In the New York Times this week, there’s a sobering article about the risks of eating ground beef, or in other words, the failure of our food safety system. At the Times’ Well blog, there’s also a list of the top ten common food poisoning risks. The safest ground beef would be made from whole cuts of meat from a single source, in contrast to what often makes up commercially prepared ground beef: a mixture of low grade cuts, trimmings, and filler from multiple locations, even trimmings treated with ammonia to kill bacteria.
While facilities will vary, it’s arguable that it’s much easier to keep an eye on food safety issues at smaller facilities that move at a slower pace, making another point in the case for eating locally produced meat processed at small local facilities. For some insight into the workings of a small scale slaughterhouse, see this guest post at Samuel Fromartz’s Chews Wise (yes, it’s frank).