200 pounds of contaminated food headed to central Indiana restaurants in semi destroyed

Less than two years after local media uncovered dangerous conditions in trucks transporting perishable food, and a year after a state law went into effect to crack down on shippers, police say more than 200 pounds of food headed to central Indiana restaurants was destroyed after it was found leaking from the back of a tractor-trailer.

According to TheIndyChannel, a trooper stopped the truck on Interstate 74 near the 153 mile marker in Ripley County just after 9 a.m. Saturday for a MelonTruckstraffic violation.

As the driver, Jerome Upshaw, 46, of Cincinnati, drove toward a rest area for a commercial vehicle inspection, the trooper noticed a brown liquid dripping from the back of the semi, police said.

Inside the trailer, the trooper found open boxes of vegetables sitting on boxes of chicken, as well as raw chicken sitting on open boxes of vegetables, police said.

The Ripley County Health Department reported 16 packages of broccoli, egg roll filling, poultry and cabbage were unfit for human consumption due to unsafe handling and cross contamination issues, and 200 pounds of food was destroyed.

The truck was set to make deliveries to Chinese restaurants in Mooresville, Avon, Plainfield and Indianapolis, police said.

The driver was also cited for 11 minor commercial vehicle violations.

13 Investigates find feds ignoring hot trucks

As Indiana State Police find more shocking cases of spoiled and contaminated food heading to Indiana restaurants, 13 Investigates has discovered how food distribution companies get away with it. A six-month Eyewitness News investigation reveals the people who are supposed to be protecting you from this dangerous food have been looking the other way, putting millions of families at risk.

Hundreds of miles from Indiana, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health sits in his Capitol Hill office, shaking his head.

"Enough is enough. I want action now!" says Joseph Pitts (R-Pennsylvania).

Pitts comments came after he watched WTHR video showing truckloads of spoiled and dangerous food heading to Indiana restaurants and grocery stores.

The powerful Congressman says seeing graphic video of contaminated food in transport makes him angry, but he is even more aggravated that more hasn’t been done to stop it.

Last week, Trooper David Eggers stopped a truck that was speeding near the town of Kentland in northwest Indiana. Inside the truck, he found boxes full of contaminated food.

"Fluids from chicken and beef and pork were running onto the floor, and we found fluids from beef on vegetables," Eggers told Eyewitness News.

WTHR was there to see the contaminated load up close. Eyewitness News cameras captured blood on the floor of the delivery truck – so much blood that it was flowing out onto the street below.

"These boxes are soaked through from blood," complained Newton County environmental health officer Jill Johnson as she inspected the load. "There’s raw meat together with vegetables – all moisture damaged – and the potential for cross contamination is very great," she said.