The New York Times published an article about the seeming increase in E. coli contamination this year. The government has issued guidelines that are supposed to increase meat safety, but are no more stringent than what Tyson Foods is already doing.
If they don’t work the federal government “believes that exposing meat to radiation is a safe and effective way to kill E. coli and other pathogens”. But even the big CAFO’s and meat processors are nervous about trying it, “because of fears that it would make meat more expensive, change the taste and color, and provoke consumer opposition”.
The article goes on to outline the extreme measures that meat processors are going to to kill of the bacteria including acid washes, steam treatments, hosing down the cattle and exploring new antibiotics. It also discusses the fact that the hide is the cause of contamination due to it’s matting with feces and mud.
The NY Times studiously fails to mention that CAFOs and feedlots by their very nature are the cause of the increase in E. coli. The reporter also ignores the opportunity to discuss the advantages, both for human and animal health, of pasture raised beef.
So yeah, let’s fix the problem by washing the cows and irradiating their meat. Because it would just be way too hard to treat them humanely and raise them on the feed and pasture that nature intended.