Eye’ll take a bucketful
Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So, where do eyes come from? Miss Vivi has them in stock all the time, so for you, getting them is easy. She orders them in lots of 100’s or 1000’s and a bit of work is required here.
In the beginning, a lot of abattoirs flatly refused to supply them due to disruption of work flow and OHS issues. You see, a big abattoir putting through say 1000 head a day is running at capacity. They don’t normally cut eyes out; they usually go down the chute with the head into the rendering plant. The floor manager needs to take a staff member out of production and implement procedure in accordance with a specific risk analysis to get the eyes. As far as production goes, there’s more money in rib fillet or bacon, so why would they bother?
Because Mr Vivi has a way with the meat men, he’s convinced them to go through the above procedure to extract this product. The cost is we have to order 1000’s of the slippery suckers at a go.
I had the opportunity to talk to one of the floor mangers after our last order and he admitted it’s not his favourite job. It’s a bit fiddly, a bit dangerous, there’s an extra bucket on the floor (for the eyes) that can get in the way. You see, an abattoir is a regimented production line. There is a set procedure for removing the commercial items (tongue, cheek meat etc.) out of the head when they are on the head chain (stock moves through the floor on mechanised lines or chains). Commercial items in turn are placed on conveyors that whisk them off for packaging, so a bucket on the floor is not a usual risk.
So when you ask your butcher for 30 eyes and he can’t do it for you, you know it’s possibly not for his want to help you, but because the abattoir’s not going to drop knives to cut a few out for you. So all you have to do to have as many eyes as you want delivered to your door is fax or email an order to Miss Vivi and she’ll take care of the rest.
This entry was posted on October 14. 2011 by Miss Vivi
If I only had a brain
The problem with brains is that they’re soft. Really soft. So soft that the crash helmet that is your skull isn’t even enough to protect it from a decent knock to the head. If nature can’t solve a problem then I don’t expect that I can.
The problem with scientists is that they want their brain specimens in as close to perfect condition as possible to dissect them.
The problem with abattoirs is that they are in an incredibly competitive industry with tight margins and food standards criteria that put a lot of demand on their workers to meet targets that most of us couldn’t cope with.
When those three problems collide this is what you get:
The demand for brains at the beginning of this term has been stronger than we’ve ever seen before. Sadly, the quality of the brains that has been delivered has been the worst we’ve ever seen. This is a combination of the industry having to catch up and deliver whatever they’ve got in the aftermath of the natural disasters we’ve all experienced this summer and the person whose job it is to get that brain out into that punnet not being too particular about the final product.
Lucky for you I am here to defrost them, sort them and repackage them so this is what you get:
Over the past few weeks we have sorted hundreds of punnets of brains with about 50% of them being good enough to package up like this. At this stage we have no information that supply is going to be affected by the floods and cyclones, however I would be very surprised if it wasn’t. I really think that there is probably going to have been significant stock losses that haven’t been assessed yet.
Here are a few tips to give yourself the best chance of delivering a really good specimen to your classes:
- give us as much notice as you possibly can that you are going to have brains in your order
- defrost them slowly in the fridge and be very careful when you handle them
- prepare the brains by soaking them in 20% methylated spirits for up to 48hrs before the class to give them a bit firmer texture
If you’ve got a tip about brains that will make a Labbies life easier then please let us know. It would be great to be able to publish a series of tried and true hints and tips on dissection written by the people who know best.
Feb 8, 2011
This entry was posted on February 08. 2011 by Miss Vivi
Remember when dissection day looked like this,
and made you feel like this?
Well, thank Miss Vivi, you can kiss those dark days goodbye.
Now dissection prep looks like this:
and the most difficult thing you have to do is snip open the bag.
Oct 4, 2010
This entry was posted on October 04. 2010 by Miss Vivi
~ of or relating to a chicken
Galline plucks now available!
A permanent addition to the product list and only $5.00 each.
Miss Vivi has plenty in stock and our good friend J has suggested arranging it on a piece of styrofoam, covering it in gladwrap, freezing it and then taking it into the classroom mostly frozen.
It’s probably a good idea because they do pong a bit. Interesting though…
We also have a couple of sets of chicken heads and feet available for comparative anatomy study. $5.00 a set while stocks last.
Aug 23, 2010
This entry was posted on August 23. 2010 by Miss Vivi