Both tell tragic stories of women who developed hemolytic uremia syndrome in response to eating a food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Both reveal the appalling physical and monetary cost of these illnesses. Recall: we also do not have an effective and affordable health care system.
To me, the most chilling part of the Times investigation had to do with the lack of testing for dangerous pathogens. No meat packing company wants to test. Why not? They know the animals coming into the plant are contaminated. They know that tests would come up positive. They know that if they find pathogens, they have to recall the meat.
It's obvious why meat is contaminated. The making of hamburger is enough to put anyone off, as the letters to today's Times attest. In my book, Safe Food, I discuss a study demonstrating that one pound of commercial hamburger could contain meat from more than 400 cattle. The Times' article takes such facts to a personal level. The 22-year-old woman who ate the tainted hamburger is paralyzed from the waist down and likely never to walk again.