Newsmaker: Dr. Joe Schwarcz on tainted beef, arsenic in rice
Published Wednesday, October 3, 2012 2:57PM EDT
Dr. Joe Schwarcz says the recall of beef processed at the XL Foods plant is worrying, but can be handled.
"In this particular plant, though, there were about 40 inspectors and six veterinarians looking after it," said Schwarcz.
He does point out that bacteria such as e. coli 0157H7 can be killed if the meat is cooked thoroughly.
But cooking it thoroughly is the tricky part.
"Just cooking it to grey inside is not good enough because you need a thermometer," said Schwarcz.
"The studies have shown that actually when you have a patty like that, you have to sample it in five different places to ensure it's at least 72 to 75º Celsius because the bacteria are not evenly distributed and the heat is not evenly distributed."
Anyone eating meat tainted with e. coli 0157H7 will get sick -- in anywhere from a few hours to a few days -- with bloody diarrhea. But the real risk comes from the disease attacking the kidneys.
Dr. Schwarcz also discussed recent articles examining arsenic in rice, saying that the amount of arsenic found is at a level judged to be safe in water.