Regulatory Watch

Poultry carcass inspection change draws protest

May 3, 2012
KEYWORDS inspection / USDA
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Protesting government meat inspectors, including some dressed in chicken suits, picketed Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington in early April to focus attention on a shift in USDA poultry inspection regulations. Under a new Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) rule, many inspections of chicken carcasses will be transferred from FSIS inspectors to employees of the processing plants.

The agency says the rule will give inspectors more time to focus on pathogen prevention. FSIS inspectors will continue to conduct inspections during the last stages of production. FSIS says the rule will save money for taxpayers and be more efficient. Protesting inspectors, and some consumer groups supporting them, argue the agency is just trying to cut corners.

“Cutting the budget does not justify putting the health and safety of consumers and workers in the balance,” says Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the consumer group Food & Water Watch. “USDA inspectors receive extensive training to protect public health in poultry facilities, but there is no similar requirement for company employees to receive training before they assume these inspection responsibilities in the proposed privatized inspection system. This short-sighted thinking could actually cost the federal government more to deal with a potential increase in foodborne illnesses caused by unsanitary, defective poultry and meat.”

But FSIS says pathogens are now a much greater risk than diseased or injured animals entering the food supply and the agency is simply updating its procedures to account for that.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

What was your favorite part of FA&M 2014?

View Results Poll Archive


Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!


Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.


FE recent tweets