Sunday, December 16, 2007

‘Grisly’ Pig Slaughter Technique Suspect in Rare Illness Mystery

At least eleven slaughterhouse workers have fallen ill this year with a rare immune disorder called “chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy” (CIDP) in Minnesota, reports Wired (by way of AP). One possible cause: inhaling the vaporized brains of slaughtered pigs. Yeah. Seriously.

All of the victims worked at the “head table” of the Quality Pork Processors plant in Austin, Minnesota. The head table is not where the executives plot company strategy. Instead, it’s the spot where pig’s severed heads are sliced, hacked and chopped (at a rate of 1,100 per hour) before a shot of compressed air to the front of the skull sends brain matter spilling out the back.

The “grisly practice” may “turn some brain matter into a mist that could be inhaled by workers,” reports Wired. This could trigger an acute, persistent immune response that eventually leads to CIDP.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.