If you eat meat, you should know about meat inspection. That is a health service in which federal inspectors (all two of them) inspect all slaughterhouses to ensure that only healthy animals are sold as food. This interesting link shows some of the things that meat inspectors are looking for: meat inspection for general pathological conditions.
I found a picture of a liver affected by Fusobacterium necrophorum bacteria (see Lemierre’s Syndrome in previous post).
And here is the accompanying text:
Judgement : The judgement of animals and carcasses affected with abscesses depends on findings of primary or secondary abscesses in the animal. The portal of entry of pyogenic organisms into the system is also of importance. The primary abscess is usually situated in tissue which has contact with the digestive tract, respiratory tract, subcutaneous tissue, liver etc. The secondary abscess is found in tissue where contact with these body systems and organs is via the blood stream. The brain, bone marrow, spinal cord, renal cortex, ovary and spleen (Fig. 31) may be affected with secondary abscesses. In judgement of the carcass, the inflammation of the renal medulla and contact infection in the spleen and ovaries must be ruled out. A single huge abscess found in one of the sites of secondary abscesses may cause the condemnation of a carcass if toxaemia is present. In pigs an abscess is frequently observed in the jaw and in the spine. Spinal abscesses in pigs are commonly caused by tail biting (Fig. 32). The bacterial agent from the tail penetrating the spinal canal could be arrested in the lumbo-sacral and cervical spinal enlargements, initiating an abscess formation.
Inspectors should differentiate the abscesses in the active and growing state from the older calcified or healed abscesses. In domestic animals, the primary sites of purulent infections are post-partum uterus, umbilicus or reticulum in “hardware disease”. Secondary abscesses are frequently observed in distant organs. Small multiple abscesses may develop in the liver of calves as a result of infection of the umbilicus (“sawdust liver”, Fig. 33). Carcasses with such condition should be condemned.
The animals affected with abscesses spread through the blood stream (pyemia) are condemned on antemortem if the findings of abscesses are over most areas of the body and systemic involvement is evident as shown in elevated temperature and cachexia.
On postmortem examination, the carcasses are condemned for abscesses, if the abscesses resulted from entry of pyogenic organisms into the blood stream and into the abdominal organs, spine or musculature. An abscess in the lungs may require condemnation of the lungs and an passing the carcass if no other lesions are noted. Liver abscesses associated with umbilical infection require condemnation of the carcass. If no other infection is present the abscess is trimmed off and the liver may be utilized for human or animal food depending on the regulations of the respective country. Multiple abscesses in the liver require condemnation of the organ.
The audience for this guideline is meat inspectors in developing countries. English might not be their first language. I wonder if the Food and Agriculture Organization would be interested in a plain language rewrite, considering that all Web pages are now supposed to be accessible to the general public–and that means using very readable language.