Thursday, November 15, 2007
Rare, medium, or gassed?
…Ah, God, does this never end? In 2004, the Ag Dept said it was OK to use carbon monoxide (the suicide gas) to keep older meat looking fresh.
…Gassing yourself in your garage makes your skin turn cherry red (HA discourages this behavior most vehemently, by the way).
…Guess it might have the same effect on cutup meat in the store.
…Yes, they ran tests first. But even the companies that ran the tests—Cargill and Hormel—said they wondered about the favorable results. The gassed meat spoiled, though it still looked red, but the microbial counts went down. They called it “funny data.”
…The Ag Dept thought the data looked OK and gave the go-ahead. Earlier they had opposed the gassing idea, but based on this data, they reversed themselves.
…Along in here, in this little drama, it became time for a Congressional hearing. Cargill and Hormel showed up and offered to put on a warning label. “Color is not an accurate indicator of freshness.”
…Guess not. They had some ground beef at the hearing that looked red and fresh. It was 2 years old.
…Giant, Stop & Shop, and Safeway are pulling gassed meat. Tyson is going to stop gassing.
…Target wants to use a label, but keep the meat on the shelves.
…The Ag Dept is mulling. Is it finally time to go veggie?