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The Echinococcus Disease


THE ECHINOCOCCUS DISEASE iS the most fatal of all parasitic diseases which of feet man, 50 per cent dying within five years after infestation. The adult of this parasite is a tapeworm, Taenia echi nocoecvs, which lives in the intestines of dogs and wolves. The dangerous, bladder worm stage occurs in any organ of the body, but chiefly in the liver and lungs of cattle, sheep, swine and man. In preventing this disease, dogs should not be allowed in the house too much or around slaughter houses, and should frequently be treated for tapeworms. All bladder worms found in slaughtered ani mals should be destroyed by heat in or der to prevent infestation of man and dogs. Fortunately, the echinococcus dis ease is not common in the United States.

Meat poisoning is due to eating meat which has from some cause become spoiled. The spoiling may be due to bacterial infection or to decomposition. Meat poisoning is of very frequent oc currence. The symptoms include nau sea, vomiting, colicky pains, diarrhea, chills, headache, vertigo, delirium, etc, according to the severity of the case. Recovery may take place in a few days or not for months and a small percent age of cases is fatal. Large animals are disemboweled as soon as slaughtered and bacteria in the intestines have no op portunity to penetrate into the meat. The case is quite different with fowls, for undrawn poultry may lie for months in cold storage and then be exposed for several days at a warm temperature be fore being eaten. In the meantime, the bacteria and repulsive odors from the intestines have penetrated into the meat. It is, in fact, a cause of some wonder that such meat is ever eaten without caus ing trouble.

In examining meat in cases of meat poisoning various bacteria have been found, such as the common coil bacillus, Bacillus enteritidis, B. basis morbificans, etc. As a rule, only the outer surface of the meat is infected, if the animal was originally healthy. Good meat exposed even for a period of 10 days should not allow the penetration of bacteria to a greater depth than inch. It should be remembered, however, that from the moment of slaughter until it is placed on the table, meat may undergo a great variety of alterations.

Meat may he contaminated by care less handling in slaughtering. After slaughter it at once shows an acid fer mentation which, within bounds, im proves the flavor and makes the meal more tender. Wild game decomposes more slowly than the meat of domestic animals. But all meat begins to decom pose as soon as the animal is dead. We soon have the condition known as high, hautgout, etc. =Meat readily absorbs had odors or metallic poisons, such as white lead. It may be contaminated by insects and all sorts of bacteria from the dust of the street and unclean hands. Some of these bacteria cause the forma tion of more or less virulent toxins, some hasten decomposition, some pro duce color or light. Thus we have the so-called gray coloration of sausage, phos phorescent meat, rancidity of fat.

Cooking does not prevent decomposi tion. Some of the worst cases of meat poisoning have occurred from eating meat which had been kept too long after cooking.

Meat which has been kept in cold storage decomposes rapidly after removal and must be eaten at once. A high blood content in the meat also favors decomposition. Sausages are so often prepared from partly decomposed scrap meat that we need not wonder at the frequency and severity of sausage poi soning. it is usually due to the presence of Bacillus botulinus in the sausage and is fatal in from 30 to 40 per cent of cases. Poisonous effects are also occa sionally observed from eating minced meat, clams, oysters, etc. The preserva tion of meat against decomposition has already been discussed under Slaughter ing and Curing Meat. From the above brief outline of the subject of meat in spection as it affects the farmer, it is apparent that the meat inspector has an important duty to perform. We may now consider how he does it.

Inspection by federal authority Ac cording to Act of Congress of 1S91, amended hi 1895, the proprietors of slaughterhouses, canning, salting, pack ing or rendering establishments who carry on interstate or foreign business. must agree to abide by the inspection rules of the Bureau of Animal Industry. An inspector, together with assistant in spectors and microscopists, is appointed to take charge of the examination and inspection of animals and their products in each institution of this sort. The in spector and those under his direction have free access to all parts of the build ings and premises used in the slaughter of animals and the conversion of their carcasses into food products.

In the inspection of live animals all are rejected which show evidence of any of the following diseases: Hog cholera, swine plague, anthrax, rabies, malignant epizootic catarrh, mange, scab, lumpy jaw, pneumonia, pleurisy, enteritis, peritonitis, metritis, Texas fever. tuber celosis, hemorrhagic septie:vmia, and black leg; moreover, animals are rejected on account of pregnancy, fever. imma turity, emaciation, wounds, abscesses, suppurating sores and tumors. All ani mals, whether passed or rejected in the ante-mortem inspection, are again in spected after slaughter.

