Stephanie Smith’s experience with eating a burger carrying E. coli put her in a coma for nine weeks and left her paralyzed from the waist down as reported by the New York Times.

Although most cases are not this extreme, it has revealed the flaws in detecting E. coli ground beef production. Ground beef is a mix of different grades of meat from various parts of the cow which may even come from separate slaughter houses. There are no federal requirements forcing grinders to test their ingredients.

Further, the cuts of meat used are more likely to carry E. coli. Most meat companies rely on suppliers to check for bacteria once the ingredients are ground together. E. coli could be detected once it is shipped from the slaughterhouse, but sources at two large grinding companies say many big slaughterhouses will not deal with grinders who test the meat fearing it could cause a chain of recalls.

Click here to learn more about Stephanie Smith and the dangers of E. coli.

Source: New York Times