A National Provisioner research project
By Barbara Young, Editor-In-Chief
Lisa White, research assistant
For years, the beef industry and the U.S. government have battled E. coli O 157:H7 — the most insidious among pathogens causing foodborne illnesses, to say nothing of its major threat to the viability of ground beef. This seems a Sisyphean effort given the spate of recalls in 2007, especially the one ultimately forcing Elizabeth, N.J.-based Topps Meat Company LLC, the largest U.S. manufacturer of frozen hamburger, to go out of business. Despite all that has been done to thwart this lethal pathogen since the Jack in the Box outbreak in 1992, the watershed event that placed regulatory and consumer focus on E. coli O157:H7 — cases involving contaminated ground beef continue to plague the marketplace.