Okay, so 2008 was NOT as big a year for E. coli recalls as was 2007.
Total amount of beef recalled last year was around seven million pounds; far less than the 29 million pounds recalled during 2007.
Still, we are talking about measurements in the MILLIONS OF POUNDS, something that we could not even get our heads around two years ago when there were just six recalls. Those six 2006 recalls were for just 168,702 pounds of beef.
There were three times as many recalls the following year, 2007, and the amounts involved were mind-boggling ending up in 18 recalls totaling 29 million pounds.
The year we’ve just closed the book on, 2008, saw ten E. coli recalls totaling seven million pounds. As a measure of how much E. coli danger is out there, recalls are but one. While it’s good to know we did not repeat 2007, we are clearly a long way from returning to the “normal” years.
Our comments are based on the recall data maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS). Current and archived data are now maintained by FSIS. We’ve combined some data, especially in looking at 2008.
Speaking of recalls, FSIS has since August 18, 2008 been responsible for making retail distribution lists part of the recall. We’d like to ask someone how that is working out for them because we don’t think we yet seen a example of it failing into place in a way to truly be of use to the consumers.