I have to tell you, none of us saw it coming — we were gob-smacked from behind and knocked face-first to the mat as if we were participating in an old-time tag-team wrestling bout.
You remember, those matches, decided when one of the wrestlers in the ring body-slammed his opponent into submission.
As the loser lay twitching (semi-responsive) on the mat and the apparent winner was strutting his stuff around the ring; then out of nowhere the downed wrestler’s tag-team partner would jump on him from behind, slamming him hard back into reality.
That, folks, is an apt illustration for what happened in the cattle industry in the wake of the disaster at XL Foods in Alberta this past week.
Who could have seen that coming, or predicted such a thing? The largest recall (of beef) in Canadian history.
Does it affect the local cattle market?
Of course. It has had the same effect as one of those big time body-slams, knocking local producers hopes for healthy profit right out of the ring; once again, circumstances (out of their control) and bad timing have them hanging on the ropes, taking yet another beating in the market place.
E. coli (0157:H7) can also be found in sprouts (yep, many of you consume great quantities), unpasteurized juice/milk, contaminated water and dry cured salami as well.
The toxin produced causes serious illness that can wreak havoc, particularly in the very young, the elderly but the harmful strain is not just found in meat.
But have you ever heard of a massive sprout recall in headline news?
Often the general public is fed only a select portion of the whole meal (story) and it seems unfair that the entire beef industry has been tainted by a processing lapse (human operators, human error). The losses, in the form of negative perception, have been massive.
Liz Twan is a rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.