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Food Integrity Campaign Blog

Whistleblower: Pilot Poultry Plant “Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Walked Into”

Food Integrity Campaign | July 11, 2014

This week, the USDA submitted a new draft version of its controversial poultry inspection plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It’s the OMB’s role to review regulatory policy and set the president’s budget (which, in turn, dictates rulemaking priorities). While there might be changes to the proposal in response to public comments, it’s uncertain what exactly those changes entail. What we do know is that this plan is bad news for consumers, workers, and animal welfare.

Help us make sure the USDA listens to its own employees, who know firsthand how bad this new plan could be. Inspectors who have worked at pilot plants under the proposed plan are concerned about this rule being finalized. Here is what whistleblowers have been telling us:

Under this plan, there is no speed limit. Plants can run processing lines as fast as they dare. Nobody can inspect a carcass at those speeds.

Most people I have talked to do not think this plan will work, and I don’t see how it could either, as line speeds are already running too fast to properly inspect birds.

The notion that this plan is somehow scientifically designed to be a better system than traditional inspection is complete nonsense. They attempt to resolve real food safety issues with chemicals.

Both pilot plants where I work continuously fail salmonella tests. There will be no food safety under this plan.

The pilot plant was one of the craziest things I’ve ever walked into. The carcasses were just flying by.

The pilot plant I worked in was a mess. I couldn’t believe how much fecal matter we were finding, and the agency constantly pressured us not to make a big deal out of it.

Take a stand for those who speak out to protect our food’s integrity. Sign this petition to keep chicken feces off your plate!


Sarah Damian is Communications Manager for the Food Integrity Campaign.