Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Should You Trust the USDA Seal on Your Fresh Chicken You Eat Now? NEW Inspection Rules You Should Know About.

Our own free ranged chickens here in Tennessee.

This question comes from the article at this link on vaccinating chickens for bird flu. They are not being vaccinated right now at this point. The writer suggests we have nothing to worry about, that our chicken is inspected, so it's safe.  Really?

This is the writer's statement,"As someone who’s worked in agriculture around the globe, I think anything inspected by the Food Safety Inspection Service, a branch of the USDA, is good to eat—they inspect the poultry that go to stores.” That goes for caged hens or birds raised on a pasture, you name it. “You could raise it in your house on your backyard—however it gets to that weight and age, when you’re ready to eat that bird and sell it, in this country, it will go through an inspection process—it’s inspected by those USDA inspectors and they determine that it’s a healthful product for consumption. So as long as it’s an FSIS-inspected product, I’m good. Look for the USDA seal.”

Should you completely trust that USDA seal on fresh chicken?  You might be interested in some facts about new inspection proceedures on chicken. 

Recalls on chicken products this year only below:

If our chicken is so safe, then why the recalls, (examples below this year):

More than 500,000 pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed, and breaded chicken that appear “ready to eat” from Aspen Foods are being recalled due to fears over Salmonella Enteritidis contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced late last week (Oct. 2)."

"This recall is an extension of one that occurred earlier this summer. In July, Aspen Foods had to recall 1,978,680 pounds of chicken due to Salmonella contamination concerns. Five people were confirmed sickened due to the Aspen Foods products. "
Another recall here, "This comes on the heels of a separate massive chicken recall from Barber Food this week totaling 1.7 million frozen, raw stuffed chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella.
What is wrong that inspections don't catch these problems?  New inspection rules!
Read the full article will make you sick.
Plant employees are now allowed to inspect whether the chickens are safe to eat not USDA inspectors. 
Do you see a problem with employees hired by the company now inspecting the chickens?  
Isn't there a conflict of interest problem in this new rule?
Sept. 6th, 2014 article on inspection changes ordered by the Obama administration to speed up production.
In one of the most far reaching changes in U.S. meat inspection history, federal regulators this fall will allow poultry plant employees — instead of USDA inspectors — to help determine whether chicken is contaminated or safe to eat, a move critics fear could spread to beef and pork processing plants.
Indeed, a severe shortage of federal inspectors in slaughterhouses is so widespread that critics and some inspectors claim some meat in supermarkets stamped as “USDA inspected” may never have been inspected at all.
The new system is not working on many levels with overloaded inspectors and employee hires not doing their job.  

"Indeed, Dayna Coonce, a 30-year USDA poultry inspector in Missouri, is so concerned about the new rule she said: “I’m telling my friends to quit eating chicken after it goes into effect.”

"Most meat inspectors understand that rule changes, such as the one for poultry plants, are often aimed at saving the industry money as much as at protecting consumer safety, said Carol Tucker-Foreman, a food safety advocate who ran the inspection agency under the Carter Administration."

Chicken being imported from China.  No problem right?

"But this summer, an undercover investigation by Chinese journalists found that one of those Chinese-inspected plants — American-owned Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. — had been forging production dates and selling long-expired beef and chicken to McDonald’s, KFC and other restaurants overseas."

This is why folks, I raise my own chickens and eggs.   This is why if we buy chicken, we buy a higher quality brand, not the cheapest brand sold. We buy from Sam's club if we have to. There is no assurance of quality if you buy big farm raised meat and eggs.   Most of you cannot raise your own chicken but you need to be aware the USDA seal on chicken may not mean much with the problems today. Recalls prove it.  

If possible buy chicken from a local farm. There are a few small farms that do sell chicken locally.  Do not buy the cheapest chicken. Smell it......really look at what you are buying before you take it home.  Cook it well. If it doesn't taste right...throw it out.   We learned the lesson when our big dog would not touch cooked chicken from a certain well known store.  That is a bad sign.  He would not touch the hamburger either from that same store.  We stopped buying meat, any meat, from that store.  Instead we ate more veggies, more salads, and ate less meat period.  The meat we did buy was either locally raised, our own meat, or purchased from a higher quality source.  

All for this week.  Please visit my store here for exception Moringa products, herbs, and supplements.

Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin