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 Post subject: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:12 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... 6632.story

Bumble Bee Foods has been fined nearly $74,000 and cited for six safety violations after an employee was cooked to death after being trapped in an industrial pressure cooker.

The citations come seven months after state regulators began investigating the accidental death of Jose Melena, 62, of Wilmington. The father of six had been employed with the company for five years.

According to a 25-page report by the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Melena was responsible for loading the 54-inch by 36-foot ovens with 12 rolling metal baskets full of tuna cans. The ovens are used to sterilize aluminum cans and to process the tuna in the cans.

At the start of his 4 a.m. shift on Oct. 11, 2012, Melena was ordered by his supervisor to load one particular oven. Sometime before 5 a.m., according to the report, Melena entered the oven to make a repair or to adjust a chain inside the machine, leaving the pallet jack he was using outside the oven.

At that time, a second employee noticed the unused pallet jacket. Assuming Melena was in the bathroom, the second employee took the machine and loaded the oven with the baskets.

“Around the same time, the supervisor questioned why the employee was using the pallet jack and began asking employees if they had seen" Melena, the report said.

The report states an announcement was made on the intercom. Workers also began looking for Melena. They discovered that his vehicle was still in the parking lot. After searching for nearly an hour and a half, the boiler operator suggested that they open the last oven that was loaded.

The workers waited about 30 minutes for the oven to cool down before they could open it. Melena's body was eventually found at the exit side of the oven. Firefighters pronounced him dead at the scene.

The Santa Fe Springs tuna company was issued "serious" citations for failing to evaluate and identify the 10 ovens in the production area as hazardous and permit-required spaces.

State officials also faulted the company for not informing workers about the areas with "danger" signs or implementing a program to address safety precautions while working inside the large ovens, as required by law.

"We will be reviewing the citations with Cal/OSHA representatives in the coming weeks to resolve any disagreements regarding the citations," company officials said in a statement.

"Safety is a top priority; we are cooperating fully with authorities, including Cal/OSHA, and have reviewed all safety procedures with plant employees and stressed the importance of following procedures to maximize employee safety. "


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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:37 am 
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Semen Strong
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That is so sad. We really need better worker safety regulation and enforcement.

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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:32 pm 
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That's horrifying!


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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:49 pm 
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oh my god. stuff like this was really what made me go vegan in the first place (description of similarly horrific accidents in meat packing plants; shows like "most dangerous catch"). so very sad.

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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:29 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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I know. I mean, I guess it's not strictly a meateater thing - presumably canned vegan stuff gets sterilized as well - but, yeah, my mind immediately went to the descriptions of working in a slaughterhouse in Fast Food Nation, which I read while transitioning to veganism. I think that when you prioritize safety, this sort of thing can be prevented most of the time, but the margins on our food don't allow for that. It's just so horrifying and stomach-turning and SAD.


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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:57 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... d=fb-share

The story of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in farm animals is not a simple one. But here’s the pitch version: Yet another study has reinforced the idea that keeping animals in confinement and feeding them antibiotics prophylactically breeds varieties of bacteria that cause disease in humans, disease that may not readily be treated by antibiotics. Since some of these bacteria can be fatal, that’s a scary combination.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bad enough, but now there are more kinds; they’re better at warding off attack by antibiotics; and they can be transferred to humans by increasingly varied methods. The situation is demonstrably dire.

Two of the examples highlighted in a Food and Drug Administration report are that about 10 percent of all chicken breasts sold at retail are contaminated with a form of salmonella that’s resistant to at least one antibiotic, and nearly half of all chicken that’s sold is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant campylobacter. Some of the antibiotics in question are used to treat sick people but are also used daily in raising livestock. And it seems that these livestock, especially ones raised by contemporary industrial means, are a breeding ground for making these and other bacteria more resistant [1] .

...


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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:03 am 
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Semen Strong
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Yikes! Thanks for sharing!

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:14 am 
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This is completely beside the point here, but, really, I've had it with Bittmann. I've usually been pretty positive towards him because I've felt that he makes veg* not so scary to the mainstream, but between this and meat recipes in his vegan cookbook, I don't know. How does anybody write about stuff like this and then go eat chicken? I really don't get him now. At all.

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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:24 am 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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maybe it's his way of protecting himself from being sued like what happened to oprah?

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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:28 am 
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You could be on to something. He probably would lose most of his platform if he went totally veg.

I'm just being grumpy. Of course it's great that something like this is published in the NYT by someone with a large following and influence. It's just that the what the fizzle factor is getting kinda high. I wonder if he actually *does* still eat meat?

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 Post subject: Re: The high cost of cheap food
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:54 am 
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Has it on Blue Vinyl
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Doesn't he eat 'humane' meat raised without hormones or antibiotics? That would allow him to believe he's part of the solution rather than the problem.

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