Statement of Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety: Risk-Based Inspection at Processing Establishments

"With the announcement of a tentative timetable for the implementation of a more robust risk-based inspection system in processing establishments, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is once again demonstrating its determination and commitment to a transparent

meat inspectionLibby Quaid of the Associated Press reports that the government allowed state-inspected meat plants to operate despite finding soot-like material on pig carcasses and old meat residues on cutting boards, according to a report made public Thursday.

The findings come amid efforts in Congress to let state-inspected plants sell meat anywhere in the United States. Only

E. C. Pasour, Jr. of The Foundation for Economic Education reports that last year’s news reports of tainted beef focused public attention on the safety of the meat supply. In August 1997, Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman forced Hudson Foods to recall 25 million pounds of hamburger meat produced at the firm’s state-of-the-art plant in Nebraska. The nation’s largest beef recall occurred after several Colorado consumers became sick from hamburgers linked to E. coli contamination.
Examples of illness rooted in unsafe meat are not isolated incidents. Bad or undercooked meat causes an estimated 4,000 deaths and 5 million illnesses annually, according to the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control.[1] Moreover, a single incident of contaminated meat has the potential to affect large numbers of people. In 1993, five hundred people became ill and four children died in the Pacific northwest as a result of eating tainted hamburgers.Continue Reading We can do better than government inspection of meat