Monday, August 24, 2015

How Safe Is Your Ground Beef? Well, you tell me did you cook it properly?

I have recently came across an article in consumer reports:

This really gets interesting at the end when consumer reports actually recommends only grass fed and/or organic beef. (Never mind the negative environmental/sustainability issues that can also be associated with that) And their results on bacterial contamination are based on irrelevant comparisons between 'raw' ground beef. They did not test differences between properly handled and prepared ground beef, because the differences would be zero! It also makes me wonder, by making these kinds of recommendations are they possibly endangering some consumers by shaping perceptions in such a way that could promote 'risk homeostasis' - making consumers feel safer and likely take fewer precautions if they buy organic/grass fed premium brands? It seems to me the only responsible thing they should recommend is proper cooking and handling since that has the largest significant impact on safety regardless of how it's raised or marketed. I haven't actually unpacked the analysis or methodology on the 'raw' beef comparisons (as irrelevant as they may be) but am interested to see what kind of reactions come about from those that have!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is something that bothers me a little bit about Consumer Reports as well.

They clearly do a lot of [very thorough] testing of devices and materials, but they can tend to have a nasty anti-GMO and pro-organic slant at times; what some psychologists call the naturalness bias.

It concerns me because I'd like to trust Consumer Reports to do the bias free testing that I don't have the resources (time/money) to do myself. It's a shame.