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Toxic gas hides meat spoilage, firm says

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Murgen

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Avoid use of charcoal grills and hibachi pots indoors for cooking or to eliminate the chill in a room or closed garage. They give off CO fumes, even when no glow is visible in the coals.

As for safety, are we not adding CO gas to our steaks, if cooked, or smoked in a certain manner?

for that matter, do we get more exposure from driving our cars?
 

Econ101

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MRJ, I have bought meat that have been a range of red to darker reds. The meat my wife got actually looked a little fake to me. It was too bright red. When the meat underneath the top part that you see in the package is much darker, you know something is up. I don't know how many other people cut the meat up and really looked at it close or noticed that the container was airtight ( I pressed on the packaging like you do on a bag of potato chips to make sure they are sealed). I can often smell meat through a package if it is not airtight. Airtight you can not. All you have is a look. As I said before, I am pretty particular about my meat purchases. I admit I might be a little nerdy about it but you might have your interests and this is one of mine.

When you bar-b-que meat, it does have a much redder appearance to it than open grilling or any other kind of cooking. I have had to tell my wife that, yes, it is really done. It comes out that way when you smoke it. Smoking it and having it for sale in the store are two different things. You can look at a piece of meat in the store and by its color kind of tell how long you have to cook it. Helps in menu planning. This kind of thing would mess up that.

I have to tell one horror story. I bought a pork loin once from Save a lot. Left it in the frige for 2 days and then took it out to cut up and cook. The package was one of those marinated deals that was sealed. When I opened it up and took it out of the package I saw all of these little brown rice looking things. At first I thought it was the seasoning. Then I looked a little closer and saw that it was fly eggs. Needless to say, I don't buy any meat from Save a lot any more. Those fly eggs were more of an indication that the meat was not handled properly than color. I don't mind paying for good handling of meat.
 
A

Anonymous

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Sandman: "You think that selling BSE tested beef to people who actually ask for it is deception, but pumping chemicals into packages unbeknowest to consumers is not."

People who ask for BSE tested beef are under the belief that it offers food safety. What you condone is fraud.

Maintaining the red meat color in beef with CO2 is hardly fraud.

Using that stupid argument, any food preservatives is fraud. Another of your many idiotic arguments.


Sandman: "You can't possibly be that stupid. Obviously, you're not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but you can't be that stupid."

Hahaha! Listen to you! You haven't contradicted anything I have stated ever with facts to the contrary. All you have is cheap talk.

The stupidity is in believing that you know more about marketing beef than those who market beef and in thinking that producers are better served by more discarded product due to it's short shelf life.

The idiots on this site are well defined and you are certainly one of them.


Sandman: "Color is definitely a tool to determine freshness. You're OK with that color being not derived because of freshness, but because of chemicals?"

Absolutely! When I fed cattle for PM beef, we fed Vitamin E for 90 days prior to slaughter to enhance the bright red color of the meat.

You got nothing here just like always.


Sandman: "How are the consumers who think they are buying fresh beef not being deceived?"

Most of this occurs with cryovac where the shelf life is extended simply due to cryovac.

If consumers were being deceived by the color not representing the quality of the beef, DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD BUY BEEF AGAIN????

In that light, do you think you need to save the retail beef industry from itself AGAIN???

Arrogant @%@!%^[email protected]!


~SH~
 

Sandhusker

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SH, are people using color to buy what they believe is fresh beef?

Is the freshness the reason for the color?
 

Mike

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FDA asked to rescind use of carbon monoxide for meat

11/17/2005 - A petition from a food and spice company could end up with the US food regulator rescinding its decision last year allowing processors to use carbon monoxide to keep packaged meat red and fresh-looking.

Carbon monoxide is often used in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) as a packaging technique for maintaining food quality.

The MAP method works by replacing the air with a mixture of inert gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. The package is then heat sealed. The low-oxygen mix extends the shelf-life of the meat, vegetables and other perishable foods by up to 15 days from the normal five days, a big plus at a time when the market is working to ensure food safety and extend their markets.

