Another Step in the Right Direction

Good news:

As many as 39,000 fewer Americans could get campylobacter and 26,000 fewer could get salmonella poisoning from chicken and turkey under new food safety rules announced Monday by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The bacteria, which can be life-threatening, are two of the most common causes of food-borne illness.

“These standards will have probably the greatest public impact for consumers’ health since anything USDA has adopted in the last 15 years,” says Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C.

Under the new standards, only 7.5% of chicken carcasses at a plant would be allowed to test positive for salmonella, down from 20% allowed since 1996. Salmonella levels in chickens were tested at 7.1% nationally in 2009, says Richard Lobb of the National Chicken Council.

Someone will have to explain how 7.5% is acceptable.

102 replies
  1. 1
    jwb says:

    Actually, I’m amazed we’ve been running at 20% and more people haven’t been getting sick.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb: Vodka. Vodka four parts by volume.
    Never fails.

  3. 3
    Mike Kay says:

    another corporatist sell out!

    This would be happening if we jammed the Public Option down the beak of the chicken council!


  4. 4

    Under the new standards, only 7.5% of chicken carcasses at a plant would be allowed to test positive for salmonella,

    Actually, that’s very good. Processing chicken is notorious for holding salmonella. About 20 years ago, I had the habit of microwaving chicken, and was always pressed for time, so I didn’t always cook it well. One day I got a massive case of salmonella poisoning that was about the worst I have ever felt. It took months to recover fully. That’s why they say always cook chicken thoroughly. Good advice.

  5. 5
    Gravenstone says:

    The answer is right there in your excerpt. They’ve tested at 7.1% so they just opted for the nearest half percent above that in order to give themselves an easy target.

  6. 6

    Why is the Obamanation trying to deprive ReaLAMEricans of their Constitutional right to life, liberty and food poisoning!?

  7. 7
    El Cid says:

    This entirely goes against Ronald Reagan’s philosophy of cutting the budget and staffing for poultry processing inspectors. You people should be ashamed of yourself for your blasphemy. If it weren’t for Ronald Reagan, we might not have to treat raw chicken like a salmonella grenade with the pin pulled out.

  8. 8
    frankdawg says:

    aw come on! Its cheap who cares about crap like safe & healthy when you can have more and more cuz its cheap?

    as we speed production these things happen – particularly when we ignore inspections because companies can do so much better job than the evil government.

    Another odd thing: cows fed grass naturally have lower rates of e coli than those fed corn. So you jam thousands of cows together, fed them corn, ignore cleanliness, process as fast as you can insuring carelessness, pay minimum wage or less if you can to insure worker indifference & surprisingly enough e coli becomes more of a problem.

  9. 9
    beltane says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: This is an attack on free enterprise and the manufacturers of Immodium AD.

  10. 10
    beltane says:

    @Mike Kay: You forgot the shit sandwich reference. It is certainly applicable in this situation.

  11. 11
    wrb says:


    “Obama to allow salmonella in 7.5% of the chickens in your market.
    Plays Russian Roulette with your family.”

  12. 12
    El Cruzado says:

    Obligatory Onion link:,2679/

    (WTF is going on with including links anyway?)

  13. 13

    This entirely goes against Ronald Reagan’s philosophy of cutting the budget and staffing for poultry processing inspectors.

    I initially read “staffing” as “stuffing” & laughed real loud.

  14. 14
    mcd410x says:

    When the GOP takes over next, they’ll just roll it back. Everyone wins! (Except those poor buggers who get sick and die).

  15. 15
    grytpype says:



  16. 16
    Nylund says:

    Because 7.5% is also the amount of the US population Obama is going to put in his FEMA death camps, duh…

  17. 17
    Martin says:

    I understand that Elena Kagan supports Obama’s efforts to strip us of our constitutionally protected right to infectious diseases and parasites. She’s worse than Scalia!

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Teabaggers will be up in arms over the evil government cramming food safety down their throats!

