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Scabs, Pus, and Feces in Chicken? USDA, Keep It Off My Plate!
  • Petitioning Tom Vilsack

This petition will be delivered to:

Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Administrator, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service
Al Almanza

Scabs, Pus, and Feces in Chicken? USDA, Keep It Off My Plate!

    1. Phyllis McKelvey
    2. Petition by

      Phyllis McKelvey

      Albertville, AL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to implement a new rule that will change the poultry inspection process, making it easier to allow unsavory and potentially unsafe chicken onto our plates.

As a mother of three, grandmother of eight, and a woman who has worked in the poultry industry for 44 years, I feel it’s my obligation to warn you about the chicken and turkey you and your family are likely eating. I have dedicated my professional life to protecting the integrity of the nation’s food supply and I believe the USDA’s plan to decrease poultry inspection and increase line speed is bad for consumers and poultry plant workers. I will fight tooth and nail to stop the USDA from moving forward with its proposal.

I know a lot about this new inspection plan. Before I retired in 2010, I worked in a poultry plant that was part of a pilot poultry inspection program called “HIMP.” Recently, I discovered that the USDA intends to implement the pilot program nationally. I can tell you, and so can anyone else who has worked in these plants, that the new poultry inspection plan will be a total nightmare.

The model not only reduces the number of USDA inspectors, but it also increases line speeds to the point where inspectors are only allotted 1/3 of a second to view chicken. Turkey is no exception, with inspection line speeds increasing up to 70%. Inspectors can no longer see all parts of the bird, which causes them to overlook contaminated chicken and turkey with lesions, bruises, and tumors.

Even fecal matter can get by inspectors. When inspectors do see these things, they are often not allowed to stop the line. The USDA is out of touch – Americans don’t want to eat scabs, pus, and sores. But that’s what will happen if this model is implemented.

The jobs that highly trained inspectors once did are now handed over to untrained workers at the poultry plant. The workers don’t have the power to question their supervisors. The overwhelming speeds of the lines result in more worker injuries.

The industry’s only concern is moving birds down the line – workers’ concerns don’t matter much. With no oversight, consumers are left eating chicken covered in scabs, feces, or bile.

I know this new proposal will have disastrous impacts on food and worker safety. Tell USDA to do its job to protect food and worker safety by rejecting this proposal before it’s too late!

Check out the links below for more information:

A Disaster Waiting to Happen with Poultry Inspection

Poultry Rule Information Center

Recent signatures


    1. USDA Caves to Industry But Fight Isn’t Over

      Phyllis McKelvey
      Petition Organizer

      It finally happened this week. Some of you may have seen the disappointing news about the USDA's decision to move forward with their plan, but I'm working with the Food Integrity Campaign to explore other options and keep the fight going.

      Please read the latest update from the Food Integrity Campaign which says:

      -Untrained plant workers will take over the duties of federal USDA inspectors on processing lines.

      -The use of hazardous chemicals in plants will increase.

      Read more: http://www.foodwhistleblower.org/usda-caves-to-industry-but-fight-isnt-over/

      Also, we are so close to 200,000 signatures and must show that the public will not sit back and allow the food system to become less safe for consumers who do not want to scabs, pus, and feces on our plates.

      Please share the petition: Change.org/USDAInspection

      Stay tuned for updates and thank you for sticking with me on this.


    2. Phyllis at the USDA

      Pulin Modi
      Senior Campaigner

      Phyllis was recently in Washington, DC delivering petition signatures to the USDA. Watch the news story to see how it went.

      Phyllis McKelvey Says Chicken Inspection Plan Will Make People Sick | wusa9.com

      WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- If you're eating, you might want to push your meal aside for a minute. A former USDA poultry inspector is warning a new inspection plan the Agriculture Department wants to roll out nationwide could leave you eating some of the most gross stuff you can imagine, including pus, scabs and feces.

    3. Reached 150,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Mary Butler ELYRIA, OH
      • about 18 hours ago

      This is SICK! How can we eat chicken with this sort of thing happening???

    • april otoole SYCAMORE, GA
      • 1 day ago

      I really enjoy chicken. I could eat it ever night. But have cut back on the amount i eat do to when i buy chicken i have notice alot of things like scabs and dark spots on them. I dont want to eat that nor do i enjoy wasting money on meat i throw out. When your dog turns his nose up at food makes me wound whats going on.

    • jessica Quijada FREEPORT, NY
      • 6 days ago

      this is important to me because I myself sometimes eat chicken but am scared to consume chicken because of intoxication and i dont not want any contamination . Please let the chicken grow properly without any thing added to them besides healthy nutrients

    • Kelly Chelucci VANCOUVER, WA
      • 7 days ago

      this is abhorrent

    • Elizabeth Henning SAVANNAH, GA
      • 7 days ago

      I don't want to have to become vegan. :/


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