Meat Scraps

Originally posted 8/24/05:
I have a sinking feeling that reading products liability cases may force me to go back to vegetarianism. Submitted for your perusal, the opening lines of Pine Grove Poultry Farm, Inc. v. Newton By-Products Mfg. Co., Inc.:

"O'Brien, J. Plaintiff operated an extensive duck farm on the south shore of Long Island. Defendant manufactures a brand of poultry feed known as meat scrap. It consists of scraps of meat procured from butcher shops, seasoned and ground and sifted through a screen, then packed in bags and sold to retail dealers. From such a dealer plaintif purchased large quantities and upon it fed its ducks. Several thousand died. This high mortality was traced to the presence in the feed of fine particles of steel wire which had been fastened by butchers to the meat, and, still attached to the scraps, was ground with them."

Not having finished reading the case yet, I kind of wish they'd both lose. Plaintiff, regardless of the whole raising ducks to eat issue, really shouldn't be feeding his ducks "meat scrap," and deserves whatever losses he gets. But it's hard to argue that therefore the meat scrap company (with the charming name "Newton By-Products Manufacturing Company Incorporated) ought to be allowed to get off.

And the worst part is that I know things have only gotten worse in this regard since 1928 when this was decided. I don't think I have any meat in the fridge right now; maybe I should keep it that way...

UPDATE: Ugh. I posted the afforesaid before Justice O'Brien entered into a discussion of whether "meat scrap" contained ground beef, and therefore fell under the aegis of the New York Farms and Markets Law. He concludes that there must have been some beef in there somewhere, and "even if the proportion of beef to the other meats were low, the material in the finished product, being meat, was of a similar nature to ground beef scrap."

In other news: Restaurants can be held liable for stones found in beans, but not for tacks found in pies.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on August 24, 2005 10:20 PM.

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