  19. 19
    Seth says:

    Simple solution: stop eating chicken.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Mike Kay says:

    Another Goose step in the right direction.

    Freedom is free of bacteria!

  22. 22
    Brian J says:

    This is completely a guess, but I’d say that some contamination is unavoidable, considering the level of food being processed. There’s usually a margin of error involved in a lot areas that involve food. Restaurants certainly don’t encourage it, but if you are being shipped cases of fresh produce each week, you are bound to find a bug in your salad every couple of months. And a biology teacher told me in high school the bottom of a cereal box is notorious for having certain bug parts in it. There’s a certain level that cereal companies are allowed to be at, and if they meet it, they ship. It’s not harmful, just not particularly pleasant to think about when eating.

  23. 23
    Loneoak says:

    I had salmonella last summer–which struck after amoebic dysentery wiped out my gut flora.

    Let’s just say I was grateful that I can angle my wall-mounted TV so I can watch it from the crapper.

  24. 24
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Someone will have to explain how 7.5% is acceptable.

    Same way your $0.69 a head lettuce is acceptable to you. There’s a tradeoff for for getting chicken at $0.59-1.29 a pound, farmboy.

  25. 25
    Capri says:

    @Brain J
    That’s my understanding – the USDA has guidelines about how many rat hairs are allowed in each can of peas and things to that effect. Short of autoclaving or, God forbid, irradiating every bit of the chicken, some contamination is going to occur.

    Another fun fact to know and tell – Salmonella is normal flora for chickens. They don’t have to catch it or have it overgrow their normal gut bugs to flourish. Most happy healthy chickens have Salmonella in their intestines. One reason it’s so much harder to contain Salmonella in poultry when compared to cows.

  26. 26
    Uloborus says:

    Brian J is basically correct. The idea with all of these regulations is that 0% is impossible to achieve, so you figure out what’s practical AND safe. I don’t know the numbers with chicken, but the bacteria are there in small amounts all the time. You can’t get away from it. The intent is that if you can only detect any salmonella on 7.5% of the chickens at all the odds of that salmonella growing enough to hurt anyone are very low.

    Obama’s administration is lowering the tolerable infection rate from 20% to 7.5%… and he’s being blamed for making chicken more dangerous. Yay.

  27. 27
    PaulW says:

    we need to invent a new meat that won’t make us sick.

  28. 28
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    I don’t eat chicken (or any meat or fish), but do eat eggs. I wonder what the acceptable level is for eggs.

  29. 29
    DBrown says:

    Don’t forget the allowed amount of rat droppings in peanut butter – yum!

  30. 30
    Comrade Mary says:

    There’s a certain dumpling restaurant in Toronto that is notorious for the occasional glimpses of rats cavorting in the front window. The inspectors come in, shut the place down, the owners trap all the rats they can find, open up again, and the loyal customers (including me) come flocking back.

    Best damn dumplings in town. Even better than Mother’s.

  31. 31
    soonergrunt says:

    Off topic, but we’re all in the clear here. At my Dad’s place, you wouldn’t know there was a storm today. It looks like he had a light sprinkling of rain.
    You have to drive through about two miles of destroyed houses, downed power lines and trees, over turned cars and trucks and assorted other debris, to get there, but the devastation ends about two feet short of his western property line. He even has full power.
    My nephew’s elementary school took a direct hit and has been severely damaged. It looks likes the library and gym were destroyed. The classrooms are intact though. They build the schools here so that the classrooms can serve as shelters.

    As for me, it looks like I’m going to have to replace a section of my fence upon closer inspection. Since I don’t have anything going tomorrow, I guess I’ll get on that.

  32. 32
    Loneoak says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    There shouldn’t be any salmonella inside eggs, but there may be on the shell since it passes through the cloaca along with the feces. I’m sure most places spray them down with antiseptic before shipping, though.

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @PaulW: Long pork.

