This week has been crazy with several hamburger recalls in the news. Last week we saw a firm out East that closed their doors after 67 years in business as a result of a major multi million dollar recall. This morning I saw a Wisconsin producer that announced a major recall. Why all of a sudden the rash of recalls? Has the testing improved? Is the government cracking down on inspections? Has the Menu foods fiasco triggered more regulation? Or are we seeing an increase due to more public awareness. (I think all of these are true.)
I think it has hit hard with all manufacturers of ground meat that tighter controls, more stringent testing programs, and more regulatory control is needed. I think an explanation is needed to make everyone aware of the potential problem in the ground meat industry. The bacteria in question is found primarily on the outer surface of the meat portions. Once the product is ground up the bacteria is exposed to a much larger surface area. It is like opening the doors to the auditorium and letting the bacteria multiply on more surface area. This is why you will seldom see the problem as a result of eating steaks compared to hamburger.
The real problem is the testing criteria. It is nearly impossible and it would be cost prohibitive to test for Salmonella/ E-coli contamination on every pound of meat processed. Some of these companies produce well over a million pounds a week. To test every pound of meat would be totally cost prohibitive and would make ground meat cost unattainable. Testing protocols are set up but they are like finding a needle in the haystack. The volume is the problem. With this much meat to produce the testing is almost a worthless experiment.
To counteract this problem it is critical that the producers follow proper manufacturing guidelines and meet strict HACCP controls in the manufacturing process. Strict quality control, proper supplier controls and maintenance of records, adequate trace -back requirements, proper temperature controls and following strict manufacturing policies are a critical and needed criteria for these plants as well as ours.
Our BARF Diet patties are produced under the same human consumption rules as the meat that we eat for ourselves. The sanitation, equipment, and freezing process is the same as designed for human consumption. We are proud of our record and demand high standards for the production of our products.
The world we live in is changing and we all have to change and follow new rules. It will always be our goal and intent to offer the public a product that is safe to feed and will offer the very best nutritional value to your pet.
Posted by Rob Mueller