Numerous violations found at Mississippi slaughterhouses

Some meat processed for consumption in Mississippi has been kicked, contaminated, smeared with feces, left under dripping pipes and stored in insect-infested rooms, according to federal inspection records obtained by The Clarion-Ledger.

Nineteen of the state’s 22 slaughterhouses racked up a combined 470 noncompliance records between May 16 and July 1, as detailed by the USDA Food Safety and BryantsGroceryMeatMkt2009Inspection Service, which places personnel in all federally approved meat processing plants.

A noncompliance record is issued any time a plant fails to meet federal regulations on any one of a host of issues ranging from building maintenance to food safety controls.

The Clarion-Ledger requested the records in July after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a video showing abuse at a Pontotoc, Miss., slaughterhouse. That slaughterhouse, Southern Quality Meats, did not appear in the report provided by FSIS.

The records — 300 pages of detailed inspection notes — are a fraction of the 10 years’ worth the newspaper requested and is still awaiting. FSIS provides the data in batches.

Nearly one-third of the records received detail the discovery of feces on randomly selected poultry carcasses before they enter the chiller, which is the last step before being cut up and packaged for consumption.