Tyson, one of the country’s largest meatpackers, wants fewer government inspectors in one of its beef plants, and the USDA is listening.
Food safety advocates fear the changes could jeopardize public health.
Tyson proposes using its own employees to take a first look at the meat.
The employees would identify unsuitable beef carcasses, before USDA inspectors check every one for disease and contamination. The shift would allow Tyson to speed up its factory line. (2/6)
The USDA is considering Tyson’s request — the first of its kind — as part of a broader overhaul of beef inspections that aims to shift quality control from government inspectors to factory workers, while focusing the USDA’s attention on more targeted safety checks. (3/6)
"We have to utilize our resources in order to do those tasks that have a direct impact on public health," says Carmen Rottenberg, administrator for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. https://nbcnews.to/2KvPcbn (4/6)
Consumer advocates warn the changes could threaten food safety by keeping red flags out of the sight of inspectors.
“They are bypassing safeguards,” says Dr. Basu, USDA’s former chief veterinarian. “It could be devastating for the whole country — you cannot turn it over.” (5/6)
Tyson’s request comes as the Trump admin. is finalizing a similar overhaul for pork plants, which will allow them to reduce the number of USDA inspectors by having factory workers take over more quality control tasks. https://nbcnews.to/2KvPcbn (6/6)
You can follow @NBCNews.