The Department of Agriculture is planning to do a nationwide meat inspection program that will allow pork plants to use their own meat inspectors.
The USDA has been running pilot programs for 16 years at five plants; these five plants were allowed to hire their own private employees to inspect their pork. At three of the five plants at which this pilot program was conducted produced serious lapses that included failing to remove fecal matter from the meat, according to the Washington Post.
The USDA began this pilot program in participation with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point-based Inspection Models Project.
HIMP are industry lobbyists who claimed this would accelerate processing times while cutting down on the number of government meat inspectors. After 16 years, a USDA inspector general report found that three of the five plants in the program were some of the worst in the country.
The Washington Post also reported that plants around the world have tried out the same program and have had equally disgusting results. A plant in Canada had to recall 8.8 million pounds of beef due to E. coli contamination and New Zealand, who was using the same self-inspection program, recently received permission to export meat to the United States, but gave a warning that the meat produced at these plants is contaminated at times.
Even with all signs pointing towards disaster the USDA still plans to go through this self-inspection pork program after the evaluation is complete in the spring of 2014 and a similar plan that will effect the way our chicken and turkey are inspected are expected to be finalized by the end of this year.
Why would the USDA allow this to happen? The answer is simple – they are trying to save money. The government is trying to cut back on the number of meat inspectors they need.
It is understandable that the government is trying to cut back on spending where it is not needed, but when it comes to what is being served on tables across the country and what is going inside of our stomachs, we do not mind the extra spending.
If you disagree and are fine with greedy, corner cutting meat plants to inspect their own meat be prepared to eat, literally, a crappy meal in 2014.