The ever expanding beef recall in Alberta has raised many concerns about the possibility of consumers contracting E. coli and the health of Canada's food system. Amidst the food crisis, which is now the biggest beef recall in Canadian history and has justexpanded to Hong Kong, those with a penchant for beef may be feeling beleaguered by their desires.

But navigating through the crisis may require doing something as simple as buying beef from local stores or even taking this opportunity to tryi out new cuisines. Here are a few alternations and alternatives to consider - if you are concerned about the health of your cattle meat - until the whole beef recall thing has been sorted out.

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  • Local Meat

    Hey, the time is good now as any. Drop by at a store that sells local and/or organic meat. Many major retail chains now supply local produce. Or stop by a farmers market. Heck, if you live in Alberta, you could walk (drive) over to the farm and really get to know where your food is coming from.

  • Beef From Other Plants

    There are other major beef producers that thankfully have been spared from the major recalls. Purchase meat from Cargill producers in Alberta perhaps?

  • Bison

    Maybe you could treat yourself to some bison if you're missing your medium-rare steak during the recall. Who knows, you may just come back for more!

  • Imported Meat

    Dare we say it... producers from around the country (and world) have safe beef for consumption. Maybe its time to look for temporary alternatives to get your steak from. Alberta beef will be back on the market soon anyway.

  • Beefalo

    Beefalo burgers anyone? This could be an opportunity to give these hybrid animals a taste if you've been contemplating trying beefalo for sometime.

  • Other Meats Like Chicken

    You love your beef and it loves you right back, but maybe you can take this opportunity to try out different foods. Now we don't mean tofu, but some butter chicken may be a refreshing addition to your plate.

  • Or Fish..

    Fresh halibut? Yes, please.


For those not wanting to part with their beloved steak or hamburger, there are ways to mitigate the risk.

What's important is to take hygiene and health tips into consideration as E. coli can be contracted from other food products as well, including milk, fruits and vegetables and fruit juices.

Looking for more ways to keep your family safe from E. coli? Look through these tips from the pros:

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  • Cook all ground beef and hamburger thoroughly. Also remember to check to make sure the meat isn't pink inside, since ground beef can turn brown on the outside before disease-causing bacteria are killed. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the thickest part of the meat are cooked to at least 160 degrees F. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • <span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span>If a restaurant serves undercooked meat send it back to be cooked thoroughly. About.com recommends asking for a new bun and clean plate too. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Ensure your kitchen is kept clean to prevent spread of bacteria. Always keep raw meat separate from ready-to-eat food and wash hands, counters, thermometers, and utensils frequently. Also NEVER place cooked meat back on a plate that you kept the raw meat on. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Drink only pasteurized milk, juice, or cider. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Drink water that has been treated with chlorine or other effective disinfectants. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • Avoid swallowing lake or pool water when swimming. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

  • People suffering from diarrhea, especially children, should use extreme caution. Wash hands with soap (and after changing diapers) and avoid swimming in public places, sharing baths or preparing food for others. Source: http://pediatrics.about.com

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