How Do You Like Your Burgers?
What follows are the opening and closing lines of a New York Times story two weeks ago:
Stephanie Smith, a children’s dance instructor, thought she had a stomach virus. The aches and cramping were tolerable that first day, and she finished her classes.
Then her diarrhea turned bloody. Her kidneys shut down. Seizures knocked her unconscious. The convulsions grew so relentless that doctors had to put her in a coma for nine weeks. When she emerged, she could no longer walk. The affliction had ravaged her nervous system and left her paralyzed.
Ms. Smith, 22, was found to have a severe form of food-borne illness caused by E. coli, which Minnesota officials traced to the hamburger that her mother had grilled for their Sunday dinner in early fall 2007.
At these sessions, Felicia Nestor, a senior policy analyst with the consumer group Food and Water Watch, has urged the government to redouble its effort to track outbreaks back to slaughterhouses. “They are the source of the problem,” Ms. Nestor said.
For Ms. Smith, the road ahead is challenging. She is living at her mother’s home in Cold Spring, Minn. She spends a lot of her time in physical therapy, which is being paid for by Cargill in anticipation of a legal claim, according to Mr. Marler. Her kidneys are at high risk of failure. She is struggling to regain some basic life skills and deal with the anger that sometimes envelops her.
Despite her determination, doctors say, she will most likely never walk again.
Fox News had this take on the Stephani Smith case:
(New York Times Graphics)
Thinking hard and long before posting this, I want to qualify my post further by saying I’d like to believe our fast food chains have better food preparation standards.
But we need to be doubly, nay, comprehensively assured that Philippine burger patties are safe, and sourced, from suppliers that give utmost importance to consumer health and welfare.
I believe, however, that our own government meat quality inspection procedures are often token if not passive at best.
To be fair, there are frewuewntly publicized raids by authorities on “hot meat” coming from illegal slaughterhouses with so-called double-dead cuts called “botcha” in the vernacular being confiscated for destruction. from
Months back piggeries in Bulacan province had hundreds of pigs believed infected with the Ebola Reston virus culled.
I hope to update this post with reassuring reactions from local fast food burger chains.
I hope you’ll click at these references below about ecoli and the handling of meat: