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Fooling You Into Food Poisoning
The latest creepazoids in the marketplace are in the supermarketplace -- in the meat section:

Shoppers who judge the freshness of meat by its color may be deceived by a relatively new industry practice of treating meat with carbon monoxide, critics say.

The meat industry defends the use of carbon monoxide to help meat retain its pink hue, saying large sums of money are wasted when sellers throw away meat that is still safe to eat but is not as attractive because it is slightly brown.

"Color is the number one indicator that's used" in selecting meat, said Don Berdahl, vice president of Kalsec Inc., a maker of natural food extracts in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In November, Kalsec filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration seeking a ban on the use of carbon monoxide in meat packaging.

Berdahl said Tuesday that carbon monoxide-treated meat could be left on the kitchen counter for five days and would still look bright red and fresh. Carbon monoxide "also suppresses bad odors and the presence of slime, other telltale signs that meat is spoiled," Kalsec's petition said.

The petition said treated meat could hide the growth of pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella and E. coli.

Berdahl acknowledged that his company has a business interest in protesting the practice. But consumer groups, while agreeing that carbon monoxide in itself is not a health risk, are concerned that meat buyers will focus on the color and ignore expiration dates and other signs that meat is no longer edible.

Yay, botulism! Mmm-mmm good! How about you leave the meat in its natural state and discount it according to the brown color and shiny greenish patches on it, and give me the decision-making power over whether I want to chance spending three days huddled over the toilet to save $1.34?

Posted by aalkon at February 22, 2006 10:41 AM

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Posted by: Karen at March 14, 2006 8:26 AM

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