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The New York Times reports that “federal food safety inspectors said a proposal by the Agriculture Department to expand a pilot program that allows private companies to take over the inspections at poultry plants could pose a health risk by allowing contaminated meat to reach customers ... Under the planned expansion, the agency would hand over these duties to poultry plant employees, while the inspectors would spend more time evaluating the plant’s bacteria-testing and other safety programs. The department has run the pilot program in 20 poultry plants since 1998.”

Some inspectors say, according to the Times story, that “the proposal puts consumers at risk for diseases like those caused by salmonella. About 1.2 million cases of food poisoning are caused by salmonella each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” The problem is that the proposal speeds up the assembly lines to the point where federal inspectors no longer will have the time or the positioning to detect diseased birds.
KC's View:
I know I’m probably going to get a bunch of people disagreeing with me on this, but as a consumer I absolutely hate the idea of plant employees doing the inspections. This out to be the role of federal inspectors, and lines ought to be set up to make it easier, not harder, for them to do their jobs.

If there is anything worse than the fox guarding the henhouse, it is having the chickens guard it.