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(NBC News)   New "test and hold" rule aims to make meat safer. All subby can say is that he's been holding and testing his meat for years, and has never had any problems with it   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, product recall, psychological testing, Food Safety and Inspection Service, American Meat Institute  
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3598 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Dec 2012 at 11:25 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-08 03:03:30 PM  
1 vote:

Yoyo: Happy Hours: Lots vary in size, but generally aren't larger than a few dozen head.

Where are you from? Because the feed lots I see in Kansas are well over a few dozen head.


Yeah, the feed lots are big, but they don't all get killed at the same time. I was told that in the old days they'd take aerial photos of feed lots and take inventory by counting what was seen in the pictures.

They come in by the truckload and maybe there are lots which are slightly larger but sorting the meat by grade is a big deal and trucks only hold so many head of cattle. And yeah, they don't get graded until they've been killed, but from what I remember looking at the data the lots weren't huge. The overall numbers were though. 5000 head a day in the larger plants, half that (or slightly less) in the smaller ones.

I don't work for them anymore, but the recall system was kind of farked. They cut back on IT staff as they kept growing bigger (mostly through acquisition). I remember getting calls on a Friday night asking for all the data on cows killed within a 3 hour period. Then later, they called back and said the recall was being expanded and they now wanted 6 hours worth of data. Uh, you know Mr. CIO, we could write a program to do this so you wouldn't have to call me up in the middle of the night. It was all pretty simple SQL queries anyway.

They have all the data. Managing that data is not a strong point though mostly because they don't want to spend any money on IT and when they do it's poorly spent which is why everyone would go into panic mode whenever there was a recall.

Bain consultants didn't really help much either. From my experience with them I can only say they were an exercise in inefficiency. They had grand ideas - they just weren't realistic given our budget which was largely wasted on Bain. They had a horrible data warehouse which nobody knew anything about except for one guy who only knew how to extract a handful of reports from. The people who developed it had long since quit.

But to their credit we did know what pieces of what cows where in which boxes. There was even a push at one point to put QR codes on packages so that Japanese customers could scan them and see exactly where in the US they were produced. The idea was to show them some rancher and give them a good feeling about the product. That never happened though we did collect data for years for that project. Much money was wasted while we collected data that would never be used and Japanese protectionism (with the excuse of mad cow disease didn't exactly help either). 

Okay, I see I'm already started on a rant...I'd better just shut up now other than to say my friends who are no longer employees either (some by choice, some by layoffs) all had a good laugh when we heard the CIO was fired about a year ago.

I do think this is a solution in search of a problem though. Food safety isn't a problem in the US and I don't say that as a meat industry spokesperson. I actually hate my former employer. Sometimes there are recalls that make the news and hurt people. Based on memory those are usually related to fruits, vegetables, peanut butter or medicine and when it does involve meat it's usually because someone thought it would be a good idea to eat raw ground beef.
2012-12-08 12:02:35 PM  
1 vote:

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: Il Douchey: Irradiate it. If we irradiated our food, you could keep raw porkchops in your glove compartment until you're damn well ready to eat them. Months, years, whatever. You could even eat them raw if you wanted. Think of it!

Is that why Kobe beef is so good?

I've heard you can only get that in Colorado hotel rooms... whether you want it or not.
2012-12-08 11:40:00 AM  
1 vote:
Last time I checked bacon tends to be cured, like ham. so not exactly "raw". If raw it would simply be called a pork belly. Most bacon is smoked or cured and that involves being cooked at a low temp for some time. In addition to lots of salt and or brine. It's a process that tends to kill or at least minimized bacteria and fungus. Not the same as just cutting it off the pig and eating it as is.
2012-12-08 11:22:02 AM  
1 vote:
This move is most likely to encourage meat producers to finally start tracking their damn cattle. They've been obfuscating the source of processed meat in order to dodge responsibility for poisoning the population, because tracking the carcass is "just too hard", even though every other industrialized country manages.
2012-12-08 08:52:21 AM  
1 vote:
Irradiate it. If we irradiated our food, you could keep raw porkchops in your glove compartment until you're damn well ready to eat them. Months, years, whatever. You could even eat them raw if you wanted. Think of it!
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