OT:Diseased Chicken for school lunches?

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I subscribe to a daily news clipping service regarding food safety that is sent from a university in canada. Very interesting reports that you NEVER(hardly) see in mainstream press. Here's a piece about diseased chicken carcasses made into "nuggets" for school lunches:

USDA TO CONTINUE USING CHICKEN FROM ALABAMA PLANTS IN SCHOOL LUNCHES February 8, 2000 The Beacon Journal The Associated Press http://www.ohio.com:80/bj/news/ohio/docs/036056.htm GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- The government was cited as saying Tuesday it would let two Alabama plants continue processing chicken for a federal program despite fears that diseased carcasses were turned into chicken nuggets fed to school children. The story says that some school systems in Oregon, Missouri, Texas and Ohio temporarily stopped serving meat produced by the plants, owned by Gold Kist Inc., which supplies chicken to federal school lunch programs in 31 states. Carol Blake of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service was quoted as saying, ``It's a safe product. It's not contaminated with a pathogen or anything.'' The story notes that a story by Cox News Service earlier this week quoted federal inspectors at the Alabama plants as saying birds with sores, tumors, scabs and bruises are being turned into nuggets because of flaws in a new inspection system that is being tried at the Guntersville plant. The story also notes that a union that represents the inspectors opposes the new system and that inspectors quoted in the story said that while the chicken is not wholesome, it will not hurt anyone. Donny Cooper, a distribution administrator with the Alabama Department of Education was cited as saying the state would not advise schools against using Gold Kist nuggets, adding, ``We've been using that company for over 15 years to process food, and we've never had any problem with them.'' Dottie Howe, a spokeswoman with the Ohio Education Department was cited as saying that some school systems in Ohio will not serve Gold Kist nuggets until random testing is completed, and that other Ohio districts performed their own tests, adding, ``They are going ahead and serving it because they already know it's safe.''

GOVERNMENT AFFIRMS QUALITY OF POULTRY IN SCHOOL LUNCH February 9, 2000 USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Statement by Administrator Kathleen A. Merrigan On Poultry Purchased for Further Processing in the National School Lunch Program "Poultry purchased by USDA for further processing into products such as nuggets and patties in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is high quality and must meet stringent defect criteria. Product must first pass inspection by the Food Safety and Inspection Service for safety and wholesomeness. Each individual carcass is then examined by AMS authorized company graders under the supervision of official AMS graders. Carcasses are examined on a continuous basis for a variety of quality factors, such as lesions, bruises, or contamination with foreign material, and any carcass exhibiting a defect is rejected for use in USDA's NSLP. After examination by authorized company graders, AMS graders sample product throughout the production day. Depending on the results of official samples, product is accepted or rejected for use in the NSLP. These procedures help assure that only wholesome, high-quality poultry is used in the NSLP."

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-- jeanne (jeanne@hurry. now), February 09, 2000


Each individual carcass is inspected? Must take an inspection team equal to a city. Lest we not forget the chemical Steroids, already in the carcass. Meat fall on dirty scum floor, hose it off and pack.

-- Kill Floor (in@pastlife.com), February 09, 2000.

There are no steroids approved for use in chickens.

Even if there were, it's not practical in a product that wholesales for probably less than 50 cents per pound and is ready to market in 6 to seven weeks.

Even less economical to give steroids to old worn out layers (think chicken soup) hoping to beef them up. Pointless even.

My contribution to keeping the lid on hysterical rumors. A lot of junk makes its way into chicken product, but steroids ain't one of them.

-- JIT (justintime@rightnow.net), February 09, 2000.

JIT, you should really do your research. Things aren't as pretty as we imagine. I have lived a past life, in a meat industry. I saw the meat dumped on the scum floor. I was being nice earlier, when I said it was "hosed off". Sometimes, not the case. The Inspector thing, was a joke. That was many moons ago, have not much hope, things have improved much.

-- Kill Floor (in@pastlife.com), February 09, 2000.

Forgot to ask, how many chicken hatcheries do you have experience with? Companies sent zillions of baby chicks to farmers to raise for harvest. Chicks were fed steroids and growth went out the roof. JIT, yes, the JIT applies to many things. Can anyone tell me exactly what are steroids, other than they are man-made?

-- Kill Floor (in@pastlife.com), February 09, 2000.

Steroids are not originally "man made"; they are produced by the glands and contribute to proper growth and all sorts of metabolic functions. With stress or injury the adrenals release extra of a type resulting I believe in decreased swelling. The guys on Mt. Everest collapsing shoot a hypodermic with one that gets them back on their feet and safely down. They are almost miraculous in stopping allergic reactions ( asthma, poison ivy) as well as limiting injury in spinal breaks where the swelling could cause permanent paralysis. The problem is that they have side effects- I take them for asthma at times and long term they are very damaging. We don't really know how much damage they do from meat, but it's gotta be there. Notice God forbid his people to eat blood, or meat from strangled animals....the glands release a surge of substances during the panic of slaughter into the bloodsteam. You can soak meat in salt water for 2 hours to get the blood out if it was killed by stunning instead of a throat being slit.

