OT: Spoiled meat

Since most of the people on this NG appear to have some connection to the real world, I venture to post an article from on-line Slate Magazine about what you might find at the meat counter. an article about what you might find at the meat counter. Personally, I tend to shop at live butchers rather than buy packaged meat.
URL, for those interested in reading pages 2 and 3 (Senate document and answer by Safeway), as well as follow-up comments from readers:
http://www.slate.com/id/2170633/fr/flyou
Persephone
================================================== The Spoiled-Meat Trick
from: Bonnie Goldstein Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2007, at 12:33 PM ET
Shoppers often choose meat out of the grocery case based on how fresh it looks, but meatpackers have started packaging fresh meat in a "modified atmosphere" that masks telltale discoloration and decomposition of days-old meat. The process involves pumping oxygen out of and carbon monoxide into an airtight container. The deception has occasioned numerous protests from consumer groups.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation specifically bans using carbon monoxide for packaging fresh meat. But meatpacking companies won exemptions from the rule when they petitioned the FDA in 2001, 2004, and 2005 to declare the gas itself "generally recognized as safe," and the practice continues to spread. Democratic members of Congress pressed FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach last year to establish whether masking "the degradation of meat" is a "danger to public health," but the agency stonewalled. When committee leadership shifted parties this year, the House energy and commerce oversight subcommittee began looking into frequent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses linked to lax FDA enforcement. John Dingell and Bart Stupak, the committee and subcommittee chairmen, asked the meatpackers directly for answers. To show they were serious, the legislators also queried a major supermarket chain, Safeway. "We have questions regarding the company's decision … to sell prepackaged fresh meats that have been … deceptively colored," the four-page letter to Chairman and CEO Steven A. Burd began. "It is our understanding that Safeway … regularly sells its customers fresh meat that is packaged … to make it appear fresh and wholesome indefinitely."
The committee gave Safeway three weeks to document Safeway's "temperature control" precautions, in-store labeling policies, and spoilage losses. On July 16 it received a faxed response from one Michael McGinnis, senior vice president for meat and seafood (see below and on the following page). "We have selected to discontinue the sale of fresh meat packaged under CO … conditions," he wrote. The company is "phasing out any inventory in our retail stores" and expects to have no carbon-monoxide-packaged meat for sale in its stores as of July 27. The committee chairmen thanked McGinnis the next day for his cooperation (Page 3).
Bonnie Goldstein is a former special investigator to the U.S. Senate and investigative producer for ABC News.
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Persephone expounded:

Yea, I read about this somewhere, maybe on one of my organics newsletters. Anything to make a buck, even on almost spoiled meat. If only people would wake up to what's going on with our food!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Wow, I was wondering what all that puffed up packaged meat was. Barely having refridgeration, I avoid buying foods that are suspiciously puffy. I needed ground chicken tho and the butcher assured me it was "normal". Explains why we both had stomach issues the next day:( Thanks for the report!
Seahag
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On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 12:00:24 -0700, Persephone wrote:

Also, the brine trick:
http://veganica.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t ‘1&sidìb0edd5050bdf57ace08fe8160d6918
Also the lighting tricks, and resultant degradation of food quality when exposed to light.
http://www.safespectrum.com/food_safety.html
Keep on venturing Charlie
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