Humane slaughter and food safety

The United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is responsible for the training of inspectors to have oversight on both food safety and human slaughter practices. Right now the workload for inspectors is to spend 80% of their time on food safety (antemortem and postmortem inspections of the animals) and 20% of their time overseeing and assuring humane slaughter compliance.

3. Food Safety - USDA InspectorFood safety is intrinsically linked to humane slaughter as the knowledge base of the inspectors transcends both. An argument can be made for inspectors spending 100% of their time on food safety and for the USDA-FSIS to assign specific inspectors human slaughter oversight only. This would increase the parameters of food safety. Furthermore, when a violation of humane slaughter occurs, there is a risk for accidents and contamination, especially if the kill floor workers cannot control a frightened and hurt animal.

3. Food Safety - Bison Spinal CordTo learn more about this issue, we suggest the following resources:

Friedrich, Bruce. “USDA Inspector General: Food Safety and Humane Slaughter Laws Ignored With Impunity.” Huffington Post, 28 May 2013, link to article

Voogd, Erika L. “Does Animal Welfare Affect Food Safety?” Food Safety Magazine, February/March 2009, link to article