If you’ve seen the movie “Food, Inc” you already know that commercially produced hamburger meat is treated with ammonia to kill e-coli and salmonella. The big deal is that McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and all the other chains have used it to make scrap meat safer & to add filler to their meat.
To allow purveyors of ground meat more bang for their buck, the Bush administration approved the use of scraps in human food. Formerly these were used only in pet food and oil because of the high incidence of contamination and potential for illness. The USDA approved “Mechanically Separated Meat” in 1994. (scroll down on page)
Everyone should learn more about where their food comes from. Animals raised in a factory farm setting are far more likely to be diseased because of stress: their unnatural diets, lack of exercise, accessibility to fresh air and sunshine, crowded, unsanitary conditions: this all equals “food” produced under cruel conditions. The result is that your ‘food’ must be treated with things like ammonia to kill e-coli which is more prevalent in a stressed animal’s environment.
Last week, however, Mickey D’s and others decided to stop using “pink slime.” Somehow, when reading the comments of McDonalds and Burger King in Food Safety News, I suspect their decision has more to do with being caught with their pants down in adulterating fast food.
Their argument is that to remove potential contaminants from meat, it has to be treated. The millions of pounds of meat processed from animals housed in filthy conditions under stress equals more chance of fecal contamination. The processing lines run at a fairly fast speed. One slip of a knife or saw at the wrong time could lead to perforation of intestines or stomach, resulting in contamination. Incomplete cleaning of an animal upon entry to the processing plant can also lead to fecal contamination. http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Sept98/acid.relief.hrs.html
It doesn’t take much for e-coli infected meat to get into a lot of food because that hamburger you eat at a fast food place doesn’t come from one cow but many. (GRAPHIC VIDEO) Additionally, USDA inspectors don’t physically inspect each piece of meat, as in test for contamination. USDA inspected means little more than an inspector is ‘on premisis’ with the little purple stamp. Contamination does occur and with the magnitude of cows processed in one year, it’s amazing that more breakouts don’t happen. This is why the meat, somehow, must be sanitized to lessen the chance of illness.
Cattle by nature, were designed to graze on grass, not eat corn. Consumption of corn increases the likleyhood that acid-resistant e-coli will develop in their systems.