Executive Briefings

'Dirty Meat': Shocking Hygiene Failings Discovered in U.S. Pig and Chicken Plants

Shocking hygiene failings have been discovered in some of the U.S.’s biggest meat plants, as a new analysis reveals that as many as 15 percent (one in seven) of the U.S. population suffers from foodborne illnesses annually.

'Dirty Meat': Shocking Hygiene Failings Discovered in U.S. Pig and Chicken Plants

A joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Guardian found that hygiene incidents are at numbers that experts described as “deeply worrying.”

U.S. campaigners are calling once again for the closure of a legal loophole that allows meat with salmonella to be sold in the human supply chain, and also warn about the industry’s push to speed up production in the country’s meat plants. And U.K. campaigners warn that the U.K. could be flooded with “dirty meat” if a U.S. trade deal is signed post-Brexit.

The unpublished U.S. government records highlight numerous specific incidents including:

  • Diseased poultry meat that had been condemned found in containers used to hold edible food products;

  • Pig carcasses piling up on the factory floor after an equipment breakdown, leading to contamination with grease, blood and other filth;

  • Meat destined for the human food chain found riddled with faecal matter and abscesses filled with pus;

  • High-power hoses being used to clean dirty floors next to working production lines containing food products;

  • Factory floors flooded with dirty water after drains became blocked by meat parts and other debris;

  • Dirty chicken, soiled with faeces or having been dropped on the floor, being put back on to the production line after being rinsed with dilute chlorine.

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A joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Guardian found that hygiene incidents are at numbers that experts described as “deeply worrying.”

U.S. campaigners are calling once again for the closure of a legal loophole that allows meat with salmonella to be sold in the human supply chain, and also warn about the industry’s push to speed up production in the country’s meat plants. And U.K. campaigners warn that the U.K. could be flooded with “dirty meat” if a U.S. trade deal is signed post-Brexit.

The unpublished U.S. government records highlight numerous specific incidents including:

  • Diseased poultry meat that had been condemned found in containers used to hold edible food products;

  • Pig carcasses piling up on the factory floor after an equipment breakdown, leading to contamination with grease, blood and other filth;

  • Meat destined for the human food chain found riddled with faecal matter and abscesses filled with pus;

  • High-power hoses being used to clean dirty floors next to working production lines containing food products;

  • Factory floors flooded with dirty water after drains became blocked by meat parts and other debris;

  • Dirty chicken, soiled with faeces or having been dropped on the floor, being put back on to the production line after being rinsed with dilute chlorine.

Read full article

'Dirty Meat': Shocking Hygiene Failings Discovered in U.S. Pig and Chicken Plants