  34. 34
    Zach says:

    I always assumed it was around 100%. I’m always curious what the dose response curve is like for food-borne bacterial infection… a tiny amount of pretty tame bacteria like salmonella and e coli won’t do too much harm; if they could, I’d get sick constantly in my lab.

    @Zuzu’s Petals – I think eggs were around 1/100,000 or something before we started irradiating them. Runny and/or raw eggs are pretty safe. I might be wrong on the exact number, but I know it’s very rare.

    Edit – and as Loneoak mentioned; that’s the shell and not what’s inside.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @PaulW: Spam?

  36. 36
    slag says:

    While I’m intrigued at the idea of autoclaving our food, I’m happy with this improvement.

    I wonder if doing stuff like this will lower our healthcare costs to a large degree. At least to the point where the added regulatory costs are offset. Either way, it’s good news.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    This communist sissified unmanning of our people will pass, once the Restoration comes.

    Real men in the new teabagger age will deal with funky chicken like they do with roadkill and other rotting carrion they wish to eat.

    Boil the chicken, street squab, and other meats in strong vinegar for a day, say twelve hours, and it will be OK to eat.

    After the Restoration comes, a good survival high-life tip, right after your gun, plenty of ammunition and non hybrid seeds, is to lay up a plenty good stock of strong vinegar, for cooking.

    Remember, strong vinegar is the poor man’s autoclave

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @soonergrunt: Glad to hear it, things considered.

  39. 39
    slag says:


    but there may be on the shell since it passes through the cloaca along with the feces.

    Now there’s a lovely image. Maybe I’ll go vegan for tonight.

  40. 40
    Zach says:

    @PaulW: Beef is generally pretty safe; e coli comes along during the processing… any similar carbon source would be similarly vulnerable unless we marinate it in antibiotics before packaging.

    Or you can just stick to cured meat.

  41. 41
    BR says:

    Speaking of food safety, folks should check out the Food Safety Modernizaion Act, which sounds good enough, but is really heavily skewed towards big food manufacturers. The requirements they place on local / small producers is such that they’ll squeeze them:


    That’s why when you look at who supports it, it’s a list of folks that you probably don’t want to be on the same side as:

    Including (and others):

    Food Marketing Institute
    National Restaurant Association
    General Mills
    National Association of Manufacturers
    International Dairy Foods Association
    Grocery Manufacturers Association
    American Bakers Association
    International Foodservice Distributors Association
    American Frozen Food Institute
    National Confectioners Association
    Snack Food Association
    American Beverage Association
    Kraft Foods North America
    National Fisheries Institute
    International Bottled Water Association
    National Coffee Association

    You might call your senators on this one.

  42. 42

    @Comrade Mary: Are the owners really short? With long beards?

    [/oblique T. Pratchett reference]

  43. 43
    PanAmerican says:


    The old timers would keep their eggs under the porch or in the cellar forever. As it was explained to me, this was because they were Dutch, and presumably inbred.

  44. 44
    Jennifer says:

    Also, too, you can get pastuerized eggs, which sanitizes the outer surface of the egg without cooking the inside.

  45. 45
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    The bacterial test is a yes/no test, not a count of how much bacteria there actually is. So that 7.5% means 7.5% with detectable (probably low) amounts of salmonella. Since all the chicken is processed the same, you assume that those are chicken with a very small amount of salmonella. If 50-70% tested positive, then you’d conclude that your processing process was very dirty and some of those are probably infested with high amoutns salmonella.

    Detectable (but low) amounts of salmonella are not a problem, since you’re not supposed to eat raw chicken. The problem is chicken with high bacteria counts, where you have to cook it a long time to kill all the bacteria, which is not the case we’re talking about.

    0% is a totally unrealistic public health metric. Any test will have false positives/etc and with a yes/no test it’s hard to say how “dirty” the food is; all you can do is keep it to a low percentage. The “negative” chicken isn’t necessarily negative either, it probably just means it has salmonella below the detectable range.

