Under a new pilot program by the USDA, line speeds at pork processing plants are sped up by nearly 20 percent, moving pigs at the rate of 1,300 hogs per hour. These rapid line speeds increase the risks of inhumane handling, worker injuries and contamination by feces and other unsavory substances like hair, toenails and tumors.
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USDA inspectors have also come forward with concerns about their ability to properly inspect meat at this rapid pace, noting that the pilot program requires them to inspect as many as 83 pounds of pork per second.
Hormel, one of the largest pork producers in the US, owns three of the five facilities currently participating in the high-speed hog inspection pilot program:
- Quality Pork - Austin, Minnesot
- Farmer John / Cloughtery Packing Company - Vernon, California
- Hormel Foods - Fremont, Nebraska
As part of our ongoing Meatrix action campaign, we've joined the Food Integrity Campaign in taking action. Through its WTF Hormel?! campaign, FIC is calling consumers to sign a petition urging Hormel to slow down its lines and make them safe.