48:2 A Flawed Inspection System: Improvements to Current USDA Inspection Practices Needed to Ensure Safer Beef Products

Comment

Abstract

Foodborne illnesses have changed with the times. Improper food preparation used to be the number one cause of foodborne illnesses, now it is the food itself—contaminated from fast and sloppy slaughtering. Inspection methods must, like the pathogens, keep up with the times. Though the meatpacking industry is now conducting microbiological testing, there are flaws in the pathogens selected for testing, what is being tested, when the testing is conducted, and how positive test results are treated. This Comment examines current inspection practices, indicates areas that need improving, and discusses how changes could be made to the regulatory scheme and inspection practices to reduce the number of foodborne illnesses and deaths caused by E. coli.