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The Benefits Of Stamping Newly-Butchered Animals With UPC Codes


Animals sent for slaughter come from numerous farms and ranches. The livestock producers are paid by the pound for the meat they raise. Unfortunately, once the animals are loaded on the truck and taken to be slaughtered, there is no way to trace which farm or ranch they came from. That is changing, very slowly, to a system where cattle and livestock are first earmarked (literally) for origination identification, and then the slaughtered carcasses are stamped with bar codes. Barcode scanners are then used to catalog the origin and the identify the meat as unsafe in the event that contamination occurs. Here are some benefits of this newly-adapted use of barcodes and barcode scanners.


Since the eruption of Salmonella and a thousand cases of related illness in 2010, it has become clear that eggs and meat need to be tracked. Can you imagine what it takes to try and trace down the farm or rancher that has a problem with these potentially deadly bacteria once the meat or eggs reach the market? The barcodes stamped on slaughtered carcasses provide a bevy of information that allows the FDA to trace food-born illnesses back to the slaughterhouse and then to the ranch or farm where the meat came from. Finding out where in the chain of food processing the meat was contaminated is vital to preventing additional illnesses and recalling meat from that farm, slaughterhouse or animals.


One of the biggest reasons that meat may be contaminated is freshness. Some carcasses that go unmarked may hang in a butcher's locker for a long time before being pulled and processed further. While most lockers and freezers are required to maintain a specific temperature, it does not kill any bacteria that can continue to live in colder temperatures or "reawaken" when meat meets warmer air. Stamping the carcass with a barcode allows butchers to use a barcode scanner to find out how old the meat is so that it remains fresher for consumers, and contain far less harmful bacteria.

Stamps Are Made with Fruit/Vegetable Dyes

The dyes in barcode stamps used on raw meat carcasses are made of fruit and/or vegetable dyes. They are FDA-approved for use on food, and are safe for human consumption as well. This means that the meat is never contaminated by the stamps used to help trace the meat, and no consumer can get sick if traces of the stamp are left behind after fully processing the carcass.


27 June 2017