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Pan

Fear of BSE

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Well, I made a beef stew over the weekend, which means we're still eating beef. I was thinking of making a complete move over to bison, but there aren't the variety of cuts available, plus I miss the fat.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I'm not avoiding beef as such, but I'd also like to see the prices drop.

I found it surprising in the recent media coverage that beef spinal cord tissue has been banned since 1997. Every time I've made beef stock in the recent past, I've used what appear to be neck bones as part of the mix, because they were cheap. They also appeared to have spinal cord in them, or at least some kind of whitish tissue. Was I mistaken? Until I get a positive ID on these particular bones, I think I'll avoid them.

It's just about time to make another batch of pho...

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I made a delicious pan-seared New York steak for dinner last night -- fresh from the butcher -- absolutely rare and yummy with sherry-deglazed pan jus, and have not experienced any ill effects. I'll post an update in a few years.

Mad Squeat

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jsolomon, what's MRSA?

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a bacteria that is immune to most, if not all, of the US's last-ditch-effort antibiotics. Not good stuff at all.

I think I just read that it cannot be killed by heat either.

I would be more concerned about Vancomycin resistant S. aureus, since that is the antibiotic of last resort against Staph. BTW ~10% of our population are harboring S. aureus at any given time, as a harmless colonization of our nose or groin region. It is only when Staph makes it in to our bloodstream that there is a problem.

Regarding heat killing, in my experience clinical isolates of S. aureus are much more sensitive to heat than E. coli strains. I discovered that heating S. aureus (in this case an MRSA strain) to 55 degrees Celsius, for even a few minutes results in more than 99.9% killing via the induction of naturally occuring prophages in the bacterial genome. I can't imagine any MRSA surviving in a well done burger

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jsolomon, what's MRSA?

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a bacteria that is immune to most, if not all, of the US's last-ditch-effort antibiotics. Not good stuff at all.

I think I just read that it cannot be killed by heat either.

Just a little more clarification... the toxin that causes food poisoning (extreme nausea and vomiting) is produced when food that is contaminated is allowed to "grow out" and produce the toxin. That toxin is not affected by cooking temperatures. If you kill the buggers before the food is allowed to sit you won't get any toxin production. R Washburn is correct. Staph is pretty sensitive to heat and relatively easy to kill. Staph is a normal skin resident but not all strains are equal in the production of the toxin. The infection is a different thing where the aggressive anti-biotic resistant staph enters the body, usually by mechanical means. One result is the "flesh eating" bacteria that gets into the news. Now, where was I? :blink:

I had steak in Calgary, twice, the same week that the news broke in Canada. I will continue to have steak, and brisket.

I am wondering about those neck bones for stock, though. Anyone know if USDA has addressed that?


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I had steak last night for dinner. Beef is such an integral part of my diet, I don't think I'll be giving it up any time soon. :biggrin:

Soba

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... reading this while sitting here eating some raw ground sirloin, and preparing to reheat last night's beef stew for my partner.

:biggrin:


V

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I was under the impression that the muscle flesh was not involved ---

You are correct.


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Mmmmm all this is making me hungry! Going out to a little neighborhood place tonight -- perhaps carpaccio?


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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I am having my first real meal in a month tomorrow night and one of the main courses will be steak. I have been day dreaming of this meal for about two weeks now.


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Why no food?

Stomach thing...you don't want to know the details but it has been 25 days since I last ate a normal meal. Tomorrow night it is oysters, caviar, steak and lobster! The meal is almost worth going through the past few weeks.


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Sorry to hear, hillvalley, but glad you're on the mend. Meal sounds great - enjoy. :biggrin:


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Thanks! I can hardley wait.....


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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I was under the impression that the muscle flesh was not involved. . .

I think the problem is that the prions causing BSE are practically indestructible. If meat-cutting equipment gets contaminated with that stuff, I could see how it would contaminate whatever else that equipment processes. (After chronic wasting disease, a deer version of BSE, was found in Wisconsin, I was glad that my boyfriend the hunter butchers his own venison instead of sending it to a processor.)

That said, I'm taking my chances. I love beef. My diet would be pale and sad without steaks and roasts.

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Did my big month-end supermarket thing today at Pathmark. The boneless shells were all labeled as being from Australia. Other beef roasts (rump, round, whole tenderloin, etc.) were not so marked. But they were relatively inexpensive. So, for that matter were the shells -- but once I decided to put one in my cart, one of the meat cutters was removing them. Why? I asked. So we can mark them down, said she. So I went back a while later and yes, they were marked down to and astonishing $3.99US a pound. Of course, I HAD to get one then. Yeah, I know, I'll be lucky if it's even Utility at that price, but hey... it's beef! That it comes from Oz doesn't make it any better or worse to me; at that price I'd buy it if it were Washington-cow's twin.

Anyway, all that said: if I want beef, I will eat beef. Case closed.

And, oh yes, Burger Club this Saturday! :biggrin:

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From Victoria, Australia:

No worries here. Just that our relatively low beef prices are now set to skyrocket because of increased exports.

Here we apparently don't have the practices that led to the disease in the first place. For instance, none of our animals have to be kept inside during a winter and fed meat-meal. There have been pretty stringent controls in place since the 80's. Every animal is tail- or ear-tagged with full information on its parentage and state of health contained in the tag.

We have full track-back accountability on all heads and this is extending right around the nation.

The guy I got this information from is Rod Polkinghorne - he's one of the industry's main activists and growers here and patiently explained everything to me (an ignoramus where anything beefy is concerned).

He said that the DNA of every piece of meat is recorded and that they can trace even a half-chewed piece of beef to the date of birth of the animal. It would take 2 1/4 hours to track any problem meat back to the paddock where the cow was last grazing.

You can bet your booties that beef producers are doing a pretty good job at raising healthy cows with all this accountability hanging over their heads.

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Jango, it sounds like the Australian meat industry and regulators can teach the American meat industry and regulators a thing or 50. If they're willing to actually do something and spend money, of course.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Jango, it sounds like the Australian meat industry and regulators can teach the American meat industry and regulators a thing or 50. If they're willing to actually do something and spend money, of course.

Maybe, but I think being an island continent has a lot to do with the ability to control the supply.

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We have had a couple nad cow incidents here in Japan, it caused a lot of restaurants that focused on beef to go undera dn many prepared foods that contain even things like beef essence were pulled from the shelves and are now back "beef free".

A lot of people were (and still are) avoiding beef here, I have not and never will. :biggrin:

Beef rules! :biggrin:

just wish I could afford it..... :sad:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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boneless shells

What in the world is this?

Kinda like boneless "prime rib." Sometimes cut into "shell steaks."

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