E. coli and Our Customers

July 5, 2019

I really thought, is this a subject I should bring up with you? The answer was a clear Yes. Deal with maters of health and safety that are of high importance to you and to us. 

E. coli O157:H7 bacteria is a real and scary thing for meat and vegetable eaters. We do not have any reason to think our beef will have any problems whatsoever, but “knowledge is king” as they say or I will substitute “Queen” as it is the women and mothers who are our hardest core customers. Sorry guys.

Let’s start with the "truth" and little comic relief about this delicate subject. Turn on your sound and click here. (8 second Youtube clip)   

Food contamination is real. Have we, Cascade Brook Farm, been subject to a recall for E. coli at any point in our history? 


No.


Is it possible for our meat to be recalled for E. coli? 


Yes.
 

It can happen, and the contamination is dependent on the processing facility. The processing facility we use, Vermont Packinghouse has never had a recall for E. coli. In the next post,  I will pass on Vermont Packinghouse’s responses to me on what what they do regarding E. coli.

There have been recalls in the past few months for E. coli contamination throughout the USA. This includes meat (primarily ground beef) and vegetables. I want to impart some simple, understandable facts on this potential, although unlikely, health issue for you and how it can affect you. 

SUMMARY


E.coli O157:H7 is bacteria that lives in the intestines of some animals.

2. Fecal material can get on the carcass at the time of slaughter. It is the responsibility of the slaughter plant to ensure carcasses are completely and thoroughly sanitized before hanging of the carcass in the cooler. This is a standard practice that is strictly adhered to by our processing facility.

3. If the carcass was not thoroughly sanitized and the pathogen is present, that is when the E.coli bacteria can be passed along in the meat processing - cutting, grinding, etc..

4. E. coli, if present in the beef, is most always detected in the ground beef. That's because it is “worked” through grinder process and gets beyond the surface of the meat. E.coli can easily be killed during cooking of non processed meat.  Same is true if you cook your ground to well-done condition.  We like our hamburgers medium. 

5. I (Ed) receive all and every food recall notification directly into my email inbox from USDA and FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) the moment they are issued. 

6. We, Cascade Brook, have a plan in place such that if we are ever subject to a recall our actions are immediate and complete.  More to follow on the plan in another post.

7. Again, we do not ever expect anything like this to happen for us, but as they say “crap happens”.  So we and our processor are always vigilant and want you to know the situation. We would only be concerned if we buried our heads in the sand on this matter. 


I asked Vermont Packinghouse, one of our 2 processors, questions about your beef and E.coli. They provided a thorough response and it will be posted next.   

Ed Canane

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