Friday, October 12


Dunno when I'm going to have a chance to sort out and publish those backlogged entries, but for now Meat Facts is all-meat-recall, all the time. I'd say most consumers who are paying attention to the news probably have a vague idea that there was a big E.Coli recall around the beginning of this month, but how many do you suppose know there was a pretty damn large E.Coli recall a week later that was unrelated? Probably not so many. Yet probably still more than those who've heard about this week's two meat recalls for the same root cause - fecal matter in the meat - but two different names, listeria and salmonella.

There was a recall on Wednesday of 35 tons of Chicken Fettucine Alfredo for listeria, and while that's a lot of stuff to throw out (no worries since very few of the people who bought it will hear about this), it pales next to the one announced late last night, practically Friday - a recall so massive they can't even say yet how big it is, for all of ConAgra's chicken and turkey pot pies, which are marketed under the "Banquet" label as well as many store brands. If and when they release an exact poundage on this one, I'll update this for your maximum informativity. This one, oddly, was originally announced as a "psssst, stop selling that because it might be tainted" non-recall, with the company dragging its feet until... hey... the end of the week... for the huge news to come out! Amazing how these coincidences keep piling up, ain't it?

Sunday, October 7


OK, as you can tell I haven't had a lot of time to get to the Meat Facts interface lately and post new stuff. I have a bunch of interim posts from late September in draft form that I will fill in later, but let me just say right now: WTF is up with our War on E.Coli? Looks like that's one war that's already been lost!

First we had this ho-hum midweek recall...

Then, early Saturday (ahem), it was expanded to one of the largest meat recalls in history...

Then, it emerged that ONCE AGAIN, the USDA had dragged its feet on announcing the recall, as though trying to make it clear that business concerns were always paramount over the health of actual consumers...

Then, while everybody was talking about the Topps situation, there was yet another Massive Friday Recall - more than 400 TONS of beef- that was "unrelated" except insofar as the root causes of both recalls - feces in the meat as an unavoidable by-product of current industry practices - tends to relate them. (And of course, it's worth mentioning that neither of these were "abundance of caution" recalls - actual people, mostly children, have suffered terrible problems - including kidney failure - from unwitttingly consuming this feces-laced meat.)

Now it turns out Topps is (again announced on the weekend, strange for a "business" story, no?) going out of business. Yes, the biggest meat supplier in the USA is going out of business. You might think this would be front-page news all over America, but then, we must have our priorities.