Friday, October 12, 2007

take back your pot pies

Unbelievable. ANOTHER recall, this time by (surprise!) big Ag company Conagra. From The Chicago Tribune:
ConAgra Foods Inc. recalled all its Banquet pot pies and store brand varieties Thursday after the products were linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak. The company included beef pot pies in the recall after initially saying only the chicken and turkey pot pies should not be eaten. ConAgra issued a consumer alert Tuesday and asked stores nationwide to stop selling the poultry pot pies, but the company stopped short of a recall until Thursday evening.
The pot pies made by ConAgra have been linked to at least 165 cases of salmonella in 31 states. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 30 people have been hospitalized as part of the ongoing outbreak, but so far no deaths have been linked to the pot pies. The company and federal officials warned customers not to eat the pot pies and to throw them away, and ConAgra is offering refunds. The store brand versions are sold under the names of Albertson's, Hill Country Fare, Food Lion, Great Value (sold at Wal-Mart stores), Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer and Western Family.

And the USDA did nothing; Conagra had to initiate the recall themselves because so many people were getting sick and they were getting sued, but the USDA dragged their feet and failed to figure out the meat was diseased until after it had already been a) slaughtered b) cut up into small pieces c) blended into little pies, d) frozen, e)shipped to Wal-Marts all over the country, f) unpacked from trucks and moved into storage in the stores, g) moved to the front of the shelves after all the older pies were sold, h) bought, i) taken home, and j) baked.

But remember, folks: government regulation is bad for big business, and what's bad for big business is bad for America. Another win for e. coli conservatism!

Funny how every single one of these recalls, be they food, toys, or whatever, always seems to involve stuff sold at Wal-Mart.

Salmonella thrives best in conditions where lots of chicken are couped close to each other, exposed to each other's feces and whatnot, like in industrial feedlots. Free range chickens are far less likely to cause salmonella, unless, of course, they're processed in slaughterhouses/meat packing plants that also kill industrially raised chickens.

Salmonella also is found in eggs, which is just great news for those of us who like them sunny side up.

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