US Meat Inspection Computer System Breaks Down

E. coli, salmonella, and other contaminants may have gone unnoticed in millions of pounds of meat due to a glitch in nationwide safety inspection system.


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A recently developed computer system that helps thousands of meat processing and packing plants inspect food, broke down for two days earlier this month. According to The New York Times, millions of pounds of meat delivered to consumers was not properly tested for E. coli, salmonella, and various forms of bacteria. The $20 million computer system has had a problematic history since it was first implemented in 2011; last year, meat auditors revealed that for nearly five months, one plant was unable to take the proper steps to ensure that its product did not contain E. coli. “I was one of the testers on the system in 2010 when it was still in the development phase,” one inspector told NYT. “I sent reports in every day about issues we were having. Today the same problems are still happening.”

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