USDA Cracks Down on Meat Processing Plants

Mar 03, 2016 04:05 AM EST | By Josine Macaspac (

A first-quarter report for the federal fiscal year has been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service concerning issues with major meat plants and their inhumane handling of animals for slaughter and unsanitary practices.

FSIS and numerous companies concerned in the report have come to an agreement to take action and fix and improve on the damages caused by the violations by said companies.

FSIS enforcement activity during the first quarter ranged from routine administrative actions for noncompliance records (NRs) to federal court filings. Here are some of those actions, beginning with administrative complaints:

Enforcement during these three months included routine administrative actions for noncompliance records and court filings.

Notices of the prohibition of activity were given to Grand Distribution LLC, Safeway Distribution Center, Safeway Inc., Dadu Ice cream Inc., E&J Distribution, Giant Food, Café Mawal, Hotpie Inc., Kalinda and Kapowsin Meat Inc.

The notices were typically given to companies that involved failure in notifying consumers or of selling recalled products.

Administrative action by the FSIS includes notices of intended enforcement, suspensions and withholdings against 90 business during these months.

Meat, Poultry and Egg production facilities around the country are provided continuous inspection by the FSIS.  The action was taken against 18 plants, 13 of which concerned violations with slaughter procedures and inhumane treatment.

These include companies like Cargill Meats in Fresno, CA and Fort Morgan CO, Clemens Food Group, Hillshire Brands, JBS, JBS Swift, Quality Pork Processors, Smithfield Farmland, Swift Pork Co., Tyson Fresh Meats in Logansport, IN and Dakota City, NE.

There were five large plant violations of sanitation performance stands and four administrative actions for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) violations. Three suspensions that occurred among the large plants were reinstated on the same day.

More administrative actions were taking regarding smaller plants for sanitation issues and inhuman treatment. Two plants Bel-Tex Corp. in Fort Worth and Central Valley Meat in Hanford, CA, concern assault against meat inspectors from the USDA and interference.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) are the major administrative actions concerning very small plants.

The law that is enforced today by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was passed as the Humane Slaughter Act of 1978. This Act requires the proper treatment and humane handling of all food animals slaughtered in USDA-inspected slaughter plants. It does not apply to chickens or other birds.

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