Must run...big Macs are 2 for two bucks right now....

-- noMD (but@will.give.it.a.try), February 09, 2000.

LOL! no MD! But you seem more honest than the "Quantified" m.d's I have been to, my most 50+ years.

-- Kill floor (in@pastlife.com), February 09, 2000.

2 kinds of steroid hormones: corticosteroids (the stress stuff) and anabolic steroids which include the sex hormones.

Nobody gives the stress stuff to animals for bulking, it actually can cause muscle wasting. And nobody gives the anabolic (bulking) stuff to chickens. Aside from the lousy economics and illegality, by the time you shoved the implants into the first barn of 100,000 birds, it would be time to turn around and take them all out again to allow for withdrawl time.

I've done enough research, thanks.

-- JIT (justintime@rightnow.net), February 09, 2000.

JIT, can only surmise, your last post, stated no way, no how. Maybe you have not, the opportunity to take a walk, on the Wild Side. While you are at it, if you have a fierce Heart, to believe the Unbelivable. I pray Blessings, upon you, and all those you hold Dear.

-- Kill Floor (in@past life.com), February 10, 2000.

Kill Floor:

Supplying the chicken biz with steroids would require a producer of bulk product. No way Hoffman LaRoche, Merck, Upjohn or the others are going to put their economic lives on the line to help Tysons endentured slaves (growers) teeter on the right side of their razor thin margin.

Blackmarket stuff goes into wrestlers, not chickens.

That being said, I don't eat nuggets, because I have seen kill floors. Nothing personal.

I also raise my own broilers. They stick their heads in the feed trough and only come up for air. They eat at night if you leave the lights on. They are ready for the table in 8 weeks. I believe they would explode if you tried to increase their growth with steroids.

Over 50 years ago, before these genetic avian pigs were developed there was a product called "Capettes" which was an estrogen implant given to males to create chemical capons. It may actually have been DES (synthetic). It was a pain in the butt to administer, and its long gone.

-- JIT (justintime@rightnow.net), February 10, 2000.

The panic of slaughter? ::gulp:: OMG, I'm going to pass out.

Let's hear it for tofu!

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), February 10, 2000.


Think the subject of contaminated chicken has been done to death?

Think again.

Find out just how foul eating fowl can be.

Consider these realities:

The average North American eats more than 50 pounds of chicken per year roughly double the amount consumed just 20 years ago.

At least 1,000 US citizens are killed each year by contaminated chicken. As many as 80 million others are sickened.

Inspectors have about two seconds to visually examine the inside and outside of each chicken. At this rate, inspectors may examine 12,000 or more chickens in one day.

There are presently 1,370 unfilled federal meat inspector positions. In 1994 and 1995, more than 1.9 million inspection tasks went unperformed because of these vacancies.

A 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains 75 mgs of cholesterol. A 3-ounce serving of ground beef contains 72 mgs. No plant foods contain cholesterol.

The owner of the nation's largest chicken producer Don Tyson earns about $5 million in salary, dividends and bonuses each year. Pay for workers on the poultry line are less than for any other manufacturing industry except apparel.

More than 90 percent of US chickens and eggs are produced on factory farms. Roughly 7.5 billion chickens were slaughtered in the US in 1995.

In a single year, US poultry operations use enough water to meet all the domestic needs of nearly 4.5 million North Americans.

Producing one egg takes about 63 gallons of water.

Full citations for this brochure are available upon request or see www.earthsave.org.

Eating chicken is proving to be an especially hazardous enterprise...

For starters, approximately 30 percent of chicken is tainted with Salmonella and 62 percent with its equally virulent cousin, Campylobacter.

Time magazine calls raw chicken "one of the most dangerous items in the American home," and each year in the US alone, contaminated chicken kills at least 1,000 people while sickening as many as 80 million others.

It's no surprise really that chicken is decidedly foul. Desperately crowded factory farms--where more than 90 percent of US chickens and eggs are raised--are fertile breeding grounds for disease. Additionally, slaughterhouses do an excellent job of spreading pathogens from one bird to the next.

Even if chicken was pathogen-free (clearly an unsafe assumption for any shopper to make), it would hardly qualify as wholesome. Not only is chicken nearly devoid of health-promoting compounds found only in plant foods--things like complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber--it also contains other suspect ingredients rarely recommended as part of a healthy diet.

Cholesterol. You'll find just as much artery-filling cholesterol in chicken as in beef and pork. Cholesterol is found exclusively in muscle tissue and can't be trimmed away.

Protein. People can meet or exceed their protein requirements simply by choosing a varied plant-centered diet and eating ample calories, says the American Dietetic Association. No animal foods are necessary. Many North Americans already eat twice the protein they need, and excessive protein has been linked to osteoporosis, kidney disease and other medical problems.

Antibiotic Residues. Roughly half of all antibiotics used in the US are fed to farm animals. If meat contains drug residues, it's highly unlikely to be detected, as these tests are rarely conducted.

