90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Why Is a Burger Still Unsafe?
(Photo: Flickr/Adam Kuban)

(Photo: Flickr/Adam Kuban)

Stephanie Smith went to her mom’s house for dinner, ate a hamburger, and ended up in convulsions, in a coma, paralyzed.

American food safety has come back as a big issue in public health. Leafy greens, eggs, sprouts, berries, ice cream — they can all get you.

But the story of the grindings and goo from around the country and the world that went into Stephanie Smith’s nicely-packaged hamburger is a wake-up call.

This hour, On Point: We’ll talk with the reporter who tracked it down, and look at the issue of food safety — and the problem with hamburger.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from New York is Michael Moss, investigative reporter for The New York Times. His article tracking how one woman was paralyzed by E. coli in a hamburger, and the flaws in beef inspection her story reveals, ran on the front page of last Sunday’s paper.

Update: In a followup post on the On Point blog, Moss addresses the apparent surge of hamburger E. coli outbreaks since 2007 and what experts say might be the cause.

Joining us from St. Paul, Minn., is Kirk Smith, supervisor of the Minnesota Department of Health’s Foodborne Illness Unit.

And from Issaquah, Wash., we’re joined by Craig Wilson, assistant vice president for food safety and quality assurance for Costco, one of the few big producers that tests beef “trimmings” for E. coli before they are ground into hamburger meat.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 27, 2015
Leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras speaks to his supporters outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. (AP)

A leftist victory in Greece, and anti-austerity pushback across Europe. We’ll ask where this goes.

Jan 27, 2015
As any ant knows, building a reliable team can be hard. (Flickr / Guildmn20)

From Silicon Valley to your office, some teams work better – and smarter – than others. We’ll look at the surprising reasons why.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 26, 2015
Frederick Daniel Hardy's "Baby's Birthday" (1867) shows a typical Victorian English family at home.  (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Brush your teeth with soot, stay away from water, wear a steel corset. We’ll talk with the author of “How to be a Victorian.” Strange ways from another age.

 
Jan 26, 2015
Yemeni protesters gather during a demonstration to show their support to Houthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.  (AP)

Yemen in turmoil, a new king in Saudi Arabia. We’ll look at what’s next for the Arabian Peninsula. Plus: the President’s trip to the Indian subcontinent.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment