Some of the largest meat plants in the country are responsible for foodborne illnesses that affect one in seven Americans each year.
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Eat at Your Own Risk
According to U.S. health and safety investigations, foodborne illness and disease spread from meat plants is a growing concern for public safety. Reports from hygiene inspectors detail findings in various facilities that show filthy conditions, dirty equipment, and meat carcasses contaminated with fecal matter, blood and urine, and puss-filled abscesses and sores. It’s no wonder that one in seven people come down with foodborne illnesses each year. In the U.S., approximately 128,000 people are hospitalized each year for foodborne illnesses and diseases such as salmonella and ecoli, and another 3,000 people die.
The push for fast production and higher profits has created meat plants that value personal gain over the health and safety of consumers, according to lawyers in Chicago. The factory farm industry is a multi-billion-dollar business that contributes to inhumane conditions for animals, low-wage jobs for workers, environmental pollution, and consumer health risks, all in the name of “cheap food.” The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service inspects around 6,000 meat plants across the country each year. Records show that some of the largest meat companies, including Swift Pork and Pilgrim’s Pride, have received numerous health and safety violations.
In a Swift Pork plant, inspectors reported 48 pig carcasses that fell on the floor due to faulty equipment. Carcasses were contaminated with black trolley grease, floor dirt and grime, and bloody urine. Workers picked them up, steam vacuumed them with water, and returned them to the production line. In a Pilgrim’s Pride plant, inspectors found raw chicken drumsticks and shrink-wrapped whole chickens piled up on a filthy floor. Between 2014 and 2016, Pilgrim’s Pride has been cited for more than 36,000 health and safety violations at 24 meat plants.
U.S. Food Safety inspectors have found numerous violations at meat plants that put consumers’ at high risks for personal injuries caused from:
- Meat carcasses contaminated with fecal matter
- Meat dropped on dirty floors returned to production lines
- Diseased poultry stored in edible food containers
- Dirty standing flood water caused by blocked drains from meat parts
- Dirty, faulty equipment used in meat production and packing
Inspectors are working hard to correct problems that impact consumers’ health and safety.