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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Denver Post and the JBS Wash

Well this could be a clue why there hasn't been any ongoing press repair kits being tossed out to reporters by JBS.  What is poignant though is that it is not about a ground hamburger problem (read the comments ongoing in a previous post).  It is about internal practices if I am making correct assumptions about where that wash process occurs.  I wonder what JBS stockholders are thinking now...  "Do we have enough contingency funds?"  I don't think insurance is going to want to cover this oversight.  I could be wrong.  Any one else have ideas?

There is more discussion in the original article on how the E. coli could have gotten into the system. Although I do not understand the potential reasoning between "the machine was broken and it didn't get done" and it is the consumer's job to cook the meat to 160 degrees plus it is the USDA's role to expand their testing? Huh? Why isn't the company's feet being baked over the coals? They left out a safety step. I'm either missing a concept here or someone has slept with someone in the chain of power (that's a metaphor by the way not a serious accusation we all know journalists don't really get those kind of offers except in the movies. They don't make enough money).
N.M. teen sues Swift over E. coli - The Denver Post
The first of what might be several lawsuits by people sickened by E. coli-tainted beef was filed Monday in Denver federal court against the Greeley slaughterhouse that produced the meat and later recalled it.

The suit by 13-year-old Alex Roerick of Albuquerque alleges that he was sickened and hospitalized after eating meat that had been produced at the JBS Swift & Co. packing plant in late April.

The youth suffered flulike symptoms shortly after eating shish kebab at his grandmother's house May 10. Doctors later determined he had hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication from ingesting E. coli 0157:H7, which derives from cattle feces.

Roerick's family ate the same meat, but he had more than the others, said his attorney, William Marler.

Of concern is that Roerick was sicked by whole muscle meat, not ground beef, as is typically the case with E. coli.

"It just shows how virulent the bacteria is," Marler said. "This is more than just a hamburger problem."

Swift refused to comment on the suit but said contamination might have come from the absence of an organic acid wash the meat is supposed to get before packaging, spokesman Chandler Keys said.

"We found that on April 21, pieces of meat mainly used for sirloin steaks were diverted from the spray because it was under repair," Keys said.

Comments :

7 comments to “The Denver Post and the JBS Wash”

mowdy5gs said...

Do not under estimate the reality that there are not many other places to go for beef on such a scale of mass. Thats why alot of beef comes from abroad. Besides the enevidable lawsuits and shareholder quibbles and drops where else are you going to go?
Realistically it has probably been quashed because Swift has had this kind of thing happen more often leaving it "old news" thus not the story of the year award over here. So many scandles from outbreaks to workplace raids how far will the press go to actively ruin a company? Sad fact remains there are small monopolys within the countrys economic climate and though there might be a couple or more of any given industrys buisness, not enough to compete.. [example; quest, cable, utilities etc] Beef? What is the most disturbing overall in American product is why there are not more at the ready to make sure inferior product does not hit shelves.

Remember the peanut butter debaukle from about three and a half years ago? The guy running things made a consious desicion to send the peanut butter to shelves KNOWING there was a contamination. That fact was weighed with the bottom line. In a Capitalist country where the dollar is the bottom line, best to remember it is ALWAYS the bottom line at the end of everything.

Jane Paudaux from Greeley, Colorado said...

For me I make distinctions about these types of things. A journalist and news source has a job to do and so do the politicians and authorities regardless of how much burger gets to the table. And I expect them to do their jobs. Now it could be that I am misreading the seriousness of the issue and if so I look for more rational explanations. It can be something little like people working behind the scenes and the reporters just aren't digging there. Events can have innocent (although I'll argue not benign) reasons and not-so-innocent reasons. But the fact remains that our checks and balances are us--all of us. We do our jobs (as consumers, voters, citizens, workers) or the systems do not work as well. There are more consumers than producers and the expectation of accountability is power if it is used meaningfully. It is the expectation of accountability (and consequentially the good will and investment it costs) that makes a company offset that risk with good business practices throughout the company. If accountability is shoved under the rug or consumer's are denied information that helps them make better buying decisions I don't see how things get better unless authorities bully the company behind the scenes. And then that often leads to an entirely different slippery slope. I expect better of the journalists, editors, and publishers of the Denver Post. So generally when something doesn't appear very rational I figure I, personally, am missing information somewhere in the food chain. I like to be well informed. As for competition--give it the opportunity and it will rise.

mowdy5gs said...

