Blatantly (and self-servingly) rewriting history, in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, the USDA is reported as stating the following:
The USDA has been considering for more than a year a policy change that would allow whole beef cuts to be considered "adulterated" — and thus subject to recall — even if they aren’t "intended for use in ground beef," according to Daniel Engeljohn, a deputy assistant administrator for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS.
The policy change is still under consideration, he said.
See Bill Tomson, U.S. Beef Safety Plan Languishes Amid New Illnesses, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2009, see: online.wsj.com/article/SB124725846273124757.html
Despite the fact that it has been pressed on the problem for over eight years, the USDA is now trying to act as if the serious risk of E. coli O157:H7 contamination of primal and subprimals, so-called intact cuts of meat, is a recent problem that is currently subject to ongoing policy review. This, to put it mildly (and aptly), is a bunch of cow-sh*t. Confusion has reigned since the FSIS E. coli O157:H7 policy on intact vs. non-intact meat was first announced on January 19, 1999. See 64 Fed. Reg. No. 11, 2803-05, see ftp.resource.org/gpo.gov/register/1999/1999_2805.pdf (hereinafter “Intact Meat Policy Statement)”.
For a complete and accurate history of how long this issue has been before the USDA, without it taking any action to address the risk, please click on the Continue Reading link.