Originally published July 5 2011
Deadly chemical accident at Tyson chicken processing plant lands 173 workers in hospital
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The accidental mixing of two unidentified chemicals at a Tyson chicken processing plant in Springdale, Ark., has landed 173 of its roughly 300 workers in the hospital, according to reports. The two chemicals, which Tyson refused to identify, somehow got mixed together to produce deadly chlorine gas, which sent five of the workers to intensive care, with another 50 remaining hospitalized days after it occurred.
Donnie King, senior vice president of poultry and prepared foods at Tyson, said that human error was partially responsible for the mixing of the chemicals, but did not provide further details. Gary Mickelson, a company spokesman, added that the plant does not actually use chlorine gas as part of its processing regimen, despite the fact that chlorine itself is commonly used as an antimicrobial treatment for factory chicken.
The whole incident is the type of scenario you might expect to occur at some kind of chemical or other industrial factory, not a food processing plant. And yet millions of people consume Tyson chicken, which apparently is processed with the help of some sort of chemical concoction that, when mixed, creates a gas that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says can cause respiratory illness and sudden death.
Last year, the country of Russia actually banned poultry product imports from the US because many chicken processors use chlorine to sanitize their chicken. Russian safety standards are apparently much higher than they are in the US, and the country basically announced to the world that it does not approve of chicken that is dunked in chlorine baths prior to being consumed by humans (http://www.naturalnews.com/028363_chicken_ch...).
The New York Times also reported last year that much of the factory beef consumed in the US is injected with ammonia during processing, a chemical that is also used in most glass cleaners. By treating the meat this way, officials claim deadly bacteria like E. coli will be killed, and the meat rendered safe to eat (http://www.naturalnews.com/027872_ammonia_be...).
The Tyson chicken plant incident serves as a wake-up call about what is lurking in the industrial food supply that millions of people consume every single day. If food is being subjected to chemicals during processing that, when mixed, are deadly, what does this say about the safety of the final end product?
For meat eaters, the only truly safe meat comes from animals raised humanely on organic, pasture-based farms, and that is processed without the use of chemicals like chlorine and ammonia. When it comes to food of any kind these days, knowing its source and how it was grown and processed is crucial to ensuring its safety.
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