Vaccinated Burger With Cheese Anyone?

in-n-out-animal-styleAccording to the New York Times, the beef industry has initiated no less than 52 recalls of beef for contamination with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria.  It seems like we hear stories with more startling regularity about how our food supply is inadequately monitored leading to sickness and death.  Remember the tainted spinach last year?  The deadly burgers from Jack in the Box the year before?  Well, there are some interesting developments on the horizon that may make your double double “animal style” a little less likely to kill you.  Follow me over the fold for the “meat” of this story (sorry, couldn’t resist on a Friday afternoon).

Large scale testing of a bovine vaccine to protect cattle against E. Coli is finally under way after bureacratic delays in Washington were swept aside. 

The New York Times reports:
“In an effort to counter the threat, two vaccines have been developed commercially. One, made by a Minnesota company called Epitopix, received preliminary approval from the Agriculture Department in March, meaning it can be sold while research continues. Dr. James D. Sandstrom, general manager of Epitopix, said that about 300,000 head of cattle will get the vaccine in the coming months as part of a series of large trials.

A second vaccine has been developed by Bioniche Life Sciences, a Canadian company. It was approved for use in Canada last year and is awaiting approval in the United States.

Both vaccines spent years tangled in Washington red tape, largely because they straddle the border between animal medicine and human health. ”

Food poisoning from deadly strains of E. coli, mostly the O157:H7 variety, has become a recurring problem. The strain is responsible for an estimated 73,000 illnesses and 61 deaths across the country each year.

Do you think the government is doing enough to ensure that food producers are doing enough to protect our food supply?  Got a favorite burger joint to share with me?  (As you can tell, this New Yorker MISSES In-n-Out Burger from California.)  Sound off in the comments.

6 Responses to “Vaccinated Burger With Cheese Anyone?”

  1. So, am I getting this right? Instead of looking at the way cows are raised, and the sanitary conditions in slaughter houses that cause E coli to spread, they are giving the cows shots. Articles like this show how important locally produced food is – you really need to know where your food comes from. And yes, Anthony – I miss In-n-Out Burger, too.

    • April Zehler

      Well, reading through some of these comments seems a little bit apprehesive to me. But I would like to begin by stating that the comment that “we should look at how animals are raised”…indicating that e-coli comes from unsanitary conditions seems cantraidictory. After all, these are animals, not sterile objects in a glass petri dish producing food for everyone. You want animals to graze outside and be out in the sun and fresh air? Well, they are going to defecate out there in that grassy pasture at some point, and walk through it or possibly lay down next to some left behind by another animal.
      Reasonabbe expectations, yes. Ideallic utopia a reality, no.
      This is nature people, not a science laboratory. Unless you want your food manufactured in a laboratory, that is.
      As a dairy farmer’s wife in NYS, it is 100% against the law to sell any animal product or the animal itself if it is contaminated by e-coli. Each day a scientific sample is taken by the governement agency from the bulk milk tank to be tested for any bacteria (such as e-coli) and antibiotics or other medications. If any are found, you will be shut down within the hour until the veterinary has tested every animal on oyr facility and they have passed, no infections or drugs.
      That is the law. And believe me, it is followed. I don’t wonder about it, I see it every day carried out.
      But nature is not perfect. Your dog or cat could have e-coli or coccidiosis from the soil, transfer it to your yard, you walk in it, and visit the farm or vet’s office or local gas station and I walk in your footsteps and then transfer it to my farm facility. Yes, it happens that easily. Hence the biohazard mats containing bleach and other chemicals found at every farmer’s entrance to their milking barn by NYS and federal law.
      It can happen that easily.

  2. Jenica Weaver

    Food just isn’t processed like it used to be years ago. People do not know what additives are added to the foods that we eat today. Most of the world is overweight or obese because of all of the additives in the food. As far as E.coli getting into the meat from the cows, cows have a bowel movement in the same field that they eat. Cows would be stepping in piles of bowel movements and possibly eating stool that is on their grass or food. If possible, the farmers could hire more help to make sure the barns and the fields have better living conditions for the cows before they get sent to the slaughter house. Also the slaughter house should be well sterilized after each animal is butchered to prevent diseases and bacteria getting into the meat. It seems like we hear at least once a year of someone getting sick or food poisoned from tainted food. “Little House on the Prairie” times did not worry about tainted food, those people just worried about small pox and polio because no one made a vaccine to prevent them yet. Overall, if all farmers and slaughter houses were cleaner or more sterilized, then less meat would be prone to bacteria and diseases.

  3. Alisa Patnode

    I am a little concerned with the fact that the vacines used on the cows have not gone fully through the testing process. What affect are these vacines going to have on the cows and then ultimately on the people who eat the meat. I agree with the blogger above who stated that the barns and fields where the cows are raised should be cleaned up and a better living environment provided for them. The regulations on the slaughter houses also need to be enforced better and patrolled more often for better control.

  4. roseswithribbons

    I still eat beef, but not as regularly and there is not one moment while I am eating it that I don’t feel a sense of unease. I imagine that eventually I will eliminate animal flesh from my diet entirely as I did for two years a while back when I ate a macro-biotic diet for health reasons. It was mostly grains, greens, beans and sea veggies (nori, etc.), squashes, etc. It became very boring because I did not have the time or patience to stay home with a cookbook and preparing the kind of gourmet type macro-biotic menus that one can find in good vegetarian restaurants, nor did I have the money for that. So, I would make brown rice, half an acorn squash steamed, collard greens or kale, and beans (which I had to soak overnight and then boil) which I cooked with nori and some other sea vegetables (can’t remember the names). After weeks and months on this type of stuff, I was thin, my health issue cleared up entirely (constipation) and I never felt better in my life. But, then I went back to eating red meat, etc. and now, eight years later, I am again uneasy about eating that way – now, more than ever, with all the news about the food supply.

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