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An argument against unsanitary ways of processing meat that we buy in the market

Caption photo from Farm Sanctuary chicken slaughter The drastic expansion of industrial animal production in the US has been accompanied by the rapid consolidation of the meat industry. The same situation exists for turkey meat. F As a result of this concentration, meat packing companies have become increasingly powerful, while the government bodies that regulate them have done little to keep them in line.

Health & Environmental Implications of U.S. Meat Consumption & Production

When animals are slaughtered and processed i. The first is the presence of fecal matter from slaughtered animals, which can contaminate meat with high levels of bacteria such as E. Other sanitation lapses can also contaminate food, as can animal diseases like Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Another food safety hazard is the risk from mad cow disease a key step to preventing humans from contracting the disease is the proper removal of risky nervous system materials from the beef supply. In addition to these food safety risks, the use of hazardous machinery and sharp knives can injure workers when mistakes are made.

This danger is exacerbated by the increasingly rapid speeds at which workers are expected to slaughter and process animals.

Meat Inspection

Food Safety Federal health authorities have estimated that foodborne diseases sicken 1 in 6 Americans or 48 million peoplecause 128,000 hospitalizations, and kill 3,000 Americans every year. F Likewise, a number of studies have confirmed the presence of harmful bacteria in meat in the US.

  • Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer;
  • Other mycotoxins have a range of other health effects including kidney damage, gastrointestinal disturbances, reproductive disorders or suppression of the immune system;
  • How do we know?

After collecting ground beef samples from meat processing plants around the country in 1996, the USDA determined that 7. F These unacceptable levels of contamination are caused by the crowded conditions in which conventional food animals are raised, as well as the high speed at which meat is processed. In order to maximize profits, meat processors have continually increased the speed of their production lines.

  • Based on this collective evidence, the WHO panel has concluded today that processed meat can cause cancer, upgrading its threat assessment from correlative to causal;
  • For example, "artificial flavor" is a proprietary blend;
  • The process by which the quality or the nature of a given substance is reduced through i the addition of a foreign or an inferior substance, and ii the removal of vital element;
  • To avoid exposure to these toxins, Cassava should be properly prepared before eating;
  • Require less time and energy to digest Food manufacturers want their processed food products to have a long shelf life;
  • The ice may be used to cool foods or added to cold drinks.

Twenty years ago, meatpacking plants slaughtered about 175 cattle an hour, but, due to increased line speeds, today plants can slaughter as many as 400 cattle per hour. But because the production lines are forced to move so quickly, it is exceedingly difficult to butcher the carcasses with the care necessary to prevent this kind of contamination.

Food Processing & Slaughterhouses

As a result, meat often becomes contaminated with bacteria that cause foodborne illness. The US continues to experience periodic large-scale outbreaks of foodborne illness and large recalls of contaminated meat.

In 2002, ConAgra was forced to recall 19 million pounds of beef produced at its Greeley, Colorado, processing facility after meat contaminated with E.

FAQ: Exactly what processed meat should I avoid, and other questions

H7 killed a woman and sickened 35 others. However, as a result of weak regulations and lack of control over meat companies, the USDA has still failed to effectively safeguard the US meat supply, creating an ongoing threat to consumer health. This system was intended to modernize meat inspection and introduce testing for the bacteria that make people sick.

F This is highly problematic, not least because meat companies are unlikely to slow or stop production in order to deal with a problem or remove potentially contaminated meat from the line. In one USDA memo, the agency stated that inspectors would be held responsible for halting production unless there was absolute evidence of product contamination — an unfair burden to impose on inspectors charged with the task of evaluating meat as it speeds down a production line.

Upon discovery of contaminated meat, the USDA cannot demand that a company recall its products and only has the power to consult with a company about how it should handle the situation.

  • But empty calories are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the harmful effects of sugar;;;
  • Therefore red beans must be well cooked or boiled briskly in fresh water for at least 10 minutes to destroy toxins;
  • Evolution provided us with taste buds that are supposed to help us navigate the natural food environment.

F This slows the recall process and allows for unsuspecting consumers to buy and eat contaminated products even when authorities are aware of the contamination. Similarly, the USDA cannot shut down a plant that does not meet sanitation requirements, which often causes lengthy delays between the discovery of unsanitary facilities and action taken to improve their conditions.

World Health Day

In 2002, Public Citizen and the Government Accountability Project discovered that even after repeatedly testing positive for Salmonella contamination, several ground beef processing plants were allowed to continue to sell meat for months before steps were taken to clean up their facilities.

F Worker Safety Meat processing facilities are known to pose significant threats to worker safety. Many workers must stand for long periods of time wielding knives and hooks to slaughter or process meat on a production line that moves very quickly.

Workers responsible for cleaning the plant must use strong chemicals and hot pressurized water. F Common ailments among slaughterhouse workers include back problems, torn muscles and pinched nerves, as well as more dramatic injuries such as broken bones, deep cuts and amputated fingers and limbs. F Although meat processing is a difficult and dangerous occupation, precautions can be taken to minimize the threats to worker safety. Among the most important safeguards is to set reasonably-paced production line speeds so that workers are able to process meat without putting themselves or their coworkers at risk of injury.

However, in order to maximize profits, meat processing companies continue to maintain unreasonably fast line speeds, thereby jeopardizing the safety of both workers and the food supply.

  1. They also want each batch of the product to have a similar consistency and they want their foods to be easily consumed. Dirt, dust, other seeds Chili powder.
  2. Bacteria and fungi may grow inside the refrigerator if dryness and cleanliness are not maintained.
  3. Their genes don't change, their food does. Other mycotoxins have a range of other health effects including kidney damage, gastrointestinal disturbances, reproductive disorders or suppression of the immune system.
  4. Some foods contain toxins in their raw form that are made less toxic once cooked.

These companies also continue to pressure the government to limit the authority of USDA inspectors. Time for Change Given the high incidence of worker injury, the recurrence of sanitary violations at meat processing facilities, and continual outbreaks of foodborne illnesses caused by contaminated meat, it is clear that the US meat processing industry is in dire need of reform.

Production line speeds should be slowed to a pace at which workers can perform their duties safely and food safety standards can be guaranteed.

Government oversight of food safety standards must also be improved. In order to protect public health, the USDA should conduct more rigorous inspections at meat processing facilities and should have the authority to order recalls of contaminated meat as well as the power to shut down plants that fail to meet food safety standards.

Alternatives In general, small-scale, independent slaughterhouses tend to provide safer products than most giant meatpacking plants due to the fact that they process much smaller quantities of meat and operate at a slower pace. Although consumer demand for local, sustainably-produced meats is growing, satisfying this demand is no easy task, in large part because decades of agribusiness control of the meat system have wiped out the infrastructure needed to produce and market meat from small farms.

Small slaughter and processing operations have been closing across the country because of industry consolidation, low profit margins, the complexities of federal regulation, and the challenges of disposing of slaughter byproducts.

Food Safety: What you should know

F But despite the odds stacked against them, some small slaughterhouses and processors are finding ways to survive. Fortunately, there are many sustainable farmers and ranchers throughout the US that care about where their animals are processed.

  1. PAHs are also thought to be produced when fat and juices from meat hit flames over open grills.
  2. This can lead to carb cravings a few hours later when blood sugar levels go down again.
  3. Rhana Natour contributed to this report. How does processed meat compare to smoking and other carcinogens?
  4. Red kidney beans can contain high dose of lectin which is toxic when consumed in raw form.

So if you buy directly from a farmer or rancher, he or she will be able to tell you exactly where the meat was processed, and what kind of practices that facility uses.

Meat production in the US is controlled in large part by just a handful of companies.