However, carbon monoxide also makes meat appear fresher than it actually is by reacting with the meat pigment myoglobin to create carboxymyoglobin, a bright red pigment that masks any of the natural aging and spoilage of meats, according to a petition filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Michigan-based Kalsec.

The FDA approved the practice as safe for use with packaged last year in response to requests from two food companies. The EU prohibits food companies from using carbon monoxide.

Under current US regulation, processors do not have to indicate on the label that their meat products have been treated with carbon monoxide.

In a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Michigan-based Kalsec says the method can hide spoilage and lead to food safety problems.

"The use of carbon monoxide deceives consumers and creates an unnecessary risk of food poisoning by enabling meat and ground beef to remain fresh-looking beyond the point at which typical color changes would indicate ageing or bacterial spoilage," Kalsec stated in its petition.

The petition urges the FDA to withdraw its July 2004 decision and related decisions allowing the use of carbon monoxide in meat packaging. The company argues that the FDA accepted the food companies' applications using a formula known as "Generally Recognized As Safe" (GRAS).

Under the GRAS application process the FDA does not conduct an independent safety investigation of its own, but instead relies on the
notifiers' claims, research and documentation in considering the safety of a product or process in food.

"Carbon monoxide simulates the appearance of freshness, so consumers may actually believe meat is fresh and safe when it may be neither," stated Don Berdahl, Kalsec's vice president and technical director. "We hope the FDA acts quickly to end this deceptive, potentially dangerous practice.".

The company argues that consumers mainly chose their meat based on appearance, and specifically its color. The company says that the practice of treating meat with carbon monoxide could hide the growth of pathogens such as Clostridium Botulinum, Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7.

"If meat is bought spoiled, refrigerated improperly or used after these pathogens begin to grow, even proper cooking might not be sufficient to render the food safe to eat, because certain bacteria produce toxins that survive the cooking process," the company stated.

The company also argues that the FDA should have done its own independent testing of the companies' scientific claims. Kalsec claims the FDA also did not have legal authority to permit the use of carbon monoxide in fresh meat packaging because it is an unapproved and prohibited color additive.

The agency bypassed the required procedure for carbon monoxide to obtain a color additive designation, a necessary precondition for making it legal to use carbon monoxide in fresh meat packaging, the company stated.

The US department of agriculture's regulations prohibit the introduction of ingredients in fresh meat that function to conceal damage or inferiority, or give the appearance the product is of better or greater value.

The use of carbon monoxide has been banned in other countries. In 2003, the EU prohibited the use of carbon monoxide for meat and tuna products. In its decision, the European Commission's food safety regulator stated that "the stable cherry-colour can last beyond the microbial shelf life of the meat and thus mask spoilage."

Several countries including Japan, Canada and Singapore also ban the use of carbon monoxide in tuna.

"At the very least, the public has a right to know about the use of carbon monoxide in their food," Berdahl stated. " If the FDA won't prohibit it, the government should require a label that informs consumers about the presence of carbon monoxide and the health dangers it presents."

"The scientific evidence supports the safety of this packing technology," said James H. Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation. "It is unfortunate that this competitive attack may create food safety concerns when there are none here."

The original application to the FDA to get approval for the use of carbon monoxide was submitted by Pactiv Corporation and Precept Foods.

The full text of the new Kalsec petition is available here.
 

Econ101

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SH, are you contrary just for fun?

If you are going to make the jump that advertising dollars from the checkoff trickles down to the producer then producers certainly have a stake in this issue.
 

PORKER

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The petition urges the FDA to withdraw its July 2004 decision and related decisions allowing the use of carbon monoxide in meat packaging. The company argues that the FDA accepted the food companies' applications using a formula known as "Generally Recognized As Safe" (GRAS).

Under the GRAS application process the FDA does not conduct an independent safety investigation of its own, but instead relies on the
notifiers' claims, research and documentation in considering the safety of a product or process in food.

