Ground beef is a genuine terror. We live in an age in which E. coli contamination fears compel dedicated, discerning carnivores to cremate their backyard burgers into dusty grey frisbees. Even at reputable joints with proprietary grinds and sparkling health scores, some customers would rather utter the dreaded phrase, "well done," than sweat it out over something pink in the middle. It seems as if there's a recall every few weeks, and the media wastes no time in sounding the alarm, as well we should. The latest--34, 373 lbs-worth--comes courtesy of First Class Foods Inc. in Hawthorne, an organic beef producer. Traces of E. coli O157:H7 popped up during routine company testing.
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Packed on December 7th and 16th and shipped off to retailers in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Washington, and California, the potentially tainted packages are marked with an establishment number: EST. 18895. While no one has reported falling ill, it's probably a good idea not to use this stuff for a quick-and-dirty tartare. Until the sirens stop, buy steaks and grind your own. Or, as some will suggest, kick the hamburger habit altogether.