2007 Departures: Topps Meat slaughtered by E. coli contamination


It didn't rank up there with my wedding day or the birth of my first born, but I can honestly say that I remember the first time I saw Topps Meat on my grocery store shelves.

"How convenient," I thought as I grabbed the red rectangular box full of frozen hamburger patties. I'd gotten used to keeping frozen hamburger in the freezer for all those quick fix family suppers that call for ground meat (and I won't embarrass myself further by mentioning exactly what delightful concoctions I might make). But for at least a few months, I regularly bought Topps Meat -- and served it to my children.

I actually hadn't bought the stuff for a while when I saw headlines last Fall proclaiming that 22 million pounds of the meat was being recalled for E. coli contamination. The company went bankrupt in November and its remaining assets may soon be sold.

I can't say I'm sorry to see Topps go -- only sorry that I ever thought buying boxed frozen hamburger was a good idea. Now it seems that taking more care with my ground beef purchases -- actually all my food purchases -- is in order. Given all the food recalls this year, the notion of using convenience as a criteria for buying food seems, oh, so 2007.

This post was written as part of a series on on 2007 departures. Read about more products, companies and people you won't see in 2008.