GRAS my ***
 

Econ101

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PORKER said:
Damn......science has been shafted by politics.....

Porker, if the carbon monoxide was not a meat color changer I think it would fly. It is the mixing of the benefit of preservation with a consumer indicator of quality that is the problem. Are there other gasses that do not change the color of the meat but give the same properties of color coded freshness? If there is, then you could deduct that at least part of the reason to use CO2 is to trick customers.
 

STAFF

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Got to ask the Question? Why would you want meat to look good after 1 week,2 weeks,or 1 month even after there's maybe a sell-by-date on the package and spoilage had already set in and was not noticed.
 

mrj

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STAFF said:
Got to ask the Question? Why would you want meat to look good after 1 week,2 weeks,or 1 month even after there's maybe a sell-by-date on the package and spoilage had already set in and was not noticed.

Does the science or any consumer complaints indicate that there has been ANY spoilage problems?

The point of EXTENDING SHELF LIFE indicates to me that the meat is of high quality for a longer time period than without the treatment. Based on what I read, research supports that idea.

Until there is evidence to the contrary, I will accept that premise as valid.

MRJ
 

Econ101

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STAFF said:
Got to ask the Question? Why would you want meat to look good after 1 week,2 weeks,or 1 month even after there's maybe a sell-by-date on the package and spoilage had already set in and was not noticed.

Maybe MRJ will want to buy it.
 
A

Anonymous

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STAFF said:
MRJ should read what was explained.

Like this:?

However, carbon monoxide also makes meat appear fresher than it actually is
------------------

MRJ's intitial son would call this LIAR, DECEIT, DECEPTION, IRRELEVANT AND A PURPLE FISH if it wasn't concerning their precious packers!!! :wink: :lol:
 

PORKER

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If a package was spoiled and the consumer along with the retailer were fooled as to its value and safety ,by masking from a ingredient used , then there is reason for contributory negligence .
 

Beefman

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Econ101 said:
STAFF said:
Got to ask the Question? Why would you want meat to look good after 1 week,2 weeks,or 1 month even after there's maybe a sell-by-date on the package and spoilage had already set in and was not noticed.

Maybe MRJ will want to buy it.

Is it not our ultimate goal for consumers to have a positive beef eating experience? MAP packaging contributes to postive experiences.

Of particular note: MRJ has asked multiple times the following question, which has gone unaddressed: Were there any complaints of problems with beef so treated, or was it from the company who felt it gave another company unfair advantage over its own un-treated beef? So far, there's been no one detailing complaints or problems.

You might note from http://kalsec.com/products/herbalox_season_over.cfm the following comment...... “Oxidation is a chain reaction, propagated by highly reactive free radicals generated during the initial oxidation stage. These free radicals react within the system to form compounds which cause off odors, flavors and overall quality deterioration. Herbalox® Seasoning contains naturally occurring phenolic compounds which inhibit oxidation by inactivating the highly reactive free radicals.”

NOTE: This is from the website of the company that originally filed the complaint with the FDA. Why has no one questioned their motivation in filing?

As reference: http://www.beef.org/uDocs/ACF13DD.pdf
This piece was authored by Dr Brad Morgan, OK State. One of the nation’s best and brightest meat scientists. Many of the advantages of MAP packaging are detailed.

From the European Commission on Health & Consumer Protection (12/18/01)
http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/scf/index_en.html
EUROPEAN COMMISSION
HEALTH & CONSUMER PROTECTION DIRECTORATE-GENERAL
18 December 2001
Opinion
of the Scientific Committee on Food
on the use of carbon monoxide as component of packaging gases in modified
atmosphere packaging for fresh meat

Their Conclusion: The Committee therefore concluded that there is no health concern associated with the use of 0.3%-0.5% CO in a gas mixture with CO2 and N2 as a modified atmosphere packaging gas for fresh meat provided the temperature during storage and transport does not exceed 4°C. However the Committee wishes to point out that, should products be stored under inappropriate conditions, the presence of CO may mask visual evidence of spoilage. (NOTE: KEEP IT REFRIGERATED!!!)

