Just about all of us are well aware that Costco pays its CEOs well, but nowhere near what Mao-Mart pays (about 25% of the Mao Mart CEO’s salary.) and while Costco doesn’t pay its top echelons outlandish salaries and shower them with perks, it takes pretty good care of its employees, most of who make a sustainable wage, have medical benefits, and a retirement plan. Again, this is in sharp contrast to Mao-Mart, who is the largest receiver of Medicaid and food stamp benefits in the nation, in terms of the number of employees forced to use these programs due to Mao-Mart’s third-world wage policies. The Costco business model, unlike Mao-Mart’s, can sustain itself indefinitely without Government assistance. Please, wingers, tell me again about those GUBMINT moochers?
Costco is truly a great example of excellent corporate governance, but they are more than that. They are also the exception to the rule when it comes to regulations. As we’ve all seen, time after time the Mao-Marts and their imitators are far more worried about their bottom lines than any other thing, meaning that they will sell you a lot of things, food included, that should never be offered to consumers. Mao-MArt depends on Government inspections for things like e.coli bacterial contamination, a dangerous practice in an age where Rushpubliscum legislators are constantly cutting funding for the USDA and undermining their efforts to keep the food supply uncontaminated. We’ve all seen how that’s working out, with e.coli contaminations becoming so numerous that they’ve almost become routine. But Mao-Mart can’t be bothered with that. In the quest for maximum profits, food safety will take a back seat every time. Costco, by delightful contrast, chooses to put customer safety above the bottom line, with an internal testing regimen that meets or exceeds USDA testing specifications.
Think hard about this the next time you’re trying to decide which wholesale club YOU want to join. As for me, I already know.
Costco’s 250,000-square-foot beef plant in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley is not your typical meat plant.
It’s relatively new and spotless. There are high-tech, hand-wash sanitation stations scattered throughout the plant connected to counters that allow plant officials to make sure each employee uses them at least four times daily.
The massive meatball cook room is built entirely of stainless steel. Even the loading docks, where trucks deliver raw beef, is sanitized regularly to prevent contamination.
Plant manager Kevin Smith was a pre-med student in college who majored in physics. And Craig Wilson, who is in charge of Costco’s food quality assurance program, has a long history of working to solve pathogen problems in meat.
“We do not have customers,” explained Doug Holbrook, Costco’s vice president for meat sales. “We have members, and we are responsible to those members, our shareholders and employees to do things differently, to take a different approach.”
The plant has a decided advantage over Big Beef’s slaughter plants because they don’t kill cattle here, so there are no manure-covered hides or intestines to contaminate raw beef products.
But just the same, Costco’s approach is different.
All meat arriving at the Tracy plant comes with a certificate from the supplier pledging that pre-shipment tests showed no E. coli contamination, something other companies are also doing now. But Costco tests it anyway, and if it tests positive, it’s shipped back to the supplier. Less than one percent is shipped back.
Then the finished products — hot dogs, hamburger patties, ground beef, Polish sausages and meatballs — are tested again before they leave the plant.
In fact, Costco officials boast that, until recently, they did more E. coli testing in the company’s lab than the USDA does nationwide at all other beef plants combined.
This does not ensure that Costco meat products will be uncontaminated every time, of course, as we all found out earlier this year. But it DOES demonstrate the Costco commitment to food safety.
How do you want to spend your money? On enriching the bonus pool of an executive that already makes an obscene amount of money, or on giving workers an even break, and an eye on the safety of your food? It seems to me like it shouldn’t even be something you have to think about.