3 years

Certain commercially prepared meats may contain one or more of these four harmful chemicals used in meat production. They can be very bad for your health when consumed.

The recent pink slime scandal opened the production of meat for society’s consumption to the public eye and left a lot of people scandalized by the methods used to produce meat and the quality of the products served to the general public. Currently, however, there are some chemicals used to keep meats free of bacteria and suitable for average consumption that you may want to be steering clear of as well.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is one method used to give meat the bright red color it has as it ages in the refrigerated case at the supermarket. The gas is also used to keep the meat safe and wholesome while keeping it safe for consumption. Meanwhile, the brown color the meat turns is not an indication that there is an issue with the meat.


These are actually viruses, introduced to kill bacteria and that create a factory of the bacteria cell, where new phages are created to further destroy bacteria. These were used to treat disease in the early 1900’s, discontinued when antibiotics were introduced. However, the use to keep meat safe for consumption is still common today.


Ammonia gas is used to treat meat in order to inhibit the growth of E. coli. Current changes have been put into effect where citric acid will be considered the alternative to ensure the E. coli bacteria is killed off sufficiently.

Chlorine Baths

Poultry, like chicken, are dipped into baths where chlorine is used. The purpose is said to be the elimination of bacteria and the ability to increase the shelf life of the bird. Both the workers in the facility where the feathers are removed and the birds themselves are washed in chlorinated water. Other meat is also disinfected with chlorine, due to the high bacteria content on conveyor belts.

The methods of keeping meat free of bacteria may seem to be for the greater good. However, when you consider the chemicals used and their potential for causing illness or even cancer, it may not be as worthwhile as it seems. Therefore, being informed of the processes used to kill bacteria and keep meat fresh longer on a store shelf may have you opting for a local meat producer and less chemicals with your dinner entree.

Being informed of the processes and the various ways meat is processed and prepared for sale in the supermarket can make a difference in what you choose to purchase. You may prefer to go organic and purchase meats from the local market to avoid the majority of these chemicals, providing your family with good-tasting and safe meats to help decrease the risk of illness or cancer. Therefore, keep track of the meat you purchase and how it may have been processed and/or cleaned. It may make a difference for your family.

Source: http://foodrevolution.org