  46. 46
    Brian J says:


    I want to say it was in 2005 that one of the major beef companies wanted to voluntarily tried to up their safety standards. It would have worked for the customers, because the beef would be safer, but also for the company, because its beef would have been seen as simply a better product. Yet the Bush administration blocked this from happening–or at least tried doing so–because they felt it would be unfair to other companies by putting them a financial disadvantage. Because if there’s one thing that’s more free market than that move, I have yet to see it.

    Chalk that up to one more reason why, as infuriating as the Democrats might be, I won’t be voting for the Republicans any time soon.

  47. 47
    Zach says:

    @Capri: You’d much rather eat irradiated chicken than autoclaved chicken. Protein denatures at high pressure as well as high temperature (autoclaving being some combination of both); irradiation ideally just zaps DNA in the bugs chilling on the outside of the bird, which is why we do it to eggs. Irradiation does cause other chemistry to occur (which does change the eggs a bit).

  48. 48
    El Cid says:

    Look, Republicans since Reagan haven’t been waging a war against food inspections and safety — unlike many of their colleagues around the world — because they’re simply more realistic about ‘hey, you can’t stop 100% of contamination’.

    There’s a reason our poultry industry here became exploding shit showers of salmonella while other countries are shocked at our lack of standards.

    We’re not all just sitting out here making complaints ’cause we want all our food to be perfect.

    Besides, it wasn’t liberals or the neurotically oversensitive complaining about the Reaganite attack on food safety standards — it was the staffers and inspectors themselves.

    Jeebus friggin’ cripes.

  49. 49
    Uloborus says:

    Water Bears could totally survive it!

  50. 50
    mr. whipple says:

    Under the new standards, only 7.5% of chicken carcasses at a plant would be allowed to test positive for salmonella, down from 20% allowed since 1996.

    And people wonder why I cook my chicken to charcoal.

  51. 51
    PanAmerican says:

    El Cid:

    The Clinton’s were (are?) for the shit dredged chicken. Arkansas, Tyson and all that.

  52. 52
    Roger Moore says:


    we need to invent a new meat that won’t make us sick.

    It already exists; it’s called “thoroughly cooked meat”. Nasties like Salmonella and E. coli are killed by cooking meat to (IIRC) about Medium. It’s a shame if you want bloody rare steak or chicken breast sashimi, but it does make meat safe.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    There’s a certain dumpling restaurant in Toronto that is notorious for the occasional glimpses of rats cavorting in the front window.

    Tell them to get a cat or two. Keeping cats in a restaurant is also technically a violation of the health code but, as some bodega owners in New York have discovered, they really do keep the rats (and mice) away.

    If the problem is as persistent as you say, the inspectors may even be willing to look the other way when it comes to feline “contamination” in the restaurant.

  54. 54
    Lolis says:

    OT: Huff Po has encouraging news on the administration’s focus on prevention and treatment for drugs rather than criminalization.

  55. 55
    Vincent Vega says:

    Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood…

  56. 56
    Comrade Mary says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: No, normal range of height and hirsuteness. We can even tell the women from the men quite easily :-)

    @Mnemosyne: Neat idea — and gorgeous cats! — but this is uptight Toronto we’re talking about. Le sigh.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:

    @PanAmerican: Oh, and so were many other states’ local politicians — Georgia and North Carolina, for example.

    But, like so many things, the one who set the mould for attacking the regulators whose jobs were previously to keep the public safe was, of course, Ronald Reagan.

  58. 58
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: McSorley’s bar has/had a couple really nice cats on patrol, though it freaked me out a bit the first time one of them rubbed past my leg. I thought the beer was stronger than I thought.

  59. 59
    db says:

    Someone will have to explain how 7.5% is acceptable.

    It’s a conspiracy with Charmin. I got some major illness a year ago after eating some bad chicken, and I was pissing out of my ass for a few days. I blew some major dough on Charmin at that time. Since then, I am convinced the poultry industry and the paper industry are conspiring together to give us diarrhea.

