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Canadians and Beef... What is the scoop

Hi Folks,

Due to all the recent recalls, etc on this whole e coli madness.. What are ya'll doing? Eating beef, avoiding beef, cooking the snot out of it until it's gray and rock-like?

We are pretty big beef eaters here, lean ground beef makes it's way into something probably once a week and we enjoy other cuts once a week either in stews, stir frys, bakes or just a plain ol steak with mushrooms and onions. Can't beat that.

I'm immunocompromised - I can't get that e coli. I understand cooking kills it, but I do not eat "well done" steaks. I'd rather not eat a steak, than eat a well done one. So.. Avoid until further notice? Purge my freezer of beef products?

I'm interested to hear what everyone else is doing...

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  1. Buying better beef. Cow is still on the menu.

    1. Still buying beef. I'm not a scientist nor do I know all the rules and regulations about selling beef, but from what I can remember most beef has to go through testing before it's sold for human consumption. As such I'll take my chances on the beef being ok to eat.

      1. Buying beef. My beef is from a local store that uses only Maritime beef. Hopefully the result of all this drama from ONE plant is more inspectors.

        Also, remember that any E. coli I on the surface of the meat. So, if the outside of the steak is cooked, the E. coli is killed. Ground beef is different, as the "outside" cut areas are throughout.

        4 Replies
        1. re: CanadaGirl

          I buy local as well but I have no idea where they get their meat.. I do know they cut it themselves, and it's a small place so I'm assuming they take care into ensuring the meat has not been contaminated.

          I'm just a little paranoid since e coli is bad for anyone, but for someone who already has a compromised immune system it could be a lot more than a hospital stay.

          1. re: carriej22

            You can always ask your butchers where they're getting their cow.

            1. re: wattacetti

              I second this. I prefer to buy from smaller, local operations if I can (for various reasons). I figure they are more likely to feel the effects of selling bad product compared to a larger company and therefore might be more diligent.

              1. re: topbanana

                A larger company (e.g. any of the chains that are presently affected by the recall) doesn't really handle product - they order from packaging companies pre-cut and pre-portioned.

                A boutique butcher will likely buy a carcass or two at a time and then portion as required.

        2. Don't eat a huge amount of beef and really don't fret over e coli... reputable supermarket or butcher shop for me. Some cuts... slow cooked and thoroughly well-done. A steak... if I worried about it being medium rare... would probably pass. Same with burgers... I want them pink AT MOST in center... bordering on rare... just HAVE to be HOT all the way thru. Would love to splurge on a decent meat grinder (or attachment for KA stand mixer) and try grinding my own.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kseiverd

            I think you would be very happy if you got your own grinder. I love mine....

            1. re: paul balbin

              It really is the only way to go.....not just for safety but for taste.

          2. It is one transformation center that had a problem. I stand by my Canadian beef.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Ruthie789

              Just found out that one transformation center produces 1/3 of beef in Canada. I am hoping that the recall is now under control.

              1. re: Ruthie789

                This is why I was so concerned, the recall is literally on pretty much all cuts of beef in my area.. I threw everything I had here out - now I'm a bit nervous to buy beef. So is everyone else as well, judging by how much is on the shelves.

                1. re: carriej22

                  Why didn't you return your purchases for a refund?

                  1. re: wattacetti

                    I split it all up into baggies since its just me and my husband, and I try to buy "club" packs when I can to save a few dollars.

                2. re: Ruthie789

                  I am incredibly uncomfortable calling a slaughterhouse a "transformation centre". It seems dishonest. Not a personal criticism - I know you didn't invent the term - I just don't like it. Slightly off-topic, I realize, but not entirely. We all need to own the fact that we're slaughtering our food, not just transforming it. And to some extent, this contributes to the distancing of us from our food supply, thus creating such monster problems.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    Very well stated, and I agree completely.

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        You are right we are slaughtering animals and adding them to our food supply. I am sure it is not a transforming experience for the animals in question.
                        I was a vegetarian for a two year period, I have not always been comfortable eating meat. Maybe transformation as a word is easier on my conscience.

                        1. re: Ruthie789

                          I understand. Slaughterhouse is really a difficult word to think about if you love animals. We keep animals for pets and for food - and I still have great difficulty thinking about what actually happens before stuff ends up on my plate. But if I'm going to eat meat at all I know I have to acknowledge the process. And I try to do that even if it feels awful. Most people have no connection whatsoever with the chain that delivers a skinless, boneless chicken breast to their skillet. The neutering of the language around it - eg transformation centre - adds to that disconnect.

                          Just as an example, I volunteer at a local soup kitchen. One week we were donated enough chicken legs to make lunch for about 70 people. So, maybe, 140 chicken legs. You look at a bag of legs and it may as well be carrots - right? While I was prepping them in my kitchen a friend dropped in for a visit. She takes one look at all that meat and says - Wow, that's 70 chickens! It stopped me in my tracks. We keep chickens and I love every single one of them. 70 chickens! You don't think of your groceries as actual animals - but they are. I tried to treat the chicken legs with respect (GOOD barbecue sauce, etc.). It has changed the way I look at my food. I'll eat meat but I need to remind myself that I'm eating a fellow creature and give it the attention it deserves.

                          1. re: Nyleve

                            I am very appreciative that I have food on my table of any form, it is a gift not to be taken for granted. It is wonderful that you care about what you are serving and as well that you help out in a soup kitchen.

                            1. re: Ruthie789

                              Truth be told, while I do love my soup kitchen volunteer work, on the whole I like animals more than I like most people.

                  2. I'm not worrying too much. I have some in the freezer I can use up. I phoned my local meat market and they had a bit from XL and promptly chucked it long ago. I'll buy and eat it again without hesitation.