NEWS > BUSINESS > TURKEY BURGER RECALL RAISES CONCERNS OF BEEF INDUSTRY ESPIONAGE
TURKEY BURGER RECALL RAISES CONCERNS OF BEEF INDUSTRY ESPIONAGE
April 6 2011
Willmar, MN – From our earliest days on the African savannah human beings have lusted after meat. Meat has most certainly become an ugly word in recent years, associated as it is with obesity and other health issues as well as growing rhetoric
from animal activists but it has been essential in our evolution as a species. Aside from providing early humans with protein necessary for survival, the actual act of hunting was essential to developing early forms of warfare, defence, and to creating a sense of community and cooperation which dramatically changed the destiny of humankind.
However, times have changed like many things we used to do many people would argue that there are more than enough things to replace meat consumption. While it is certainly true that we have many replacements for protein, few would argue that the taste is exactly the same, a taste that is embedded in our palates at a biological level, meaning that the consumption of meat is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. Even in the meat world though there are debates with many arguing that replacement meats, meaning something other than red meat, are healthier and just as tasty as traditional beef.
While some will certainly never stray away from a beef patty, the growing appetite for turkey, chicken, and fish meat has shifted the dynamic, something the beef industry is not all that happy about, which has prompted an investigation after a series of salmonella outbreaks amongst turkey burger factories.
“We have begun a detailed investigation of multiple plants and facilities around the countries tied to an outbreak in Minnesota of a very potent and drug-resistant salmonella bacterium which has sickened a number of people,” said a spokesperson for the FDA. “While the company at the centre of the investigation has recalled the meat in question we are concerned about a series of similar incidents across the country with bacteria that contains very similar trace elements. We are very concerned that this outbreak could spread much more widely.”
The Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar recalled 55,000 pounds of turkey burgers following the outbreak.
“Our principle concern is of course for the health of Americans. This is a very potent strain of salmonella and we are working overtime to ensure that it does not enter the food chain with any kind of aggression. For the health and safety of all Americans we are recommending they take extreme care when consuming any turkey burgers,” continued the spokesperson. “We recommend that people cook their food thoroughly in order to eliminate all bacteria. Eating raw turkey burgers at this stage is not recommended and could result in serious illness which cannot be treated at hospital due to the drug-resistant nature of this particular bacteria. Please, cook your turkey burgers. At this stage we are not recommending people alter their eating habits.”
Some though are dissatisfied with the FDA’s explanation, stating that in fact that beef companies may in fact be responsible for the actions.
“We undertake great care in making sure that our facilities are clean and free of bacteria, yet this still happened. I don’t know anything for sure but I can tell you that shortly before we experienced this outbreak we had an employee quit, well he just left, and then this happened,” said an insider at the company. “This employee had extensive work experience in the turkey burger industry, working at multiple companies in multiple states. We have passed on his information to the FDA but so far they haven’t come up with anything, or at least nothing they are willing to tell us about. It’s very suspicious.”
FDA investigators had no further comment on the investigation.
William Ashford, Business Correspondent