  60. 60
    Vince CA says:

    Um. Don’t eat chicken or turkey. Problem solved. ‘Scuse me while I go to my hippee lair and align my chakras so I can properly fry my tofu.

  61. 61
    MobiusKlein says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason: Exactly – it’s the total count of bacteria that’s important, but hard to measure.

    The overall level of 7.5% likely will be much better than we have now; our Average is 7.1%, which means some are better, some worse. A top of7.5% means the average will be lower than 7.1%. average of 7.1 when the cap was 20% – I suspect the average will get closer to 5%.

  62. 62
    MikeJ says:

    @MobiusKlein: Bah. You with your “numbers” and “science”. How do I get “OBAMA SOLD US OUT HE’S WORSE THAN HITLER” out of that?

  63. 63
    mr. whipple says:


    Mr. Whipple thanks you, of course.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Vince CA:

    Don’t get too smug, laughing boy.

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    If we dare look at the example of one of our soshullist, anti-Reaganite world neighbors:

    “Sweden has practically managed to eliminate salmonella from its chicken breeding. Now, we want to find out how we in the US can use parts of the Swedish method to prevent salmonella” said Stan Bailey at USDA, reports the øresund Food Network .
    In North America today, salmonella can be found in 10- 35 per cent of the chickens. So far, efforts to fight salmonella have been concentrated on latter parts of the production chain, using heating and radiation, continues the report.
    The Swedish method attempts to make ‘a polluted product clean’, the control points are moved backwards in the production chain, including the egg production site, as well as [a] strong focus on hygiene related matters.

    In essence, we want to let poultry plants produce chicken in shit-spraying, cost-effective conditions, and then irradiate the shit-showered birds afterwards, because, well, fuck you.

  66. 66
    TenguPhule says:

    It already exists; it’s called “thoroughly cooked meat”. Nasties like Salmonella and E. coli are killed by cooking meat to (IIRC) about Medium.

    Bzzzt! Not exactly.

    It kills only the bacteria, NOT all the byproducts/poisons that can still kill/sicken a person. Irradiated Shit is still shit.

  67. 67
    ksmiami says:

    Buy only organic fresh chicken and poultry from high quality producers or local farms and cook it really well. I would rather starve than eat some of the crap they sell today and skipping a meal or two or just eating oatmeal and fresh peanut butter, or bread with olive oil literally can save your life. Besides, our bodies weren’t meant to consume as much protein as the avg American diet contains anyway

  68. 68
    El Cid says:

    Again — ordinary people should not have to go out of their way to buy chicken at much higher prices or risk a variety of contamination of what they buy at the grocery store.

    This should be the sort of thing we set the standards for everyone, not make another stupid game of ‘who’s working harder to make sure their food intake is the purest’.

  69. 69
    Smudgemo says:

    I don’t eat much meat, but if salmonella poisoning is anything like the cryptosporidiosis I experienced in Milwaukee back in ’93, I should reconsider my diet. Then again, since you also have to watch out for poison peanut butter and spinach, I guess I’m screwed either way.

  70. 70
    MTiffany says:

    Someone will have to explain how 7.5% is acceptable.

    Because at 0%, chicken would cost $10,000/lb (aside from being a practical impossibility). In economics it’s called the law of diminishing marginal returns.

    @Roger Moore: Yes, there’s that too. Fire, heat, cooking…

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Zuzu's Petals says:


    Thanks. Sounds yummy.

  73. 73
    Zuzu's Petals says:


    Well I have no idea what I’m getting in a restaurant, but when shopping I get organic.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    Not sure why vegetarians and cow people are being so superior about chicken eaters.

    For awhile, seemed like salmonella problems with spinach and tomatoes and peppers were just as common as with chickens. And at least a few of the produce cases were from contaminated run off from dairies and cow pastures.

    So, is our food dirty, overall, seems an interesting question.

