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Food Integrity Campaign Blog

Hormel: Stop High-Speed Hog Slaughter

Alyssa Doom | February 2, 2015

FIC is launching a campaign to demand that Hormel Foods withdraw from a dangerous pilot model for hog inspection. We are asking the company to show consumers that they are willing to put public health over profit!

You may have heard that USDA passed a new inspection model for the poultry industry. The program was in a pilot phase for about 15 years and went into effect late last year. Dozens of consumer advocacy groups and individuals, including FIC and whistleblower Phyllis McKelvey, fought against this rule because of its negative impacts on food safety and worker health. But while it was being debated, a similar threat was on our radar.

This same dangerous inspection program, which speeds up processing lines and hands over USDA inspectors’ duties to plant employees, has simultaneously been piloted in five hog plants across the country, including three owned by Hormel.

Raking in nearly $9 billion in 2013 annual sales, Hormel is one of the largest producers of pork products in the U.S. The company sells products to major restaurant chains around the country, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Famous Dave’s. As an industry leader, we are asking Hormel to drop USDA’s pilot program and return to the traditional inspection model.

Through our investigations, FIC has uncovered the truth about high-speed hog slaughter. Just as they had done in the poultry industry, federal inspectors in the hog pilot plants have spoken out against the program. They believe it has proven to be detrimental to food safety and quality, as well as the health of workers. Please visit our High Speed Hogs fact page to learn more.

We can’t allow this dangerous inspection model to take over the hog industry, too. Consumers don’t want to eat toenails and hair for dinner. We hope you will join us in asking Hormel to set an example for other companies by saying NO to high-speed hog slaughter!


Alyssa Doom is Investigation & Outreach Coordinator for the Food Integrity Campaign.