The advantages of MAP packaging are undisputable. Beef is a perishable product. A walk around the grocery store would suggest other perishables (milk for example) doesn’t change color when spoiling.

Of note, several rather unique quotes in an attempt to win the “Squash Innovation Award” have followed this thread:

Sandhusker: You think that selling BSE tested beef to people who actually ask for it is deception, but pumping chemicals into packages unbeknowest to consumers is not.

(Note: Fly that “pumping chemical” flag. Works every time)

Econ 101: Whoever came up with this one was looking for their own pocketbook at the expense of the consumer. I don't care if people from PETA came up with complaints on the process, I would not question anyone's motives on getting rid of this practice. This is another one of those slides down the quality curve.

(Note, wasn’t PETA, but nice try)

(MY FAVORITE) Econ 101: At first I thought it was the seasoning. Then I looked a little closer and saw that it was fly eggs. Needless to say, I don't buy any meat from Save a lot any more. Those fly eggs were more of an indication that the meat was not handled properly than color. I don't mind paying for good handling of meat.

(NOTE: Gee, I wonder what those little brown, rice shaped pieces were)

Econ 101: Are there other gasses that do not change the color of the meat but give the same properties of color coded freshness? If there is, then you could deduct that at least part of the reason to use CO2 is to trick customers.

NOTE: who’s trying to trick who here?

Sandhusker: The issue is consumers wanting (and believing they are paying for) fresh beef. If they are using color as an indicator of freshness and that color is not due to the beef being fresh but rather because of chemical reaction, there's a hoodwinking going on.

NOTE: see comment on refrigeration.

Porker: If a package was spoiled and the consumer along with the retailer were fooled as to its value and safety, by masking from a ingredient used, then there is reason for contributory negligence.

NOTE: If you purchased meat that had spoiled due to poor refrigeration, I have to believe it would flunk the smell test. Take it back.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Above all, eat more beef.

Beefman
 

Sandhusker

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Sandhusker: You think that selling BSE tested beef to people who actually ask for it is deception, but pumping chemicals into packages unbeknowest to consumers is not.

Beefman, "(Note: Fly that “pumping chemical” flag. Works every time)

Am I wrong, Beefman?

Sandhusker: The issue is consumers wanting (and believing they are paying for) fresh beef. If they are using color as an indicator of freshness and that color is not due to the beef being fresh but rather because of chemical reaction, there's a hoodwinking going on.

Beefman, "NOTE: see comment on refrigeration. "

You didn't address the question. Is that meat red for the reasons they are buying it?

Another observation; Do customers link the words "fresh" with "preservatives"? I certainly don't. I do the opposite - fresh means no preservatives. I expect certain products on the shelf to have preservatives, but go to your local meat counter and count how many times you see the word "fresh".
 

Econ101

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Beefman, that was a whole pork loin, seasoned, in a vacum packed plastic package. There was no smelling it as it was sealed. In addition, when I opened the package, it was a little smelly, not a whole lot. It was as if someone re-pckaged it.

If you want to support practices like this then you can probably expect less sales of red meat.
 

S.S.A.P.

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Econ101, I have to ask; Did you take it back to the store? And what were the results of that return? Did you report the fly eggs to the FDA or whoever fly eggs should be reported to?

Curious .....
 

Econ101

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S.S.A.P. said:
Econ101, I have to ask; Did you take it back to the store? And what were the results of that return? Did you report the fly eggs to the FDA or whoever fly eggs should be reported to?

Curious .....

No, I didn't. It was not worth the trouble. I had to get rid of the mess in the house and I wasn't going to to where the store was. Some things just are not worth the trouble but you should always learn from an experience. I am just sharing that experience.

I will not be buying anything from that store again or any fresh or perishable products from that chain of stores again. Live and learn.
 

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