    I do remember in the late 90s and early Bush II years there were some economists saying that we spend too much money on food safety, and hey, why not let the consumer decide? I remember reading some articles and books with nice diagrams and formulas about how the consumer could choose some kind of optimal mix of food safety and price. The market would take care of it, and whatever happened would be ‘optimal’.

    I don’t remember any of these analyses taking uncertainty into account. The contamination problems are so sporadic and unpredictable, what kind signal can the consumer pick out? Even if the meat section people at a supermarket feel comfortable even stocking meat that they knew gave you x plus 3 percent chance of getting sick (unless autoclaved) for a slightly lower price. And who really understands the costs and possble serious health risks (like frinstance death) of getting a bad case of salmonella poisoning, or if your kids get it? All of these issues were swept under the rug of pretty diagrams and formulas.

    I remember wondering whether this stuff had any influence on regulators, or some economists were being paid to produce this stuff.

  75. 75
    jl says:

    Final thought. While I do think filth in the food is a problem, I doubt it is intentional callousness of food producers. It is more like overoptimism from the fact that even if you are producing food that some (like in Sweden, maybe) would consider unacceptable, outbreaks are rare from the point of view of an individual producers. So, complacency.

    Sort of like the BP oil rig explosion and spill in the Gulf. I read that some oil execs were holding a party to celebrate the good safety record of the rig in a room close to where the explosion ripped up onto the deck. They thought they had the bases covered, and everything was totally down, right up until the second it turned out the bases were not covered and everything was not totally down.

  76. 76
    KRK says:

    Salmonella isn’t just on the eggshell from exposure to feces, it can also be inside the egg. From the CDC:

    Salmonella enteritidis silently infects the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminates the eggs before the shells are formed. *** In the Northeast, approximately one in 10,000 eggs may be internally contaminated. In other parts of the United States, contaminated eggs appear less common. Only a small number of hens seem to be infected at any given time, and an infected hen can lay many normal eggs while only occasionally laying an egg contaminated with the Salmonella bacterium.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:


    The contamination problems are so sporadic and unpredictable, what kind signal can the consumer pick out?

    It doesn’t help that many companies buy their ingredients from a handful of producers, so that contamination at a single peanut factory leads to dozens of brands withdrawing their products from the market. If every brand of, say, peanut butter from the national brands to the store brands all used peanuts from the same company, how the hell is the consumer supposed to make an informed choice to avoid the contaminated peanuts?

  78. 78
    KRK says:

    Salmonella aside, the off-the-record advice from poultry inspectors I’ve heard of has been to only buy whole birds because then you know it was a healthy animal. If you’re just buying parts, odds are decent that the animal couldn’t be sold whole.

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    @MTiffany: Actually, that’s not likely true. Every proposed regulation gets that response, and yet it never happens. The free market always manages to get their costs in line whenever new regulation shows up, right after they’ve screamed to the skies about how it’d be impossible for them to get their costs in line.

    Sure, there’s a key inflection point, but the only way to know what that inflection point is is to test it. We’ve not even tried to do that.

  80. 80
    jl says:


    Yes, thanks that is another problem that these economists ignored. They implicitly assumed that producers are totally independent, and therefore risks are independent from producer to producer. But with very high concentration of intermediate food processors manufacturers for some products, that is not a good assumption.

    The consumer cannot know whehter the store brand, or Aunt Maisey’s brand or Uncle Fred’s brand are have products from the same manufacturer, or not.

    Unless you buy some high priced certified organic product, with assurances and manufacturing description right on the label. And even then, you are not sure.

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    Ok, gotta give some props to Arnold for this line:

    I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend. But with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:


    Unless you buy some high priced certified organic product, with assurances and manufacturing description right on the label. And even then, you are not sure.

    My cat was poisoned by Natural Balance cat food that used melamine-laced rice gluten from China. So even a “natural” product is not always as advertised.

  83. 83
    jl says:

    Sweet dreams to all the Balloon Juice vegetarians out there.

