In an expanding effort by the meat industry to make its hamburger safe, officials at the retail giant Costco said Wednesday that they had struck a new accord on testing for the pathogen E. coli.
Costco’s food safety director, Craig Wilson, said the company would begin buying beef trimmings for making hamburger from Tyson, one of the largest beef producers, after an agreement reached with Tyson this week that allows Costco to test the trimmings before they are mixed with those from other suppliers.
About the contaminated meat that so injured the woman in the New York Times story last Sunday, the Times notes:
…Like other hamburger grinders, Cargill tests its ground beef for the pathogen only after it mixes trim from multiple suppliers, and Cargill officials told the U.S.D.A. that they could not identify the slaughterhouse that shipped the tainted beef in Ms. Smith’s burger, company and government records showed. Slaughterhouses are viewed as the most likely source of E. coli because the pathogen emerges from fecal matter on hides and in the digestive tracts of cattle.