Thanks for sending this. I stopped eating beef several years ago at the height of the "mad cow" scare. It is only this year that I started eating beef once or twice a month - but never hamburger. And I shall probably never eat hamburger again.
I thought the comment by the doctor who works for the USDA was scary if we are depending on the government to protect us. He said he had to consider the industry as a whole and not just public safety. And imagine that many want to give the government more power over our health care.
I, too, would be interested in hearing any ideas on how could be better run. I do think that if the names of companies who sold tainted hamburger were better publicized, those companies (like Cargill and Sam's Club) would soon be out of the hamburger business. I was pleased to read that Costco did more testing of its meat than the others.
The government regulations do more harm than good! The suppliers in the article do not want the hamburger packers to test for bacteria because they have to tell the government whenever any germs are found. No wholesaler would normally threaten a customer for testing the product.
The best protection against dangerous products is liability for the damages they cause. Unfortunately, the US judicial system is so dysfunctional that victims of the food-poisoning don't recover their losses.
Note that the current political issue called "healthcare" is NOT actually about providing healthcare, but how healthcare is paid for. Government regulations and a dysfunctional legal system contribute to problems providing healthcare, and to exorbitant costs, but politicians are unwillingly to address the damages caused by laws they have already passed.
LP of San Mateo County CA