    Lettuce recall expands as FDA investigates E. coli

    … a food distributor in Moore, Okla., is recalling romaine lettuce that came from the same farm in Yuma, Ariz., that grew lettuce that sickened students in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Ohio-based Freshway Foods announced a 23-state recall of romaine lettuce last week related to those outbreaks.

    At least 19 people have been sickened in connection with the E. coli outbreaks, which come from a rare strain of the disease that is difficult to diagnose… Centers for Disease Control … are looking at an additional 10 probable cases of E. coli poisoning from tainted lettuce.

    The FDA said it is investigating the Yuma farm where the romaine lettuce was harvested and is attempting to determine the point in the supply chain where the contamination occurred. The agency declined to identify the farm.

    Mmmmmm. Industrial agriculture supply chain management. Yummie.

  84. 84
    Zuzu's Petals says:


    Ah, another reason to buy local. From farms you know.

  85. 85
    AngusJackBootedThugOfMeat says:

    Speaking as a meat animal, my advice is not to eat the meat of animals that died of natural causes.


  86. 86
    Uriel says:

    Someone will have to explain how 7.5% is acceptable.

    For the lulz.

    Really, if you remove explosive diarreah from the socio-economic mix, about 50% of 4-chan would have nothing to do with themselves for large chunks of time. And no one wants that.

  87. 87
    Uloborus says:

    I lived in California for years. Compared to the legislature he sometimes seemed sane. I mean, objectively I’d say he’s got no business being a governor, but the guy’s not a fruit loop like the entire rest of his party. He’s SANE. He’s just got a weird asshole streak.

    He’s big on renewable energy – very, very big – and has come up with actual solutions to California’s budget crisis. Note that they’re horrifying solutions, but the legislature wasn’t willing to enact ANY Solutions. I found his attitude of ‘You won’t let me raise taxes, so here are the least painful cuts we can make’ shockingly reasonable, as was his declared attitude that he would WELCOME stimulus money, and was happy to work with Obama on swine flu and anything else. And when the legislature got bitchy about his attempts to cut waste and demanded to start with his own office, he told them to go ahead.

    It’s… sad that I’m defending the man because it’s so shocking to see a Republican who isn’t hanging around in the rafters going ‘Woo woo woo!’

  88. 88
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Organic. It’s a shame it’s so damn hard to buy. It’s really tasty, though. Nom nom nom. And, where is jeffreyw with his food pr0n? The topic is timely!

    Who’s still up?

  89. 89
    gbear says:


    Unfortunately, I am. Can’t seem to fall asleep tonight. Even listening to the rain on the roof isn’t helping.

    I see that you’ve already been over to TBoggs’s battle with ‘the brain trust’ over at FDL. I’m glad to see him taking on the haters over there.

  90. 90
    Silver says:

    Arnold gets a bad rap, until you realize that the rest of the California Republican party is basically build around the idea of marching niggers and spics into the ovens to provide electrical power so that tax rates can be cut for old fucks and whites.

  91. 91
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @gbear: Sorry you can’t sleep. Got worries?

    TBogg, yeah I was glad he took ’em on, too. As I said here, I would have been happy with Diane Wood, and I am happy (so far) with Elena Kagan. I’m just discouraged how quickly some on the left have been to slam her so thoroughly. I’m watching Rachel, and GG just spoke against her. Lessig is about to speak for her. I don’t know. So many of the same people had issues with Sotomayor as well, some of the same issues, and whatever became of that? Sigh.

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    WereBear says:

    I found out recently that to make the same shirt, in the third world but without sweatshop labor, would up the shirt price:

    14 cents

    YMMV, but that is just sick. Sick and deranged. I suspect that the present twisted way of getting stuff to the supermarket is similarly propped up with cries of “cheap food” with as little justification.

    What is really going on is “moar profit.” The most economically destructive words in the English language isn’t “oversight and regulation,” it’s “not enough profit.”

