Protecting Food. Empowering Whistleblowers.

Chemical Hazards in Meat and Poultry Processing

It is routine industry practice to use chemicals to reduce pathogens in meat products, and in poultry products particularly. FIC finds, however, that use of these chemicals can cause more harm than good.

America’s meat processing plants are dangerous workplaces, with an injury rate about five times higher than the national average. Fast line speeds, poor lighting, crowded workspaces and dangerous equipment contribute to the unsafe conditions in these facilities. But whistleblowers have shed light on a lesser-known health hazard that plant workers struggle with every day: the heavy use of chemical disinfectants that harm workers, and maybe consumers.

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Who spoke up? — Key Whistleblowers

Sherry Medina

Sherry Medina is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector who worked for the agency for 16 years. In 2012, she disclosed information to FIC regarding the serious health problems caused by the overuse of chemicals in the poultry processing industry. By making the courageous decision to blow the whistle on Big Ag, Sherry put […]

Sherry’s Story »

“As a result of my health problems, I currently take approximately twenty medications per day. My doctor continues to warn me about the dangers of returning to work in the plant.”

—–USDA Inspector