all had eaten at the same restaurant, Schultz said."

OK, so let's leave the restaurant nameless - they're practically at the end of the food chain. Even the Longville grocer and the distributor might deserve a little anonymity. But who the hell is the "Nebraska meatpacker" whose sloppy production sickened 30 people and killed someone? Nope, mustn't let that name out, bad for business, you know. That part of the story is standard practice, and it's infuriating.

Wednesday, August 23


Then try virus-laced luncheon meats instead! This was a tip from the inimitable Joan Zacharias, and as she points out, it's not just that meat producers again want to further contaminate their useless product in order to fight the fecal contamination that is endemic to it, but that again, consumers will have no idea which hot dogs are or are not virus-free, as there will be zero requirement to label them as such.

Actually, Joan didn't mention the fecal contamination, but I had to get that in - it's my specialty around here.