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    Svensker says:


    There shouldn’t be any salmonella inside eggs, but there may be on the shell since it passes through the cloaca along with the feces. I’m sure most places spray them down with antiseptic before shipping, though.

    There is now salmonella inside eggs. See here. It’s a very low percentage, but another reason to be cage free hens.

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    sparky says:

    @El Cid: perhaps. but that rule was enacted under the Clinton administration, so rather than going “yay!” perhaps people should consider why it is that essentially the same kind of events occur under either regime.

    i have no desire to see the now-openly fascistic GOP rump gain more access to the levers of power than anyone else but it irksome to see people here grasping to praise the current administration for this triviality, especially in light of its inability to make a single substantive change to any policy other than to increase death and destruction in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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    neil says:

    No chicken sushi for me.

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    frankdawg says:


    How can you be either happy or unhappy with Sotomayor’s performance yet? I think a lot of the angst comes from 30 years of Republicans choosing ideological assholes over good jurists. Neither of Obama’s picks is a bad judge but we were hoping for people more obviously not inclined to ever side with the Scalito triplets.

    I was not thrilled but OK with Sotomayor; but am full Turley :) on this one.

    Guess I have to hop over to Tbogg & see whats up!

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    El Cid says:

    @sparky: I’m not trying to protect the Clinton administration in any way — we’ve been on a 30+ year deregulation / anti-regulatory regulator binge and it entirely became the governing philosophy of major Democratic leaders and the party leadership & punditariat. Please don’t think I’m trying to divert attention from Clinton administration actions — just showing how far this logic goes back.

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    daltonic says:

    i guess you could just not eat meat and you’ll be even better off from all of this.

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    Glen Tomkins says:

    It’s the way chicken are slaughtered

    Any chicken, from any source, even if you kill it ourself, has to be considered to be contaminated with fecal bacteria.

    This is because, to put it bluntly, they shit themselves as they’re being killed. It gets all over them. The quick plunge into boiling (near-boiling, anyway, the person doing this has to stick the hand holding the bird into the water, heavily gloved, of course, but still) water that is used to make plucking easy, kills some of that bacteria. But if the birds were held in boiling water long enought to do the job completely, they would be parboiled.

    Now, if the chicken is raised in some horrid factory, crowded in with 10,000 other poor chickens, there is no doubt that it is more likely, way more likely, to have pathogens in its gut that it spills all over itself as it is killed. Enteric pathogens thrive, compared to benign gut bacteria, precisely in overcrowded conditions. But even free range chickens, raised in the absence of any crowding at all, are pretty indiscriminate about eating anything on the ground as they range freely, including random crap. Every chicken ever born has spent his or her life in fecal-oral city, and they all have a high likelihood of having some pathogens in their little guts.

    Every chicken, no matter its source, has to be treated by the cook, as if it has enteric pathogens. Raw poultry is pretty nearly the only foodstuff I work with that always prompts me to clean my hands, the cutting board, and all cutting surfaces, thoroughly, with soap and hot water, before I handle anything, or anyone, else, period. Chicken is about the only meat I never cook rare.

    Yes, it is still worthwhile to reduce the % of chickens contaminated with enteric pathogens from the 20s-30s to 7.5%. No matter how careful the cook, some % of what’s on the bird will get through, to contaminate something. Any reduction in the starting % is useful, even if 0% is impossible to obtain.

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    Vince CA says:

    @Mnemosyne: I buy my tofu unadorned from the farmers market and from the tofueria in Japantown, San Jose. I’ve had Earth Island before, and I think I make better tofu than their processed versions.

    And yes, I’ve gotten sick from veggie food, but at least it wasn’t salmonella or trichinosis. I did call the health department on that restaurant, and that made me feel better, especially when they found that the kitchen lacked soap. They had to post a sign that they were under inspection. Hehehe! Take that, undercooked masala dosa!

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    […] Because on the margins at least, there really is a huge difference between the two parties. For example: As many as 39,000 fewer Americans could get campylobacter and 26,000 fewer could get salmonella […]

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