Mystery Feed. Each year billions of pounds of slaughterhouse leftovers are made into animal reed, much of it for chickens. Chickens are also sometimes fed manure, which may contain pesticides, drug residues, pathogens, heavy metals, hormones and microbial toxins.

If you took a raw chicken and dropped it in a cow pile or in a pile of chicken manure, would you pick it up, wash it off and cook it for dinner? That's just about what's happening at these plants. -- Pat Godfrey, Inspector Tyson's chicken processing plant, Springdale, Arkansas

Despite millions of people falling ill each year, the US Department of Agriculture (the government agency responsible for meat safety) continues to stamp every thigh, breast and wing with its seal of approval, prompting many to ask, "Who's minding the henhouse?" Sadly, USDA has historically placed the interests of the influential poultry industry ahead of those of the poultry-consuming public. A new, more- scientific governrnent meat inspection system has been agreed upon in principle, but tangible improvements remain years away.

A poultry plant is not a good place to work. When you miss a day they punish you. If you're sick they punish you. The supervisors holler at you, but you can't say anything. They treat you like a child. -- Wonder Sims, 23, poultry worker.

The horrors found routinely inside chicken slaughterhouses are not limited to grisly scenes of disassembled chickens. They also include treacherous working conditions and dismally low wages. In 1994, a Wall Street Journal writer described the work he experienced first-hand in several slaughterhouses as, "faster than ever before, subject to Orwellian control and electronic surveillance, arid reduced to limited tasks that are numbingly repetitive, potentially crippling and stripped of any meaningful skills or chance to develop them... The work was so fast-paced that it took on a zany chaos, with arms and boxes and poultry flying in every direction."

Chicken production also exacts a steep environmental toll. It takes up to 700 gallons of water, six pounds of grain, and the equivalent of about one-fifth a gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of chicken. In addition, manure from the chicken industry is directly responsible for wide-spread pollution of waterways and groundwater.

Unless we dramatically curb our appetite for chicken, the future seems grim. We can expect more people hospitalized and killed by contaminated chicken, and more families mourning the loss of loved ones. We can look forward to more rivers ;and drinking water fouled with manure, more workers facing perilous tasks and lousy pay, and much more animal suffering. Despite the present horrors and bleak forecast, however, consumers continue to sleepwalk through the checkout line with shopping carts full of fowl. One can only wonder, when will we awaken from this nightmare?

For references and more information on this subject, please see: http://www.earthsave.org/ chicken.htm

-- ... (...@...com), February 10, 2000.


awesome post. thank you

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), February 10, 2000.

Here's how you dramatically curb peoples appetite for chicken: Restrict growers until it reaches $10/lb.

63 gallons of water to produce one 10 cent egg?


-- JIT (justintime@rightnow.net), February 10, 2000.

I've never been a USDA inspector but I have seen what a sausage factory is like, during past outbreak investigations.

There's an old saying, "Anyone who like sausage and loves the love should not watch either being made."

The related saying is, "They don't make sausage out of sirloin."

My friends, "cutter and canner" grade meat is not the stuff they put in the supermarket coolers in the raw meat section. Ya gotta walk over to the coldcuts, sausage, and hotdog section for that.

Chicken nuggets are the sausage of the chicken biz. (And "turkey franks"?! Let's not even go there, I am about to go out for some lunch.) Simple fact of the matter, don't eat nuggets if you don't want to eat the most disgusting chicken imaginable. I'm not saying it will necessarily make you sick in the short term, it's just disgusting. There is a difference.

As far as the bacterial contamination (Salmonella and Campylobacter are the big ones), cooking will take care of that. This is not to deny major problems with the way meat is handled "from farm to fork" as they say. An emerging issue right now is Listeria bacteria in "ready to eat" coldcuts and similar products. Listeria can survive and even grow in cold temps that inhibit other pathogens. If you have any immunocompromising conditions or are pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about being extra careful with certain types of food. Any doubt, "cook it 'till it's dead!"

"Kill Floor" said, "The Inspector thing, was a joke. That was many moons ago, have not much hope, things have improved much." I think things have improved a little, but not nearly enough. Bottom line, the U.S. eats an enormous volume of meat, and there just isn't enough "manpower" for true inspections. Wasn't enough in the past, isn't enough now, unlikely there will be in the future.

--Andre in southcentral Pennsylvania

-- Andre Weltman (72320.1066@compuserve.com), February 10, 2000.

Uh, "loves the law," not "loves the love."

The saying is: "Anyone who like sausage and loves the law should not watch either being made."

I'm not sure what watching "loves the love" means to you, but it sure wasn't what I was trying to type.

Really losin' control of keyboard today, and that's after 4 cups of coffee so far today...

--Andre in southcentral PA

-- Andre Weltman (72320.1066@compuserve.com), February 10, 2000.

Andre, LOL each time I read your above post. I have typed more than one snafu, myself. You got humor! Hope you keep it!

-- Kill Floor (in@pastlife.com), February 10, 2000.

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