Since 1910, the first year that statistics were compiled, Americans have been eating an average of 56 pounds of beef yearly. About 40 million cattle are inspected yearly by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. In 2009, this translated into more than 61 pounds of beef per person. In calls to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, beef is the second food category (behind turkey) callers most ask about. The following information answers many of their questions about the safe handling, preparation, cooking and storage of beef.