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Q: How do I know the beef I purchase is safe?

Every segment of the beef production chain has developed and implemented best practices aimed at the bacteria that cause foodborne illness. The incidence of foodborne illnesses from beef is extremely low, and the partners in the beef production process are working together with government to ensure the continued safety of U.S. beef.

Q: What should I do when I hear there’s been a recall?

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service announces product recalls to alert the public when particular meat or poultry products could present a food safety concern for consumers. You can check online at www.FSIS.USDA.gov to find information concerning a recall of meat products.

Q: How do foods become contaminated with E. coli?

E. coli can be inadvertently transmitted to foods through improper handling during food processing or from infected food handlers who have not thoroughly washed their hands before touching food and utensils. Plant foods can also be contaminated via fertilization with raw manure and or contaminated water

Q Why is ground beef more susceptible to E. coli contamination than other beef cuts?

Surface bacteria on beef are transferred to the interior of the meat during grinding. This gives bacteria a greater surface area for multiplying in number. This is why ground beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F to ensure food safety.

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