Alberta politicians use social media to discuss tainted beef
Published Sunday, October 21, 2012 5:33PM MDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 21, 2012 6:35PM MDT
A political controversy played out over Twitter on Sunday.
The debate began after Wildrose leader Danielle Smith agreed with a suggestion that potentially tainted beef be served to the province’s “hungry”.
The comment came after news that about 1 million pounds of beef from XL Foods was being dumped in a landfill near Brooks.
In total the company has decided to destroy 12 million pounds of recalled beef after it was suspected of containing the E. Coli bacteria.
Smith posted a tweet on her account that read:
“I agree. We all know thorough cooking kills E. coli. What a waste. MT
@lyechtel: Is there no way to cook it so it’s safe and feed the hungry?”
Some were not impressed.
Hope Mission volunteer Brady Ciochetti told CTV Edmonton he was offended by the suggestion.
“Because she already knows it’s tainted,” he explained.
However, Smith followed up her initial tweet with another: “
@sheila_info If they made it available for sale I'd be one of the first to line up to buy some. Most people I've talked to say the same.”
That still left some with a sour taste.
“I don’t think that’s right,” Rachel Rattray said.
“E. Coli can kill people. I wouldn’t take that risk for anyone.”
NDP leader Brian Mason took to twitter to announce his disgust at the suggestion.
“I'm appalled that a public official would suggest feeding tainted meet to ABans living in poverty,” he posted.
Smith responded with: “Brian we are trying to calm things down not stir things up. We all know meat can be safely eaten if cooked properly.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency did confirm that there was a process to treat tainted beef.
“That high temperature treatment is an establish process for dealing with contaminated product and it ensures that all of the bacteria are destroyed,” CFIA spokesperson Lisa Gaultier told CTV Edmonton.
“If the company choses a high temperature treatment we would oversee the effectiveness of that process and as an extra precautionary measure we would also test that product after to ensure that it’s safe,” she added.
Gaultier said that XL Foods had instead decided to destroy the product.
“There possibly could have been other options but they confirmed to us that is the choice that they made.”
Smith posted that she was going to do more research on the issue.
With files from Sean Amato