Posts Tagged ‘meat’

What Is Being Done to Prevent Infectious Meats?

July 28, 2011

While is it important that restaurants maintain proper food safety protocols to protect customers, members of the meat industry should also do their part in preventing pathogens from reaching consumers.  This includes making sure animals are raised, transported, and slaughtered with food safety in mind.


It is commonly accepted that healthy animals are less likely to carry food borne pathogens than animals that are sick.  Therefore, those who raise animals need to be sure that their stock is being properly cared for.


The type of food an animal eats could be a part of this.  A recent study by the USDA Agricultural Research Service showed that the use of wet distillers grain with solubles (WDGS) may be linked to a higher occurrence of O157:H7, the most common strain of E. coli.


Other ways animal raisers may try to ensure the health of the animal are through antimicrobials, probiotics, and vaccines.  However, these practices may not lead to a long term reduction of pathogens.  In addition, the use of antimicrobials may actually lead to the development of pathogens that are resistant.


The cleanliness of the cages animals are held in when traveling to slaughter and the condition of the lairage, the pens animals are held prior to slaughter, are also considerations.  Dirty animal cages could lead to further contamination.


The government is also concerned about increased safety in meats.  In January, the USDA proposed new regulations for finding E. coli strains in meat beyond that of O157:H7.


Some experts say that these new regulations shouldn’t put too much extra burden on the meat manufacturers because, when used properly, methods used to control O157:H7 are also effective in controlling other strains.


Regardless of what the feds or anyone else does, restaurants need to do their part to ensure tainted meat does not have a seat at their table.  Watching where the meat comes from and properly handling it once it is received can help the restaurant protect customers from food related illness.


Get Ready to Earn Your MBA in Beef Advocacy

February 15, 2011

So are you ready to earn your MBA? That’s not a Masters of Business Administration by the way. We’re talking instead about the Masters of Beef Advocacy launched a little over a year ago to teach people in the cattle industry how to advocate for their businesses.

Offered Online for and by the Beef Industry

The program is a free series of courses which are all offered online. The courses include such classes as “Beef Safety,” “Modern Beef Production” and “Environmental Stewardship.” Offered at the Minnesota State Cattleman’s Association, the program has seen more than 2,000 people earn their MBA, with nearly a dozen new people applying for the program each day.

Not Accredited

Sadly, while the program will help you to advocate for beef, the program is unlikely to get you any kind of professional credit. It’s not offered as an accredited program and will not count toward college credit in any school in the United States. The good news however is that this MBA program doesn’t require a Master’s Thesis.

Designed for Advocacy

The program is designed basically to provide for advocacy and training in the beef and cattle industry and to teach some of the modern ideas regarding meat raising that have come into play in the past few decades. The program is also being promoted heavily on places like Facebook and Twitter. It will reportedly teach you how to talk with consumers about your favorite beef products and to explain why these products are healthy and humanely produced.

More of a Curiosity for Restaurateurs

While the program does sound somewhat interesting, frankly, we doubt it will have much appeal for people in the restaurant industry since we tend to deal with the stuff after it’s already been killed, cut and wrapped in cellophane, but still, it’s an interesting development to say the least.

Your Menu May Help Men Feel Less Aggresive

December 7, 2010

File this one under the list of things too bizarre not to be true. It turns out that men who are feeling aggressive could actually get help in feeling less aggressive by taking a gander at your menu. If you serve meat, that is!

Frank Kachanoff is a researcher from McGill University who was studying the relationship between meat and aggression in men. He wanted to test a theory that people are likely to become more aggressive in response to meat. Mr. Kachnoff showed pictures of the stuff to men and to study their reactions.

The study looked at 82 men and used various techniques to force them into a more aggressive stance. The men were told to punish a person who was reading a script to them whenever a mistake was made. At the same time, they were given a stack of photos of ready to eat meat products and told to flip through them while the script reader was busy doing his thing.

A control group was given the same experiment but when the script reader was reading, they were instead given a stack of random photos to flip through. The men in the study were told that they would be administering their punishments by way of painfully high levels of sound being broadcast to the person reading the script.

What really shocked Mr. Kachnoff however was the result of the study. He fully expected that the images of meat would make the men more aggressive and more likely to commit punishments against the reader when he made a mistake. Instead, the opposite was true. All the men who sat and stared at pictures of meat were less aggressive than the control group.

Kachnoff speculates that the reaction was based on the fact that the meat the men were staring at was ready to eat. He theorizes that the primal instinct which would have made men feel aggressive about meat was absent when the meat was already prepared.

At that point, he says, ancient man would have felt more peaceful because he was sitting around the fire and having a pleasant meal with family and friends. Maybe that’s why people enjoy going out to eat so much – they get to feel that ancient primal experience of a group meal.

Meat Makes You Smart

August 27, 2010

It sounds like it could be a new marketing slogan, but the idea that “meat makes you smart” is actually rooted entirely in science.  While restaurants that serve meat certainly stand to benefit from this research, there’s even a positive angle that vegetarian food service can take!

A Need for New Food Sources

Ancient humans, or rather pre-humans, were purely food gatherers. They would gather food from the field and eat berries and whatever else was naturally growing around them.

However, because these types of food sources were so hard to come by, our ancient ancestors had to work really hard just to stay alive. It wasn’t until pre-humans started using sharpened tools to harvest animal meat and then to cook it that our species began to evolve into what it is today.

That’s because meat was more calorie-dense.  This means that ancient humans could get by on a lower volume of meat than of other foods.  Roasting it over a fire would release more of the nutrition that was locked up in the meat, according to a recent report on National Public Radio.

Promoting Meat-Serving Restaurants with the NPR Study

Whatever your personal views on the subject, whether you subscribe to the view that the world is around 6,000 years old or billions of years old or anywhere in between, this sounds to us like a positive concept that could be used by restaurants serving meat on their menus to bring in the customers.

By bringing out the concept that meat makes you smart, you can effectively capitalize on everyone’s desire to better themselves.

Vegetarian Restaurants Can Put a Twist on This Too

Even vegetarian restaurants could get in on the act, making the claim that the all vegetable diet is a more natural one as evidenced by the fact that our ancient ancestors ate no meat. However you slice it (no pun intended), there’s potential there somewhere.