When you pick up a package of meat at the grocery store and see a stamp that says “USDA Approved,” that means the United States Department of Agriculture inspectors have verified that it’s fit for human consumption. Unfortunately that stamp may soon mean nothing when it comes to pork products.
Here’s why President Donald Trump shouldn’t have approved this change.
Before you throw some bacon on the griddle, you want to know that it’s safe. That the pig who died for your BLT sandwich didn’t have an infection that could make you sick. That’s exactly what meat inspectors do.
Right now, the USDA allows about 1,100 pigs per hour to bypass inspectors’ eyes under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point-Based Inspection Models (HIMP.) These meat inspectors look for anything that would make meat harmful to humans, such as an infection or problem with their organs.
They now want to increase it to about 1,300 pigs per hour. A few whistleblowers point out that you may as well not even inspect the meat.
An experienced meat inspector anonymously expressed their concern over this regulation change. According to their affidavit:
“Line speeds under HIMP have increased from about 1,100 hogs per hour to about 1,300 per hour, but there is still the same number (3) of inspectors on the line. There aren’t enough eyes on the lines to monitor carcasses coming by at such high speeds.”
Another inspector said that while the program does equate to more money in the industries’ pockets, it comes at a disturbing cost. They said in their affidavit:
“When we try to point out problems in the slaughter process, we are berated by company management. Our upper-management no longer backs up those inspectors who are actually trying to do their jobs.”
Yet another inspector expressed concern, especially when it came to checking for diseases. They said in their affidavit:
“For example, under the program the agency has decreased the number of incisions that need to be made on a carcass’s lymph nodes to check for tuberculosis (TB.)”
More hogs to inspect with the same amount of inspectors, no longer doing incisions to check for diseases and management that berates employees for doing their job. Now might be a good time to go vegan.
Watch this video to learn more about high-speed pork processing.
Feature Image Source: Screenshot Via Twitter.