Meat treated with carbon monoxide

Fake freshness in the meat counter

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The treatment of meat, poultry, and fish with carbon monoxide (CO) gas has raised concerns.

CO is not a preservative but is used to maintain the pink and fresh appearance of packaged meats, eliminating the need for artificial dyes. It effectively prevents the product from changing color as it ages.

An estimated 70% of meat, poultry, and fish sold in the US undergo this ‘atmospheric packaging’ process before reaching grocery store shelves. This practice is also widespread in countries such as Canada, Australia, the UK, and various European nations.

Supporters argue that the appearance of meat doesn’t necessarily indicate its freshness, questioning the need for this treatment.

Opponents contend that artificially preserving the appearance of meat can be seen as a deceptive practice.

Although the video discussing this topic is from 2007, the treatment of meat with carbon monoxide remains a common practice today.


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