The Viva Vine: vol #3, no #3: May / June 1994
Antidote to Filth: Gleenings from the Wire Services
"Farms like the one of my childhood are rapidly being replaced by animal factories. Animals are reared in huge buildings, crowded in cages stacked up like so many shipping crates. On the factory farms there are no pastures, no streams, no seasons, not even day and night. Animal-wise herdsmen and milkmaids have been replaced by automated feeders, computers, closed-circuit television, and vacuum pumps. Health and productivity come not from frolics in sunny meadows but from syringes and additive-laced feed. I began learning about the trend to animal factories in the early 1970s. The real nature of factory farming was indeed hard to believe. ...I assumed that there were only a few factories and that they were isolated examples. As I looked more deeply, I was overwhelmed by the awesome scale and pervasiveness of this new way of animal rearing. I was amazed how little the public knew about these drastic changes in the production of their food." -- From the 1990 revised and updated edition of Jim Mason's and Peter Singer's book, Animal Factories.
Washington, April 11 (Reuter) -- Poultry washed in a new salt-rinse solution could be in stores in four to six weeks, said Rhone-Poulenc Food Ingredients, which claims the rinse wipes out virtually all Salmonella and E.Coli on fresh poultry.
"Diseases start and spread where many thousands of birds are forced to breathe the same warm, dusty air indoors and are denied the benefit of exercise, health-giving plants, fresh air, sunshine, and the healing gift of space. A bird's natural immunity is compromised by lack of contact with an immunologically healthy mother and with the natural outdoor environment where immunities are built up." -- United Poultry Concerns
Speaking at a press briefing, Richard Kennedy, senior vice president and general manager of Food Ingredients, said the new rinse supports the U.S. Agriculture Department's efforts to implement the state-of-the-art food processing system, called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.

"It supports this (HACCP) extremely well," said Kennedy.

Several poultry processors are ready to adopt the rinse, called AvGard, and it will be at their discretion whether they use the teardrop logo on their packaging or not.

"There are certain companies that are ready to go with it and are going with it ... the other companies in the industry are following it closely," said Kennedy, who did not mention names but noted there are about 250 U.S. poultry plants.

A spokesman for the USDA was not immediately available for comment. However, the USDA granted interim approval for the rinse in February and is currently working on making the approval final.

The AvGard logo is currently awaiting the USDA green light before it can be used on the packaging of treated poultry.

AvGard uses a food-grade salt called trisodium phosphate, a compound that is classified as "generally recognized as safe" by the Food and Drug Administration, said Food Ingredients.

While the manufacturers are unsure exactly how the alkaline rinse eliminates disease-causing bacteria, the results are impressive. From more than 8,000 birds tested, average incidence of Salmonella and E.Coli dropped to less than one percent, from 20 to 40 and 60 to 80 percent, respectively.

Just slaughtered birds are sprayed with the salt solution for about 12 seconds while moving suspended along the line. The birds are then allowed to drain before being rinsed again with clean water.

Food Ingredients estimated the process will add less than one cent per bird [to the cost for producers] or less than a quarter of a cent per pound.

The rinse went through extensive testing with about 10 million birds processed using continuous treatment systems in 35 to 40 poultry plants.

The rinse is also effective on beef, pork and seafood. An extensive plant test program on beef will start next month as soon as equipment modifications can be completed. Extensive testing on pork and seafood will depend on resources, said Food Ingredients.
"To keep ... animals alive in stressful, overcrowded conditions, [today, producers rely heavily on hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs. Salmonella, taxoplasmosis, and other farm animal diseases are steadily increasing -- and being passed on to humans." -- Farm Sanctuary
New York, April 12 (Dow Jones) -- Rhone-Poulenc Inc. thinks it has an answer to bacterial contamination of poultry with its salt-solution product called AvGard Rinse. ... Furthermore, it doesn't face the same opposition from consumer groups as irradiation, another bacteria-ridding process that was approved for use in the poultry industry in 1992.

...Consumer groups which have been vociferous in their opposition to meat irradiation (in which food is zapped with gamma rays) are more receptive of Rhone-Poulenc's rinse. Most welcome the promise of dramatic reductions of bacteria counts on poultry. But concerns include whether phosphate runoff will be recycled and whether processors will use the product as directed.
"...[E]very time you eat chicken, you are supporting an industry which ... creates an unending horror for birds. Twenty-five thousand birds at a time are crammed into a dark warehouse, with less than one square foot of living space per bird, choking from accumulated ammonia fumes. ... Rather than clean up the industry, current proposals call for covering up the dirt and disease by irradiating the birds, [an antidote which will only] encourage the poultry industry to lower already abominable standards." -- Animal Rights International
... An official of Rhone-Poulenc's Food Ingredients division said 16 poultry processors have agreed to test the product by signing licensing agreements with the company. Rhone-Poulenc is the North American affiliate of French pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Rhone-Poulenc S.A.

...Currently, poultry processors often rinse birds with chlorinated water, which is less effective at killing bacteria and isn't required by the USDA.

...The USDA considers the rinse a processing aid, not an ingredient, and therefore doesn't require a label listing. Rhone-Poulenc is providing processors with a logo indicating that the "Assur-Rinse" process has been used should processors wish to advertise the fact.

Next article or back to previous article.

Copyright © 1995. The VivaVegie Society. All rights reserved.
HTML source file: Copyright © 1995 EarthBase, Inc. All rights reserved.