USDA Meat Inspection Needs Overhaul

Our food is not getting safer.

Under HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) meat inspectors are busy inspecting paperwork instead of meat. Big packers are running very fast kill lines (350 to 400 head per hour) with low paid, unskilled, and generally unhappy workers that have to speak over one-hundred languages to communicate. The turnover (by design) and injury rates are high. The big plants are not focusing on good sanitary practices, keeping ingestive material and manure off the meat, but rather depend on interventions that are not effective, like steam pasteurization and acid washes, to kill the pathogens. Why can an inspector can stop a line for inhumane treatment of an animal, but cannot for unsafe dirty carcasses?

The big packers and processors own the agency that is charged with regulating them. Inspectors committed to insuring that our food is safe are finally beginning to rebel.

Dr. Nienhueser explains in the following document.

Dr. Travis Nienhueser Resignation – Why I did It

Mike Callicrate


A few excerpts follow:

“…the mission of the Agency is to ensure the production of a safe, wholesome product reaches the consumers, it is not to ensure that the paper behind the process is perfect.”

“…the Agency is focusing on a paper chase and paper verification instead of an actual pathogen chase and is wasting millions of tax-payer dollars in the process.”

“There is a complete disconnect between the inspection force in the plants and the individuals that are leading the Agency and in charge of providing direction to the local inspection teams.”

“The single most important factor in my resignation was that I no longer believed in the direction in which the Agency was going. Specifically, I had no confidence and could no longer push the Agency’s version of HACCP on the establishments that I was assigned to. I could no longer tolerate the gross waste of tax-payer money…”

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One Response to USDA Meat Inspection Needs Overhaul

  1. Mike,
    A few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to see your ranch production I got to see you mobile unit and I was very impressed. I look forward to seeing it in action, and I hope I get to soon. Thanks for caring about our food!


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