The Medical Mystery That Traced Back To Slaughterhouse Profits and Shelf Life

❝ In the 1950s, the U.S. poultry industry began adopting a new process: Acronizing. Ads that ran in women’s magazines pictured crisp-skinned whole chicken that tasted “fresh,” “wholesome” and “country sweet” thanks to a “revolutionary process which helps maintain freshness in perishables” like chicken.

❝ In reality, Acronizing referred to the use of antibiotics. Birds were doused in a diluted solution of antibiotics while they were being butchered. The goal was to keep the meat from spoiling, allowing birds to be sold not just days, but weeks after slaughter.

❝ But as Acronizing became widespread, so too did its misuse. Slaughterhouse workers didn’t always get training on how to use the antibiotics properly, and even those who did sometimes used way more of the drugs in their solutions than the manufacturers called for. That meant some birds might be getting far more antibiotics than could be denatured through the heat of cooking.

As Maryn McKenna writes in her new book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats…”it was possible that housewives were unwittingly feeding their families tetracycline-laced fish and chicken. And doctors would soon discover that the people responsible for getting those proteins to dinner tables were being exposed to antibiotics in a manner that no one had accounted for.”

RTFA, an excerpt from her book

2 thoughts on “The Medical Mystery That Traced Back To Slaughterhouse Profits and Shelf Life

  1. Lovecraftian says:

    Predatory bacteria: The quest for a new class of antibiotics. Researchers take one step forward toward understanding and genetically manipulating B. bacteriovorus, a type of bacteria with promising potential use as a living antibiotic. (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University) https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/oios-pbt101117.php B. bacteriovorus is harmless to humans yet lethal to its prey–Gram-negative bacteria–which includes baddies such as E. coli, Salmonella, Legionella, and others. As such, being able to control it could potentially treat many different types of infections. However, due to its unusual predatory nature and other unique features, genetic manipulation of B. bacteriovorus has been limited.
    Also: A microbiological mystery of how one bacterium could invade another and grow inside it without breaking the other bacterium instantly has been illuminated by scientists. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171005103458.htm “It is remarkable to see this in action at such a tiny scale and also useful. Knowing more about the mechanisms used by the invading predatory bacteria could help design new ways of killing pathogens. Now that the invasion processes have been defined it should be possible to gather all the tools needed to invade and consume pathogenic bacteria without releasing large amounts of their pathogenic cell materials by them bursting.”

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