How does one expect check's and balance through the market as consumers when there are limited choices to check and balance? In America today there are now more struggling, more people of less means as well, so that is the consumer today. Use Wal Mart as a model, it is doing so well because it is able to accomidate the poor and those staying afloat with cheap commmunist goods. Besides the fact that they are commies and we do buisness with them [china etc.] and besides slapping all of our forefathers in the face who died fighting commies it works. Limited companys, limited intelligence. It works. But to our detriment. It also in turn forces markets down and keeps them there as once the economy is unstable its over. Capitalism doesnt play well with Communisim.
To you'r point about accountability and such,.. We have seen first hand the accountability and lack of it in the massive debts and bailouts the government forced upon our childrens children. The secrets out. If you are BIG enough you will go knowhere at the tax payers expence. So there will be no accountability by Swift JBS. Things will continue as are, beef will be shipped and when it DOES happen again it will make news a couple of days and slink back into obscurity.
About editors; They are all girls. [derogatory] I've been blamed for everything corupt in Greeley by the local yocal whos neighbors with the chief. Like I make grown folks do corupt things. So dont get your expectations to high as they are NEVER risk takers especially in a market like this one.

Jane Paudaux from Greeley, Colorado said...

I think that this is where the power of a democratic society comes in. Granted it can work slower than snail-snot sometimes and that is frustrating and politicians count on people being unwilling to put in the effort or understand the long term outcomes and benefits. People in power elect the officials that keep other special interest groups in power. They make the policies that make it hard to remove the special interests. The key of course, in my opinion of course, is keeping the public uninformed, misinformed, and voting against their long term self-interest by holding up their short-term gains in front of their faces. Gut education and the power of political illusion becomes even stronger. Keep the poor under control by convincing them their vote doesn't count so they don't go to the polls--and the special interests gain even more power. The stronger the illusion becomes the more control special interests have in our society. Seemingly though as long as enough people make enough money this illusion cycle is very hard to break. We all believe in being rich. We all believe if we aren't rich now we will be rich tomorrow--so why vote against the idea of creating more wealth? Unfortunately, I don't have any answers on how to effectively break the cycle but I do know that education, the complexity of real facts, a well rounded understanding of math and economics, are some of the tools needed and a good place to start. Consumers, like voters, can organize and use their power--when they shop if they understand their choices. I don't want to tell people what to shop for but I want to facilitate the understanding of how that shopping choice undermines or supports the quality of life your family is going to have in twenty years. It is the individuals choice what quality of life means. It is the majority of individuals in a community who vote that decide what politicians (and special interests) are going to be assigned to make that democratic choice about quality of life a reality or not. To your later comment, I believe in high expectations myself but I also try not to delude myself how much work that means for me... and for everyone else. I like human beings. All of them. It is amazing what can be achieved when we work together for the community interest. Too big to fail simply is another way of saying "Too much effort to fix what's broken". I don't buy that myself.

Jane Paudaux from Greeley, Colorado said...

I just came across this quote online from an article interviewing Justice Ginsburg. It is online at the New York Times. I though I'd take it out of context to illustrate my previous point.
"JUSTICE GINSBURG: I always thought that there was nothing an antifeminist would want more than to have women only in women's organizations, in their own little corner empathizing with each other and not touching a man's world. If you're going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers."

Essentially if consumers and the public want to change things then they have to understand how the levers are pulled in order to put those levers in the hands of the people who will best represent their short and long term interests. Isolating community groups from each other renders the entire community less powerful as a whole. Politicians, the media, special interests... all understand the use of isolation as a power tool.

mowdy5gs said...

Why is one now unable to reply or post in responce to your blogs?

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