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Unformatted text preview: workers in the nation’s slaughterhouses do not always understand the importance of
good hygiene. They sometimes forget that this meat will eventually be eaten. They drop meat on the floor and then place it right back on the
conveyer belt. They cook bite-sized pieces of meat in their sterilizers, as snacks, thereby rendering the sterilizers ineffective. They are directly
exposed to a wide variety of pathogens in the meat, become infected, and inadvertently spread disease.
A recent USDA study found that during the winter about 1 percent of the cattle at feedlots carry E. coli 0157:H7 in their gut. The
proportion rises to as much as 50 percent during the summer. Even if you assume that only 1 percent are infected, that means three or four
cattle bearing the microbe are eviscerated at a large slaughterhouse every hour. The odds of widespread contamination are raised
exponentially when the meat is processed into ground beef. A generation ago, local butchers and wholesalers made hamburger meat out of
leftover scraps. Ground beef was...
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- Spring '08