Amid concerns over recent E.coli outbreaks, the New York Times continues to investigate the safety of using ammonia to kill salmonella and E.coli bacteria as part of beef processing.
At the center of the story is Beef Products, Inc., the South Dakota company that introduced the ammonia treatment for its beef trimmings, which are used primarily as filler in hamburger patties. The Times tries to sort through how the meat is classified and distributed in an effort to understand how processed beef is monitored by the government's school lunch program and food safety inspectors.
Beef Products Inc. is not a well-known company outside of the beef
processing industry, even though it supplies major fast food restaurants
(McDonald's and Burger King) as well as hamburger manufacturers
(Cargill). It's one of the companies featured in the
documentary Food Inc. -- footage of the plant's production process is set to ominous music in this clip.
to the story, McDonald's, Burger King and all said
they'll continue to use Beef Products meat and that the products are
safe. All of the companies said they do independent testing beyond
federal inspections to ensure that their food meets
quality assurance standards.
Critics might argue that Beef Products Inc. is being unfairly targeted, but stories like this one tend to improve cooperation between government agencies and provide additional information for consumers.
[Image via Flickr: pointnshoot]