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

This petition will be delivered to:

Administrator, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service
Al Almanza
Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack

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. 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.

    2. Reached 150,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • glenn johnston SHILOH, GA
      • 2 days ago

      i eat a lot of chicken. the new rules would produce new problems to processing chicken that is already filled with growth hormones and antibiotics

    • amanda nooitgedagt WEBSTER, NY
      • 3 days ago

      Ewwww whovwoukd want to eat chicken if it has these ingredients in it. Not me , i hooe we can clean and sanitize chicken before we packege it up and sell it

    • Lisa Mejia GOLDEN MEADOW, LA
      • 4 days ago

      This is exactly why the US wants to raise chickens in the US and ship them to China to be processed then ship them back to the US for our food. Which makes no sense at all other then no one to insure the health of the citizens of the United States. Profit over protection.

    • Yvonne Pham ELK GROVE, CA
      • 4 days ago

      Dirty food can make everyone sick, especially children.

    • Sylvia Ross HAYDEN, AL
      • 7 days ago

      I was born and raised in Albertville, Alabama.


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