The United States Center for Food Safety has found twice as many food safety violations at pork-packing plants where employees rather than government staff inspect carcasses.
The self-inspection system was tested beginning in 2014 and approved in 2020 under former U.S. President Donald Trump who campaigned to reduce government regulation.
New data shows that in the years leading up to the Trump administration's approval of new inspection rules for swine slaughter plants, those establishments that piloted the system—which relies on company employees conducting inspections instead of government inspectors—had significantly more regulatory violations for feacal and digestive matter on carcasses than traditional plants, the Center For Food Safety reported..
From 2014 to 2017, plants in the "New Swine Inspection System" (NSIS) pilot project had on average nearly double the violations than comparably-sized plants outside the program. Model plants were almost twice as likely to be cited for contamination.
The NSIS rules, finalised in 2020, are now the focus of several federal lawsuits.
Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, and Humane Farming Association, secured the data last fall, and they amended court filings to include the information after a federal judge refused the United States Department of Agriculture request to have their case removed earlier in February.
Is this really all that surprising - except one would think the companies would try to be on their best behaviour to win approval for the relaxed oversight. Not to mention, they should surely show more regard for the safety of their products and consumers.