Contaminated chicken

The email below is from Carmen Sanabria, a CREDO activist in Springdale, Arkansas, who works as a poultry processor. Carmen started a petition on CREDO Mobilize, where activists can launch their own campaigns for progressive change. Will you help Carmen pressure the United States Department of Agriculture to scrap its dangerous poultry "modernization" proposal by signing her petition and sharing it with your friends and family?

CREDO Mobilize
Tell the USDA: Ensure the safety of poultry workers.

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Dear 5849376,

The Obama administration is preparing to finalize a dangerous new rule for how chickens in the United States are inspected.

If the rule is finalized, food-safety inspection staff would be slashed, at the same time that production-line speeds are allowed to accelerate. As a result, chickens contaminated by feces, bile and scabs would not be pulled from the line, but instead would "pass" the new inspection standards and then simply be rinsed in an anti-microbial bleach solution before being packaged and sold to consumers.

As a mother of five children and a poultry-processing worker, I'm frightened by the USDA's "modernization" plan. That's why I started my own campaign on, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to the USDA, asks the following:

The proposed poultry modernization rule is bad for food safety and bad for workers. I urge you to go back to the drawing board and propose a new rule that will ensure that chicken processed in the United States is safe to eat, and that poultry-processing workers are given the workplace protections they deserve.

In 12 years, I've worked in four different poultry factories, and the injustices and indignity workers experience are always the same. One of the worst problems I've experienced is that the line speed is far too fast for our hands to keep up with the meat speeding by on conveyer belts. But the USDA's new rule would drastically increase the line speed, making it impossible for poultry-processing workers to do our jobs properly and make sure the chickens are clean.

Making the same motions every day also gives workers disabling repetitive-motion injuries. The pain drills into my nerves and bones. When I come home I can't carry my youngest child, and I worry about the day my arms won't move enough to work anymore.

In order to speed up poultry production, the proposed plan would cut 75% of USDA inspectors and put companies – rather than government officials – in charge of inspecting most of the chicken processed in the United States. Food-safety experts, good-government organizations, and health and safety groups have all told the USDA that this rule is bad. Quite simply, it is bad for food safety and bad for poultry workers like me.

Like every mother, I worry about the food I feed my children and what they're eating in school. I think about how much worse it's going to be under the USDA's new rule.

Will you join me and add your name to my petition telling the USDA to scrap its dangerous new food-safety rule?

Thank you for your support.

Carmen Sanabria

Sign the petition ►

CREDO Mobilize helps activists like you make progressive change and fight regressive policies by creating online petitions. Click here to start a petition today.

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