Meat Industry in the United States

There are many processes that come in between slaughtering of animals and the final packaging of meat. These processes carry an element of high risk of contamination. The meat procured from the slaughtering of animals can carry fecal matter which can contaminate the meat with a high quantity of harmful bacteria like E. coli. The meat can also be contaminated by various animal diseases like salmonella and campylobacter. There is also the high probability of mad cow disease which can infect the meat. The most effective way to protect human beings from this disease is to carefully remove materials of the nervous system from the beef. Other than animal diseases, there is also the matter regarding the safety of workers because in meat industry dangerous machinery and sharp knives are common elements. It is also necessary to follow stringent methods of safety in the meat packaging industry which is the final link between the meat industry and the general public who consume meat. Since the early twentieth century, the activities inside meat packaging plants in the United States are done under unhygienic conditions. In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act were passed. These Acts encouraged labor organizations to improve the working conditions of the meat packers. In the last few decades, the nation has seen a sharp decline in the meat processing industry. The slaughterhouses and meat packaging facilities are still almost in the same condition as they were a century ago. In the 1930s the Congress of Industrial Organizations drove the trade unions to focus on the working conditions of employees in different industries including the meat packaging industry. In the 1960s the United Packinghouse Workers of America with its progressive ideals successfully improved the pay and working conditions of the meat packers. During 1960s and early 1980s the average pay of meat packers was higher than that of the workers in the manufacturing industry. In the 1980s the meat packing industry went through a development phase. Meat distribution channels increased and this resulted in meat packing companies to be located in rural areas near the rearing of farm animals. The Iowa Beef Processors