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Illinois Residents “Beef Up” on Food Safety

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Monday, February 25, 2008   

Pleasant Plains, IL – "Beefing up" food safety is what many in Illinois are doing, after the largest beef recall in American history. Schools and stores are trying to track down 143 million pounds of meat that possibly is tainted.

Frank Bowman owns the Sangamon Valley Cattle Company, and says consumers have something to learn from these large-scale recalls.

"The most important thing is knowing where your food comes from. Americans have gotten to the point where most of our food travels an average of over 1,500 miles to make it to your plate."

The federal agency investigating the case stresses that the recalled beef has not been linked to any illnesses. However, it may have come from sick cattle, which is against federal meat safety rules. Bowman explains family farmers don't use forklifts and electric shocks to process sick animals for meat.

He says what cattle are fed also increases or decreases the potential for dangerous bacteria levels, such as E. coli, in processed meat. Feedlot food, he says, is not what cows naturally would eat.

"The bacteria and little bugs that live in their stomachs live at a certain pH in a certain environment, and changing what they eat changes those conditions."

The latest beef recall has raised questions about trusting the federal government to make sure food is safe.



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