Yesterday, Meatingplace and and its sister magazine Poultry, reported that consumer confidence in meat safety has dropped dramatically over the last five years. One third of consumers included in a survey conducted by these magazines said that they had less confidence in the safety of the U.S. meat supply today than five years ago. Only 35% of those asked were satisfied that the U.S. government is doing all it can to ensure meat safety.
This morning, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced yet another recall of raw ground beef due to contamination with E. coli O157:H7. The recall was a small one – only 102 pounds – but it illustrates clearly one of the problems with processors' attitudes. The contamination was not discovered by the Tennessee firm that processed the ground beef. It was detected by USDA after the meat had already been sold to consumers.
The U.S. consumer would have much more confidence in the safety of the country's meat supply if she could be sure that she and her family wasn't being used as the "canary in the cage" for the meat industry.