The carcass and internal organs are passed or condemned according to the findings and according to the known facts regarding the harmfulness and in fectiousness of animal diseases. All cases of anthrax, rabies, pyemia, septi etumia, Texas fever, hemorrhagic septi camia, and blackleg are condemned in toto, as are also extensive or generalized cases of swine plague, hog cholera, ma lignant catarrh, scab, tuberculosis, lyin phadenitis, jaundice, and urticaria. Moreover, condemnation takes place in cases of advanced pregnancy, emacia tion, calves, pigs and lambs under four weeks of age, parasitic icterohematuria of sheep, and uremia.

Pork for export trade, but not that for interstate trade, formerly was subjected to a microscopic examination for tri china. Pork found to contain living trichina was condemned absolutely, or rendered into lard at a temperature of not less than 220° F., or thoroughly boiled and used for food. Germany no longer accepts our inspection certificate for freedom from trichime, and no other foreign country requires it. It has, therefore, been abandoned.

The inspection work of the bureau of animal industry was begun in 1891 and has steadily grown until inspection is now carried on in establishments in nearly all cities, by a force of more than 4000 inspectors, microscopists, and taggers. As shown by Mohler and others, the work is carefully done and is effec tive in safeguarding the health of the meat consumer and the interest of stock raisers, by excluding harmful meat from the markets, utilizing all that can be safely utilized, and preventing the spread of infectious diseases in stock yards.

The criticism of our federal inspec tion by foreigners is partly due to politi cal considerations and partly to an in ability to understand how our inspectors can inspect so many animals in the time at their disposal. This is made possible by the systematic organization of the work, so that maximum results are ob tained by a minimum time expenditure by the inspector. The greatest foreign authority on meat inspection on a recent visit to this country stated that our system of inspection could not have been made better in the time since its organ ization.

According to the new meat inspection law of June 30, 1006, the bureau of ani mal industry has more power than here tofore to compel the observance of its rules and regulations. The veterinary inspecting force will be increased by about 150 men, and 400 additional men will be occupied entirely with the in spection of cured and canned meat products. The bureau is now in a bet ter position than ever before to safe guard the meat consumer.

State and municipal inspection much for federal meat inspection. It should be remembered, however, that we have no compulsory federal inspection except for meat in interstate and foreign commerce. The proprietors of abattoirs do not have to subject other meat to in spection. If they ask for inspection by the federal authorities they must agree to abide by the rules laid down by the bu reau of animal industry. Moreover, the abattoirs under inspection furnish 95 per cent of the meat consumed in all large cities. But the meat consumer may ask concerning non-inspected meat. As stated by Mohler, "the necessity for state and municipal inspection may be appre ciated when it is understood that the government has no power to inspect meats that do not leave the confines of the state." Moreover, as above indicated, the most careful and conscientious inspec tion may not protect the consumer, for after inspection, meat may become con taminated by careless handling, and may undergo various harmful or ens alterations before it reaches the con sumer. State and municipal inspection is therefore necessary to take cognizance of all such conditions. Meat may ac quire harmful properties after passing beyond the jurisdiction of the federal in spector. What we most need in this re spect is an efficient system of market inspection which will insure the sanitary handling of meat by local dealers and will prevent the sale of decomposed or otherwise dangerous meat to unsuspect ing customers.

Another source of danger to the meat consumer lies in the unspeakably filthy slaughtehouses often seen in country districts and on the outskirts of cities. In these establishments diseased animals may be slaughtered, because no inspec tion is required. Moreover, hogs run in the surrounding yards, feeding on the offal of slaughtered animals and thereby becoming tuberculous or infested with trichina and other parasites. Such slaughter houses serve as hotbeds for the propagation of all kinds of animal dis eases. Many cities and states have adopted inspection laws and the propa ganda is rapidly spreading; for example, in Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Mon tana, Pennsylvania, etc, and in Boston, Detroit, Montgomery, New Orleans, Washington, etc. The inspection law recently passed in Montana requires in spection of meat and milk in all cities of more than 5,000 inhabitants. The in spection must be done by a competent sanitary officer.

An efficient system of meat inspection is of distinct advantage to the stock raiser. It brings about the utilization, of animal proaucts to the greatest possi ble extent consistent with human health. The consumer feels that it is safe to use these animal products. It assists in the detection of diseases among animals and prevents further loss to the farmer from this source. The conscientious farmer who strives to produce clean and whole some food products should protect his reputation by demanding a system by which his products reach the consumer without deterioration.

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