Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today announced new regulations that are meant to curb the number of meat-eaters who are rushed to hospitals after being sickened by life-threatening foodborne illnesses. It’s believed that the “improvements” will keep 39,000 Americans from being infected with campylobacter and 26,000 from being sickened by salmonella-tainted chicken and turkey flesh—a small reduction from the 3 to 4 million Americans who contract these diseases every year.
What will a meat-eater’s chances of getting sick from salmonella or campylobacter be under the new regulations? Considering that the new standards allow for 7.5 percent of chicken corpses at a plant to test positive for salmonella—and that of those corpses, 10 percent can be “highly contaminated” and 46 percent can have “low levels” of contamination—we’d say still pretty good, er, bad.
In a recent analysis, Consumer Reports found that among “fresh” whole chickens bought in 22 states, two-thirds harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter.
Folks, these new “safeguards” won’t do
squawk squat to keep consumers safe from salmonella and campylobacter. The simple fact is that eating chickens and turkeys will sicken just about every meat-eater sooner or later. Those who care about animal welfare become sickened when they learn about the abuse of billions of birds on factory farms and in slaughterhouses. Those who don’t know about this abuse will likely find themselves locked in the loo at some point, sickened by salmonella and/or campylobacter—or worse, they’ll find themselves in emergency rooms thanks to heart attacks, strokes, or other conditions that are linked to meat consumption.
Written by Karin Bennett