Fast Food Nation

Freed from the hassles of continuous federal

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Unformatted text preview: ive system may spill everywhere. The increased speed of today’s production lines makes the task much more difficult. A single worker at a “gut table” may eviscerate sixty cattle an hour. Performing the job properly takes a fair amount of skill. A former IBP “gutter” told me that it took him six months to learn how to pull out the stomach and tie off the intestines without spillage. At best, he could gut two hundred consecutive cattle without spilling anything. Inexperienced gutters spill manure far more often. At the IBP slaughterhouse in Lexington, Nebraska, the hourly spillage rate at the gut table has run as high as 20 percent, with stomach contents splattering one out of five carcasses. The consequences of a single error are quickly multiplied as hundreds of carcasses quickly move down the line. Knives are supposed to be cleaned and disinfected every few minutes, something that workers in a hurry tend to forget. A contaminated knife spreads germs to everything it touches. The overworked, often illiterate...
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