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Grills & Chills; Food safety experts host Food Network star’s educational tour

image image Texas Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences recently hosted the Food Network star and New York Times bestselling author Ellie Krieger. Five College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty members provided an educational experience to help Krieger better understand modern beef production.

Important aspects highlighted were the attention to detail, focus on safety and humaneness of modern beef production. Activities included an in-depth tour through a major beef packing plant and an afternoon learning and honing the techniques of beef fabrication led by Texas Tech’s Guy Loneragan, Chance Brooks, Mindy Brashears, Kevin Pond and Todd Brashears.

“Beef production has definitely increased in scale during the past 50 years” said Loneragan, a professor and epidemiologist in Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences. “Regardless of its scale, beef production still revolves around good people doing their best to produce a high-quality and safe beef product that the consumer will want to buy over and over again.

“We prepared an educational experience for Ellie Krieger so that she could better understand modern beef production as well as gain some hands-on experience of the butchering process.”

Krieger, a registered dietician and host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite, spent six hours touring a modern large packing company learning about all aspects of production from delivery of animals into a Temple Grandin-designed handling facility to distribution of boxed beef. Grandin is a nationally-known author and expert on animal behavior and handling.

She spent several hours with Chance Brooks, a meat science expert and an associate professor in Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences, learning about the art of butchery and how to disassemble a beef carcass into the cuts, such as the flat iron steak, that consumers find in supermarkets and restaurants.

The visit culminated with a dinner and discussions featuring products from Raider Red Meats that included tenderloin, New York strip steaks, racks of lamb, and short ribs. Krieger has since blogged about her Texas Tech experience and how it gave her a new appreciation for beef production.

Funding for the day was provided in part by the Beef Checkoff program, and personnel support was provided by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The checkoff is a producer-funded marketing and research program designed to increase domestic and international demand for beef.

Written by Leslie Cranford

CONTACT: Guy Loneragan, professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2805, ext 268 or guy.loneragan@ttu.edu

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