SDPB Radio - A food scientist from Texas Tech University took the witness stand on Wednesday and Thursday in the defamation case between Beef Products Incorporated and ABC News. The Dakota Dunes-based meat company argues that ABC and network correspondent Jim Avila conducted a wrongful media campaign by calling its lean, finely textured beef product 'pink slime.' BPI is claiming almost $2 billion in its suit, which could be tripled under South Dakota's Agricultural Food Products Disparagement Act. South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Jeremy Ludemann reports.
Mindy Breshears is a professor of food microbiology at Texas Tech and directs the school's International Center for Food Industry Excellence. During Wednesday's direct examination, Breshears testified about the safety practices she observed at BPI's plants:
"They literally take a sample out of every single sixty pound box of product that's leaving their facility. I don't know of any other processor that does that. And then, they take samples to the lab and they test it for the presence of salmonella and also e coli - and whenever I talk about e coli, there's e coli 0157:H7."