OMAHA, Neb. -- Is case-ready the Holy Grail of the ground-beef category? It promises retailers salvation from woes such as labor costs, product inconsistency and, particularly since the infamous E. coli outbreak of 1993, product safety concerns. But despite such graces, case-ready -- fresh ground beef that needs no further processing or handling at the store, save to move it from the shipping box into the merchandising case -- still remains just beyond the grasp of practicality. There are ...

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