What The Experts Say

Read what food safety experts, academics and public health experts say about food safety and modernizing poultry inspection.

30 Years Whats the hold up

Compromise the safety

Higher Line Speeds

HIMP Successful

Modernized Poultry

Origin of Poultry Inspection

Privatizing Poultry Inspection

Regulating Line Speed

Role of USDA inspectors

Traditional plants vs HIMP

USDA in reaction to NAS


“Much of our current in-plant work is involved with quality control such as feathers, bruises or broken bones. Why should the American taxpayers be paying for work that is the producers’ responsibility? If a company sells product with quality defects the customers will control this problem… Our emphasis should be on food safety not sorting carcasses for lesions of no public health concern.”
– Bruce Hutchinson, 24-year veteran as a Food Safety and Inspection Service Public Health Veterinarian

Glen Morris“Increasing the speed of the lines won’t compromise safety. I don’t care how fast the birds are going, you can’t see microorganisms, and the problem is microorganisms, such as salmonella. They’re what cause illnesses and death.”
Dr. Glenn Morris, director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University Florida

Tom Vilsack“By revising current procedures and removing outdated regulatory requirements that do not help combat foodborne illness, the result will be a more efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary , Tom Vilsack

Hagen“The inspection system was designed at a time when we thought the greatest risk was disease animals getting into the food supply. We can do better than that now. We know what we need to be focused on is looking at whether the system they’ve set up is actually doing what it’s supposed to do. What are the trends in the testing data? Are they meeting critical control points? These are things that actually make consumers safer.”
Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Former U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Food Safety

bilgili“We applaud USDA dedicating more resources to food safety. Technology has changed. The organoleptic (visual) inspection system introduced in the 1950s was relevant then, but not today. While the details will of course need to be worked out, the global changes that the USDA has proposed – making the entire approach to poultry processing inspections more efficient, science-based and consumer-safety oriented – are heading in the right direction.”
– Sarge Bilgili, Ph.D., professor, Auburn University and past president Poultry Science Association

“There are currently 20 “pilot” operations using the proposed method with Salmonella rates equal to or less than the traditional method of inspection. It is a better method for the establishment to remove the defects and have the inspector conduct the final examination to ensure the plant has met its responsibilities… The biggest threat to consumer safety is the bacteria present on the carcass such as Campylobacter and Salmonella which cannot be seen. The inspector would be more valuable to understand how the plant’s food safety system works and is able to verify that it is working rather than looking for bacteria they cannot see.”
– David Thompson, National Association of Federal Veterinarians 

raymond“This is ALL about food safety and bringing poultry inspection into the 21st century. The rest, like saving dollars, more affordable poultry meat and who does quality control are not the issues that will affect my health as I age. Lower Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination rates will do that. And more off-line inspectors can do just that.”
– Richard Raymond, MD

“To better protect the public from foodborne illnesses, the Food Safety and Inspection Service must move to a modern, scientific, risk-based inspection system.”
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Almanza“In the 34 years of my career focused on food safety, I have seen — again and again — the need to modernize to keep up with the latest science and threats. This poultry slaughter modernization proposal is about protecting public health, plain and simple.”
Alfred V. Almanza, Administrator of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service