YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


October 06, 1994

As a microbiologist involved with the safety of ground beef in the restaurant industry for more than 18 years, I would like to commend The Times for "On the Hamburger Trail" (Sept. 22). The article is a perfect example of the objective, thorough coverage that a newspaper can provide to balance less objective and sensational coverage from other media sources.


Director of Corporate

Quality Assurance

Marriott International Inc.

Los Alamitos


Your writer really missed the boat with the story "On the Hamburger Trail." It's nice that Jack in the Box's reputation was saved after people were poisoned and died from eating E. Coli-contaminated hamburger and that the meat industry goes to great lengths to protect the consumer from further poisonings. But the real story lies in the question of why we now have such virulent strains of common bacteria and how the animal's muscle meats become contaminated with bowel flora.

I believe the answer lies in the massive doses of antibiotics fed to livestock in this country. The general public likely is not aware that 40% to 50% of all antibiotics manufactured in the United States are fed to livestock. This eliminates the weaker strains of bacteria and allows only the most deadly strains to survive. Then rapid processing and poor quality control methods contribute to contamination of meats.


La Mirada


I thoroughly enjoyed your article relating the tainted hamburger. What puzzles me is the non-mention of a simple, safe time--tested method of treating meat to eliminate E. coli. It's called radiation and it would be easy to do.


Newport Beach

Los Angeles Times Articles