Mediocre Meat Jensen Byrd

In the year 2013, American meat companies processed 25.8 billion pounds of beef and 38.4 billion pounds of chicken

The livestock are killed at their respective slaughter houses, processed, and packaged for sale either directly to a consumer, or to a food establishment and will later be sold to consumers.The process of getting the livestock from the fields to the table is regulated by the USDA. The process of inspection is not as thorough or extensive as Americans would like to think.
One relatively new addition to the inspection process is the “test and hold” policy. The USDA website states that beef, poultry, and egg products will be microbiologically tested in labs and held at the production plants until lab results confirm that it is free of harmful bacteria. the product will then be distributed to consumers.
Inspection of beef, poultry, and egg products in this manner is actually done on an extremely small fraction of products relative to the amount that is distributed. Very few carcasses are actually tested for bacteria. The testing that does occur on these products is also often times done by food establishments themselves in independent labs, unassociated with the USDA completely. Once the small amount tested is cleared, the entire batch of product is considered "safe" to be distributed.

But clearly, regulations could be improved, because we still have food recalls.

On September 24, 2016, the FSIS issued a recall of beef from the Adams Farm Slaughterhouse. The official FSIS website states that the “beef products originated from animals slaughtered on July 15, 25, and 27, 2016 and August 3, 8, 10, 11, 17, 24 and 26, 2016, and further processed and packed on various dates between July 21, and September 22, 2016.”

Contaminated meat was introduced into the system in mid-July, but an issue was not detected until over two months later, after it had already caused illness in 5 people.

In order to thoroughly test these products and drastically reduce the number of recalls in beef and poultry products, the meat should be tested at the slaughter houses to identify the source of bacteria before it is sent anywhere else, and again before distribution to food establishments to catch any bacteria that the meat may have picked up through processing or transporting.

You would think that the goal of the USDA in this situation would be to increase regulations and quality of the meat to minimize recalls.

Non profit organizations such as the North American Meat Institute and the Meat Import Council of America, active lobbyists for the USDA, state on their websites that they support the decrease and elimination of international meat trade barriers.
The US is among the most advanced, if not the most advanced, nation in the world. If the true goal were to achieve better meat quality, the USDA and its affiliates would be investing more money in the American meat market...

Instead of seeking out cheaper meat from foreign countries with less regulation.

They wouldn't be giving us mediocre meat.

Photograph References

Spiske, Markus. 2006. Photograph. Pexel. Web. 26 November, 2016.

Zomer, Matthias. Pink Pig. Photograph. Pexel. Web. 26 November, 2016.

J, Angele. 2016. Photograph. Pexel. Web. 26 November, 2016.

Weber, Andrew. 2015. Photograph. Pexel. Web. 26 November, 2016.

2014. Photograph. Pexel. Web. 26 November, 2016.

Henzler, Phillip. 2012. Photograph. Pexel. Web. 26 November, 2016.

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