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States. The market inspection of butter could be extended to other cities with great advantage. As yet very little has been done for the cheese industry, and the needs are about as great as in the butter business. There is also a field for studying condensed milk and other milk products.
The production of wholesome milk and the improvement of the milk supplies of cities are subjects requiring more attention and a greater force. Requests for assistance from health officers and others are so numerous that the Dairy Division can do only a small part of the work that should be done in these lines. There are also many problems connected with the dairy industry which require investigations and scientific research and which have a very practical bearing on the future progress and welfare of the industry.
THE NEED OF STATE AND MUNICIPAL MEAT INSPECTION TO SUPPLEMENT FEDERAL INSPECTION."
By A. M. FARRINGTON, D. V. M.,
Assistant Chief, Bureau of Animal Industry.
To provide clean, healthful, wholesome meats for rich and poor alike is one of the problems of modern civilization. In the early days, when people lived in rural communities, each householder killed animals of his own raising to supply meats for his own family and for his neighbors. In these days, when people are massed in large towns and cities, it is not possible for each individual to know from personal observation the source of his meat supply and whether or not it comes from healthy animals.
The purchaser at the retail store or market can determine whether the meat is satisfactory in appearance, price, and cut, but its source and previous treatment are practically a sealed book and positively unknown to the majority of people.
BRIEF OUTLINE OF MEAT INSPECTION IN THE UNITED STATES.
The first effort to solve the problem of a healthful meat supply for the people of the United States was begun by the Federal Government in the meat-inspection act of March 3, 1891. This act was not. adequate for the purpose, in that it did not give sufficient authority to supervise all the processes to which meat is subjected. It enabled the Department of Agriculture to certify that the meat of animals at the time of slaughter was free from disease, but it gave no power to follow the meat through the different processes of curing, pickling, smoking, etc., in the packing house, nor did it give authority to supervise the sanitary condition of the rooms or buildings where the meat was handled. This lack of authority has now been remedied by the Federal meat-inspection act of June 30, 1906. By this act the extent of the meat inspection conducted by the Government has been greatly increased and enlarged.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1906, the meat inspection under the several previous acts had been conducted at 163 establish
This article is based on a paper presented at the Twelfth Annual Convention of the Association of State and National Food and Dairy Departments, at Mackinac, Mich., August 4, 1908.
The act of August 30, 1890, provided for the inspection of meat for export only, and was a commercial rather than a sanitary measure.
ments in 58 cities and towns. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 1907, such inspection had been conducted at 708 establishments in 186 cities and towns, while the number of employees required to put in force the provisions of the new act was 2,290 as against 981 under the former act. There was a proportionate increase in the amount of money spent, $2,159,474 being the amount expended for the fiscal year 1907 as against $771,661 for the previous year. The act of June 30, 1906, makes a permanent annual appropriation of $3,000,000 for meat inspection.
With the authority of this law the Secretary of Agriculture may cause to be made by inspectors, appointed by him for that purpose, an examination and inspection of all live cattle, sheep, swine, and goats before they are allowed to enter any slaughtering, packing, meat-canning, rendering, or other similar establishment where meat or meat food products are prepared for interstate or foreign commerce. He is also required to cause to be made by inspectors, appointed by him for that purpose, a post-mortem examination and inspection of the carcasses and parts thereof of all such animals to be prepared for human consumption at any such establishment for transportation or sale as articles of interstate or foreign commerce. The act makes an exception in the case of animals slaughtered by farmers on the farm and by retail butchers and retail dealers supplying their customers.
The law is very explicit and describes in more or less detail how the inspection shall be conducted. It provides for the issuance of regulations which prescribe the manner of making the inspection. Any person engaged in the slaughtering, packing, canning, or rendering of meat food products for interstate or foreign trade must make application for inspection to the Secretary of Agriculture, on blanks furnished for that purpose, stating the number and kind of animals slaughtered or animal products handled, the amount prepared for local consumption, and the amount prepared for interstate or foreign trade, the applicant agreeing to conform to all lawful rules and regulations. On receipt of this application it is sent to the Chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry, who designates an inspector to visit the establishment and report upon its sanitary condition and its facilities for inspection. If alterations are required in order to conform to the regulations the proprietor is notified in writing, and inspection is not commenced until these changes are made or positive assurances given that the plant will be put in a satisfactory condition.
When these preliminary matters are arranged the necessary force of inspectors is detailed for the inspection. A veterinary inspector is assigned to take charge if the establishment is engaged in the slaughter of animals, and he is furnished with a sufficient number of
assistants to supervise the work according to the regulations. The veterinary inspectors personally conduct the post-mortem inspection of all animals slaughtered. All carcasses which come from healthy animals are marked by a metal or rubber stamp and purple ink with the legend "U. S. Inspected and Passed" and the official number of the establishment.
By selecting meat that bears this stamp consumers are assured that it came from animals found healthy on post-mortem examination. The Federal inspection, however, is limited to establishments that are engaged principally in supplying meat for the interstate or foreign trade. Although some of this meat is no doubt sold for local consumption, a great quantity is put upon sale that does not receive such inspection.
EXTENT OF SLAUGHTER WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INSPECTION.
It will be interesting at this point to inquire into the number of animals that are killed to be consumed within a State. The slaughter of food animals in the United States may be divided into three classes, as follows:
(1) The wholesale and packing, (2) the slaughter by small butchers, and (3) the farm slaughter. The Bureau of the Census has published figures relating to the first and third classes, but not the second, and those relating to the third are somewhat out of date, as they last appeared in the Eleventh Census (1890).
The general public is intimately concerned with the first two classes, as both of them enter into trade. While the wholesale and packing class is wholly included in the Government inspection, such is not the case with class 2 (small-butcher slaughter). It is, therefore, desirable to ascertain the extent of the latter, so as to determine to what degree the people are dependent upon State and municipal inspection for the wholesomeness of their meat products. Although exact figures can not be given, enough can be shown to indicate that the number of animals annually slaughtered by local butchers is probably very much larger than is generally supposed.
The method adopted to find the required number for the year 1907 is based, first, on the numbers of domestic animals in the country on January 1, 1907, as estimated by the Bureau of Statistics, Department of Agriculture; and, second, on the application to these numbers of certain percentages, representing the total annual kill of each species. The percentages referred to have been previously ascertained and published by the Bureau of Animal Industry in the Twenty-second Annual Report, and may be applied to any normal year of live-stock production.
Having thus obtained an estimate of the total number of the various animals disposed of in 1907, it simply remains to deduct (1) the