Retired USDA inspector warns of contaminated chicken
MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A local retired USDA poultry inspector said feces, pus, and other bodily fluids from chickens are getting mixed up into the finished product during processing.
It is an inspector's job to make sure that doesn't happen, but now plant employees are in charge of inspections.
The retired federal inspector said that's the wolf watching the hen house.
Phyllis McKelvey said the program is in place at plants in Guntersville, Collinsville, Cullman, and Jasper.
Company inspectors are expected to watch a third of birds that come through.
McKelvey feels as though there's no way that can be done because the chickens are rolling through at 175 birds a minute.
This could lead to foodborne illnesses such as salmonella and E coli getting to the public.
McKelvey is also concerned about the large number of Latin American and third world employees working at plants where the worker is in charge of keeping you safe.
"The language barrier - they just do what their supervisor points and tells them to do, so it's going to get through. It's going to go out into the commerce and eat things, scabs and pus and stuff, that shouldn't be out there," she said.
When asked if feces was getting into chicken going out to consumers, Pilgrim's Pride spokesman Cameron Bruett said "absolutely not" while declining further comment.
McKelvey, meanwhile, said she will be going to Washington on Wednesday to present the Department of Agriculture with nearly 200,000 signatures in opposition to the program set to go nationwide.
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