Washington D.C. - Last night, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) revealed that it granted another regulatory waiver to a chicken plant. The plant, P 6164A, is a massive Foster Farms slaughter and processing plant located in Kelso, Washington. The waiver means that the plant can increase its slaughter line speed up to 175 birds per minute with only one FSIS trained inspector stationed at the end of the slaughter line.
In response, Senior Government Affairs Representative Food & Water Action Tony Corbo, issued the following statement,
“FSIS inspectors are putting themselves on the line working in dangerous conditions so that the rest of us can eat safe food during the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, their bosses are thanking them by making that line even more dangerous. With this waiver, they are rewarding a slaughter plant that has repeatedly thumbed its nose at regulatory violations and even threatened FSIS inspectors who were trying to do their jobs. This plant, with its checkered history, should be one of the last plants that receive a regulatory waiver.
“The agency also granted a regulatory waiver to a beef slaughter plant in Kansas last week so that it could self-regulate and take over inspection functions normally performed by trained government inspectors. Food & Water Action has called on Congress to put a halt to the FSIS regulatory waiver process because the agency is abusing it. Granting these regulatory waivers proves FSIS is doing just that.”