USDA Meat inspectors continue safety checks without pay

Main St. Meats, captured from WTVC video.

The Government Shutdown made history as it reached day 22.

On Friday, hundreds of thousands of federal workers missed a pay check but that hasn't stopped many of them from doing their jobs.

A Chattanooga butcher says he's thankful Food Safety Inspectors from the U.S Department of Agriculture are continuing to conduct safety checks although they're not receiving compensation.

The USDA certifies poultry, pork and beef that meets federal food safety standards.

Main Street Meat's is a popular spot for high quality cuts in downtown Chattanooga.

The owner Eric Neil says inspectors work closely with butchers in his shop to monitor food quality and proper handling. Eric adds, " it’s really important of these safety nets exist because really serious health hazards could occur."

According to the USDA website, meat inspectors have systems in place to curtail serious health hazard. They alert us to recalls, food contaminants, and E.coli outbreaks.

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Eric says food safety protocols have progressed over several decades and its disheartening to see that progress impacted by politics.

He hopes inspectors can get paid for the work they do as the shutdown lingers on with no end in sight.

The USDA conducts checks at these local slaughterhouses:

  • Prime Meat Company
  • Great American Deli
  • Hampton Meat Processing
  • H & P Meats
  • Koch Foods, LLC
  • Pilgrims Pride Corporation
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