USDA plans to let chicken plants run faster with fewer inspectors.

Posted on June 7, 2012 by


As part of the U.S. President’s push to streamline regulations on businesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to let chicken slaughterhouses run production lines faster and with fewer federal inspectors, the Los Angeles Times reported June 6. Under the proposal, production lines would be allowed to move 25 percent faster, while the government would cut by as much as 75 percent the number of line inspectors eyeing chicken bodies for defects before the carcasses are packaged for consumption. The quicker conveyor belts also raise the prospects that plant workers who hang carcasses, clean, trim, and cut chickens at rapid speeds will be prone to more injuries as the pace is ratcheted up, labor groups said. The USDA estimated the proposal would eliminate as many as 800 inspector positions and save the federal government $90 million over 3 years.


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