State of Maine Might Bleach and Destroy 100 Pounds Of Bacon Because Of Missing Paperwork

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 6:30 PM

The product is perfectly fine. There is zero health threat from the meat. The man who owns it is not even trying to sell it to the general public. He simply wants to be able to cook the 100 pounds of bacon for himself, his family, and friends. And yet, the state of Maine says that they have to confiscate it because the store which processed the slabs of seasoned pig messed up the paperwork. 

The Bangor Daily News reports that "Officials from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry have told Randy Canarr that they feel badly about it but still must rip open the frozen packages of bacon, ham, smoked shoulders and more, and douse them with bleach." 

As noted by the paper, in order for Canarr, a farmer by trade, "to legally sell pork to his customers at the Hampden Farmers Market and elsewhere, a state inspector needs to follow the pig through the process of being slaughtered and processed." 

This requires "a clear paper trail, with information that includes what time the pig was killed and what time it was chilled." But, Maple Lane Farms messed the paperwork up detailing the process. 

The owner of the store has admitted it was his fault completely. 

"It was more my fault than his, that’s for sure," the anonymous owner said. "The girls that labeled it had the wrong label on it. It went out and didn’t get caught, and the state found it with the wrong code on it." 

The inspectors, despite understanding the mistake, say that rules are rules. The product must be destroyed. In total, Canarr says he would have earned $1,000 for the 100 pounds. But for him, it is not about the money. 

"You know how many families don’t even have food?" he asked BDN. "If the solution is to grotesquely destroy it all, well, it’s absurd, and I can’t let it go." 

"They’re my animals. I’ve been raising them from piglets for a year. The state is essentially coming in and taking food from me and my family," he remarked. "What if I say the hell with it and just eat a package of bacon — will I get fined? I think that at a fundamental level, it’s a ridiculous rule that needs to be changed."

Canarr says he is not mad at Maple Lane Farms nor with the inspectors. "I haven’t found anybody who doesn’t agree with me," he noted. "We’re on the same page as humans."

Accordingly, he appealed the state to determine another route. One option is for him to sign an affidavit swearing that he will not sell the bacon to the general public. The Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing the options.

"That’s sustenance for my family, my friends. We could have a big old barbecue," Canarr hoped. “It would relieve the state of any ownership and everybody wins.”

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