American consumption of ground beef remains a popular choice when it comes to mealtime. And while concerns about the more virulent strain of e-coli bacteria may not be as prominent today, food safety measures are found in the field of cattle through when the meat winds up on your plate.
Summertime is often a period of the year when hamburgers are eaten in greater numbers. It’s not just found on the backyard grill. Many Lexington restaurants this week are participating in “Burger Week” promotions. University of Kentucky Extension Professor in Meat Science Greg Rentfrow says limiting animal stress can help reduce pathogen worries. “So everybody design their facilities, not only on the farm, but in the meat plants, to mimic what that animal wants to do naturally. So, that keeps the stress down so they don’t shed as much e-coli,” said Rentfrow.
Rentfrow says hot water washes and steam rooms are used on meats in processing plants as an e-coli preventive measure. And the meat scientist says ground beef recalls tend to be much smaller in size now compared to 15 to 20 years ago.