Local Cattle Farmer Talks About Beef Recall

By: Sarah Goebel Email
By: Sarah Goebel Email

Another food recall has consumers shopping with caution. So far, there have been more than 30 and the latest recall is on e.Coli contaminated beef.

United Food Group recalled nearly six million pounds of fresh and frozen beef.

Tyson Fresh Meats recalled more than 40,000 pounds of ground beef that was sold in Wal-Mart stores in 12 states including Kentucky.

There have been no stores locally known to have sold the contaminated meat.

"This affects our market somewhat," said Mark Hughes, with Hughes Cattle Company.

Hughes has been raising beef cattle all his life.

"I'm a fourth generation beef cattle farmer," Hughes said.

He said a recall like this is bad for business.

"It makes us concerned because consumer confidence is somewhat breached," Hughes said. "People won't buy as much steak or meat to grill or beef products because they think there might be something wrong with it."

After all of the other recent food recalls including the spinach scare last year, farmers like Hughes feel this couldn't come at a worse time.

"There were people scared to eat anything green," Hughes said.

E.Coli contamination can be caused by a number of things.

"It could have been in shipping. Their truck could have been warm or it could have improperly handled in the facility, it could have been contaminated by a certain person that had the bacteria on them," Hughes said.

He's not worried about e.Coli from his stand point since the contamination would only happen after he sells the cows.

"The plants we provide to are very stringent on who enters the facility, who is in there, and how clean, the record keeping that they keep those facilities in," Hughes said.

With proper cooking, Hughes said even contaminated meat shouldn't be a huge health concern.

"Usually when you cook it, it's okay," Hughes explained.

The recalled beef has been taken off the shelves and destroyed. Hughes said the beef that is still on the shelf is completely safe and there's no reason not to buy it.

"I hope the consumer can rest assure that the beef product they have in front of them in United States is the safest and healthiest in the world," Hughes said.

Tyson Fresh Meats contamination was found through random testing at a plant in Texas, but the exact cause isn't yet known.

No illnesses have been reported in the Tyson recall, however 14 people have become ill as a result of the United Foods contamination.

For more information on the recall from the FDA, click here and for more information on Tyson foods, visit www.tyson.com. You can also call 1-800-325-4164 for more information on United Food Group recalls.

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