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Curmudgeon - Blog
Poultry – 4 December 2008
In her book Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed,
Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry,
Gail A. Eisnitz has this to say about poultry processing:
While European and Canadian poultry processors use air-chilling
systems which reduce the risk of contamination, the U.S. poultry
industry’s reliance on water chilling has remained strong – and for
good reason. Federal regulations permit each carcass to soak up water
– until 1997, as much as 8 percent water – during the chilling
process. This in effect enables the industry to sell hundreds of
millions of gallons of germ-filled water at poultry-meat prices. U.S.
poultry consumers spend more than $1 billion on added water per year.
The red meat industry, envious of the poultry industry’s ability to
sell water at meat prices, filed a lawsuit in 1994 against the USDA.
(Retained water in beef carcasses is deemed a form of adulteration.)
In July 1997, a federal judge ruled that the 8 percent water retention
allowance in poultry was “arbitrary and capricious.” The USDA is
currently considering a proposal that will set a 5 percent water
retention standard for both poultry and red meat.
“With the advent of modern slaughter technologies,” said former
USDA microbiologist Gerald Kuester, “there are about fifty points
during processing where cross-contamination can occur. At the end of
the line, the birds are no cleaner than if they had been dipped in a
Just one more good reason to Go Vegan, right?!
For the book review of Slaughterhouse by Gail A. Eisnitz, visit:
For great-tasting cruelty-free recipes, photos, and information,
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful. At the
same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the
world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true
peace and compassion.
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