Huge Meat recall in Cali

3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Seems to me that it's ground beef (yet again) to be worried about :look:, because that's where all sorts of odd bits taken from who-knows-where are used. :mad: Whole muscle meat is less likely to be affected, iirc. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Joined Sep 29, 2009
For almost anything else, you'd be right. BSE, if I recall properly, can be a risk from meat that contacts bone as well. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Hmm, could be. I admit I don't pay all that much attention to that any more, since I tend to buy my meats from the farmers. I'll have to look into the issue more.

But back to the original question: if it's filet mignon, that's an internal cut that wouldn't normally have contact with bone, either. All you have to worry about is the handling and storage -- not a small worry, to be sure.
 
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Joined May 29, 2006
A primal tenderloin lies in an indentation of the loin. It is not really attached so to speak at least not by bone. And keep in mind most recalls are chopped meat or ground meat, Ground is subject to internal bacteria more so then whole primal cuts. The bacteria could enter the ground beef in the plant itself. Whole cuts on the most part are like the exteria of our bodies sterile and immune from infection.. You cant get a real infection till there is a cut or opening in your flesh. Meat the same. Aged beef actually in some cases is bad on the outside but not inside. This is done by controled bacteria. For it to be bad on inside it has to be cut or punctured. Our FDA is not to good at recalls and tends to catch them after distribution of the product. And in the case of ground meat the source of the meat could be mixed like beef from 6 different countries or locations all ground together. If you ever visited a slaughter house, you would never eat beef again. But in all due respect based on the weight tonnage of beef consummed in the U.S there are not really that many outbreaks.:chef:
 
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Joined Dec 8, 1999
Where to begin?

To start, the whole cut vs. ground beef debate. Whole cuts have just as much a chance of being contaminated as ground beef. It's just that the cooking process kills most any bacteria on the exterior and (as Ed pointed out) the interior is safe. In ground beef, the grinding introduces the bacteria on the exterior to the interior so it is pervasive throughout. BSE is not believed to be transmitted through a bacteria per se, though.

The reason for this recall is the use of downer (unable to stand) cattle. One of the signs of BSE is the inability of the animal to stand, so it's a risk to introduce them into the food chain. As far as how BSE is transmitted, it is believed to be through the ingestion of a malformed protein called a prion from an infected animal. These prions can found in the brain and spinal cord of such an animal. Any risk (and from what I've read, it's negligible) coming from meat on-the-bone is more than likely to come from on-the-bone cuts near the spinal column. These would include a bone-in ribeye, bone-in striploin steak, bone-in tenderloin and porterhouse/t-bones.

As far as tenderloin and bones are concerned, I'd say this picture pretty much tells you it does contact bone:


The tenderloin portion of this abuts the spinal column; the groove you see in the cross of the "T" is where the spinal cord was.
 
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Joined Sep 29, 2009
Ed, you are wrong on one count. There are some of us for whom a visit to a slaughter house is no dissuasion. I used to buy whole sides at one and have them broken down by a butcher into primals.
 
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Joined May 29, 2006
Try going to one in Texas. The cattle goes thru on the chain assembly line and these Mexican guys each make only 1 cut then another guy then another till the darn thing is done. If it falls from the chain(which it does it simply goes back up again) Hosed down or washed ? are you kidding.. Maybe the one you were in was better then what I saw. I break my own down on a daily basis. I get whole forequarters and hindquarters in also arm chucks, whole pigs etc. It aint pretty.
 
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Joined Dec 20, 2008
From what little I looked this is an old story it happened in 2008 and early 2009.  Even the quantities match the wiki story.

I read an interesting article about the differences between packers and grinders regarding ground beef.  Ideally every  load of meat pieces that a packer ships to a grinder should be checked for ecoli and other stuff.  However most large packers will not even do business with grinders who as a regular procedure test every load.  This is in spite of best practices as outlined by USDA recommending that packers meat products should be regularly tested.  Since the large grinders can get away with only periodic testing at their own plants, vs every load being tested at the grinder plant, a lot of small packers use the same standard.  Thus meat shipped from all over the world to USA packers manages to go through the whole process without any kind of real testing. 
There are grinders that insist they are testing daily, one is Costco.  We always buy our hamburger from Costco, and after reading that article I feel even better about Costco.

Unfortunately the USDA who even have inspection teams at the packers plants (larger plants permanently), turn a blind eye and allow the packers to get away with no testing.
 
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Joined Sep 29, 2009
Try going to one in Texas. The cattle goes thru on the chain assembly line and these Mexican guys each make only 1 cut then another guy then another till the darn thing is done. If it falls from the chain(which it does it simply goes back up again) Hosed down or washed ? are you kidding.. Maybe the one you were in was better then what I saw. I break my own down on a daily basis. I get whole forequarters and hindquarters in also arm chucks, whole pigs etc. It aint pretty.
the one I used to go to was a co-op.  That may have been the difference there.  
 
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Joined Jan 27, 2010
 Greg, you open my mind to be sensitive in choosing meat. Edible meat should be prefer in all time both whole and ground.
 
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