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Fri Jun 9, 2017, 01:32 AM

Past food safety questions raised at BPI trial over "pink slime"

ELK POINT A public health expert defended Beef Products Inc.'s food safety record Thursday as a lawyer for ABC highlighted past reports of potentially harmful bacteria found in beef produced at BPI's South Sioux City plant.

During his cross-examination of BPI witness Mindy Brashears, ABC attorney Dane Butswinkas attempted to cast uncertainty on Brashears' contention that BPI's Lean Finely Textured Beef is safe, wholesome beef. Brashears, a food safety and public health professor at Texas Tech University, repeatedly maintained there was never any serious problem with the company's signature product, which critics derided as "pink slime."

Dakota Dunes-based BPI, which is suing ABC for up to $5.6 billion in damages, claims a series of March 2012 stories defamed BPI and LFTB, causing widespread public distaste for the product.

After Butswinkas brought up E. coli and salmonella detected at the BPI plant in 2009-2010, Brashears pointed out the amount of bacteria was small, consistent with findings at other plants, and the company quickly dealt with the issue properly.

Read more: http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2017/06/09/past-food-safety-questions-raised-bpi-trial/382062001/

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