As populations soared in large cities, food packing throughout the United States had a grim start. The early factories, slaughter houses, and packing plants had very poor sanitation. Fortunately, the situation in the meatpacking industry is much different today. Factories are held to strict standards and every step of the raising, slaughtering, packing, and distributing of livestock meat adheres to the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other regulatory organizations. At Forpak, we design and manufacture equipment that helps our customers maintain a streamlined packing system that meets food industry sanitation standards. Forpak equipment offers innovative solutions for multiple downstream production line operations, including stacking, conveying, autotransfers, reject systems, laning, sorting, and more.
The meat industry in the United States began with fur trader William Pynchon when he started salt packing pork into barrels and shipping them to the West Indies. However, by the early 1800s, cities like Boston and Cincinnati were earning nicknames for the thousands of animals processed in various packing plants. In 1833, Cincinnati alone was processing 85,000 pigs a year, giving credence to its nickname “Porkopolis.”
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln established the USDA to oversee the safe processing of meat products. After the turn of the century, when meat packing plants grew much larger thanks to industrial advances, the hygienic side of the industry couldn’t quite keep up. When Upton Sinclair published The Jungle in 1906, which detailed the dirty and brutal world of the meat industry in the United States, conditions would take a turn for the better.
Federal Meat Inspection Act
Over the years, multiple improvements have come to the meat industry thanks to government regulations like the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act, both in 1906; the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921; meat grading laws; the establishment of the FDA in 1931; the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1939; the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958; and many others.
Sanitation and hygiene in the meat packing and food industry in general helps to prevent the spread of many foodborne illnesses. When it comes to meat products, sanitation and inspections, as well as the proper handling of livestock, prevent widespread illnesses from pathogens including:
Exposure to Salmonella bacteria causes symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. In some cases, infection can result in hospitalization and death.
Infection from Listeria monocytogenes causes diarrhea, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and even sepsis in the bloodstream and meningitis (brain infection).
coli infections can cause diarrhea, secondary urinary tract infections, respiratory illnesses, pneumonia, and other diseases.
Most commonly associated with pork, the Trichinella worm is a parasite. Exposure to Trichinella can result in symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and stomach pains.
Preventing the spread of these illnesses requires our continued dedication to supporting safety in the food industry. To learn how our equipment can fit into your production line, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also request more information online today or request a quote.