Sausage Was Doped
Eau Claire Weekly Telegram | December 12th, 1905
More Prosecutions in Eau Claire Under Pure-Food Law
Fines Paid by Several
In Two Cases, Defendants Plead Not Guilty and Will Stand Trial
Asst. Dairy and Food Commissioner Moore, as result of the state chemist’s analysis of the samples of bologna sausage which Mr. Moore secured in this city recently, had more meat market men arraigned before Judge Gilbertson this morning. The charge against each was that of unlawful offering and exposing for sale, taking orders for selling and being in possession of bologna sausage containing artificial coloring matter and boric acid.
The defendants were Gustav Walter, Herman Alf. L.E. Cranie, J. Blasius, John Welch and Chris Diefenbach, the sausage maker for the Drummond Packing Co. All pleaded guilty –except John Welch and Chris Diefenbach—and paid the fines and cost of $29.95 each under the protest.
Messrs. Walter and Alf did not think it was right to fine them, as hey did not know that there was any preservative in the sausage and had not made it themselves but bought it of the Drummond Sausage Company. John Welch pleaded not guilty and said that he would consult a lawyer. He too had purchased his sausage from the Drummond Packing Co., and he did not think it right that he should pay a fine for somebody else’s offense.
Attorney Frank R. Farr appeared in behalf of Chris Diefenbach, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, and his case was adjourned till later, the date, however, not being set. Its looks as though the Drummond Packing Company is going to contest the case. Mr. Moore left this morning for Madison. As a net result of his work, eleven of Eau Claire’s eighteen butchers were arrested and fined as a result of his investigations during the present week and two cases are pending against two.
Chad’s Take – A tough choice
On numerous occasions I have written about the fallacy that our great grandparents were more grounded, had more common sense, and were overall stronger than we are today. This article serves as one such example to bolster my argument. In today’s world we routinely eat chemically modified food, play with China’s lead infused toys, and build our homes right next to industrial waste producing plants, without so much as a second thought. Yet this 1905 article tells of several Chippewa Valley residents being arrested for selling the fine folks of the area some sausage with a little Boric acid in it. Sure there are those of you who will state that Boric acid is not meant for consumption, that it is primarily used for insecticides, flame retardants, antiseptics, and nuclear power plants. I’ll concede the fact that at first glance Boric acid does seem quite harmful, yet it is still generally considered a weak acid.
However, as a researcher of the strange and bizarre, I strive to give every side of an argument fair treatment. Perhaps, you critics are right in the belief that the Chippewa Valley residents should have been protected from Boric acid in their sausage. For this experiment I am going to compare your expertise of sausage, versus the expertise of the sausage makers, Drummond Packing Company.
Myself and the normal (or abnormal) readers of this column.
1. I am guessing that the majority of you are similar to me in the fact that most of my yearly sausage intake is in the form of a topping decorating a pizza.
2. A few of you may even enjoy the occasional tasty sausage stick throughout the course of the year.
3. And perhaps, by some far-fetched chance, one of you readers even makes his/her own homemade sausage.
I must admit that so far, we the people of the Chippewa Valley possess a fairly impressive sausage resume.
Now, let’s take a look of Drummond Packing Company.
1. David Drummond came to Eau Claire in 1870, and formed a small meat packing business that mostly provided lumbermen with the necessary food to get them through the day.
2. In 1881, David’s brothers joined in the business, and it became known as Drummond Brothers. In 1893, the business was incorporated, and the business name was changed to Drummond Brothers Packaging.
3. By the year 1927, the Drummond Packing Company was handling 2,000 hogs per week, they employed over 15 people, and sold over 10,000,000 pounds of product annually. All of this was from their plant on the north side of Galloway Street in Eau Claire.
4. David Drummond is a member of the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame.
5. For 120 years, some variation of the original Drummond Packaging Company existed in the Chippewa Valley, until Armour finally closed down the plant in 1990.
This was an excruciatingly tough call to make. I tediously studied the qualifications of both sides of the argument. And after much thought and debate, when it came to sausage safety, I was left with two options. I could throw my weight behind myself, and several other avid pizza fans (Chippewa Valley Residents) or behind the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame business (Drummond Packaging Company). In the end, I decided that maybe eating sausage and not consuming Boric acid could go hand in hand. After calling a few local butchers, and several proprietors of meat selling establishments, I quickly found out that today’s sausage contains no Boric acid at all, which made my locally made pizza taste even more delicious.
Keep an eye out,