concept of maintenance and sanitation appeared to be at a very low level.” He noted “stagnant water standing on the floor” of the employee bathroom, and said carcasses in the cooler were touching aluminum walls coated with a scum-like material. Some carcasses showed there is a lack of knowledge of sanitary dressing procedures hair, scurl, dressing defects,” Small reported. At the Powderly plant, which was ordered to halt slaughtering operations immediately \(but a week later was given for a “firm” inspector on the premises. “Employee supervision in matters pertaining to sanitation is practically non-existent,” it was noted, and “deplorable sanitary dressing procedures” were observed. At Nemecek Bros., in West, the inspeCtor noted in a report of June 9, 1972, that ham spice was being stored with chemicals, and that: “Cobwebs were seen in the overhead area of kill floor. Insect parts are in the dry soap container.” Flies around the chili kettles also were observed. Hughson Meat Co. of San Marcos was passed as “acceptable” last Oct. 3, but a week earlier the inspector found 51 sanitary violations including “old meat particles on ceiling of sausage room” and “excess oil [grease ] on rails being splattered onto carcasses, also dripping on them.” Two San Antonio plants, Rath Packing Co. and Roegelein Provision Co., received poor marks late last year. Rath, an inspector noted, “is a problem plant.” The review of Aug. 9, 1972, said of Rath: “Product is their name. Product protection and sanitary procedures apparently come next. Inspector has been alert[ed] twice that this plant must be cleaned up or corrective action taken.” The Rath report went on to cite “exposed fly poison, strewn on dock, being tracked into edible departments.” Conditions which further incurred the USDA representative’s wrath included “meat stored in unclean gondolas” . . . “floors throughout plant have a black greasy buildup” . . . and “loose hair outside employees’ hair nets, employees handling finished product with taped fingers.” Meanwhile, aminspection of the Rath plant in Houston noted Sept. 5, 1972, a total of 56 violations including “product mishandled slab bacon on floor.” T HE SITUATION was so bad in the San Antonio plant, that the inspecting official reported July 10, 1972: “Everyday housekeeping in the sausage kitchen is the poorest I have ever seen. Paper, boxes, product, blood, emulsion everywhere!” He went on: “Product regard and handwashing attitude is the poorest I have ever seen. People handle floor racks, dirty boxes, electric switches, pull switch, exposed product, etc., etc., with no thought of ‘ clean hands. Sausage stuffers use same water in a small pan to wash hands, edible table, and also splash same on casing. The extra emulsion is contaminated on the table and by the workers’ hands and then it is Put back into the blender.” At the Roegelein plant in the Alamo City an inspector noted last Dec. 4 “broken window panes over the stuffing table already had one consumer complaint re glass in the product.” And if the glass didn’t get them, maybe the dirt would: “Most of the sausage trees are not clean and have a heavy coat of rust on them,” it was noted. Citing “numerous sanitation defects” in the aging Roegelein facility, the report revealed, “Inspectors have been discussing this with the company for months. They will now insist that .. . . equipment be clean daily and will reject same if not.” The report also noted “no one inspecting the slicing of pork jowls for abcesses.” Inspection officials made these sample comments following unannounced visits to Texas plants last year: Black’s Lockhart Sausage Co., operating stuffing machine wiped old tissue off bottom of shoe and continued his work without washing hands.” Perez Street Bakery, San Antonio through fat drippings and juices taking product from cookers. Rosita’s Tamale Factory, Austin cook pots were dirty and stored in a container with trash. I was told by management the lids stored in this container were clean, ready for use. The stainless steel pots were all dirty,” Dr. Howard E. Ingram noted. “The shucks are stored in a separate building in a room with various junk of the owner of the building” and rat droppings were observed in the area, he said. “Meat gondolas were stored under hanging carcasses. Cooling units were dripping into meat gondolas.” Premium Packing Co., San Angelo used toilet tissue improperly disposed of by minority persons.” Mexican sausage “splattered on ceiling.” Heimans Food & Lockers, Danbury . -rodent eaten.” El Campo Packing Co., El Campo dust-contaminated salt bellies in curing cooler. Lee’s Processing Plant, Three Rivers contaminated by manure, paunch contents, hide dirt,” and “several beef quarters grossly contaminated by fecal, hide dirt, hair.” Also, condensation from rusty refrigerator unit was dripping onto lamb carcasses. Moore Packing Co., Houston \(Dec. “rusty meat hooks” . . . “bloody water standing by loading apron.” “Dry storage area many dead insects on ledges, some were observed in made-up boxes with liners.” “Men’s toilet stools leaking, used paper on floor” . . . “numerous ceiling leaks source. of potential contamination over brine tanks.” “Grease and insulation from bearings and tank were falling into product” in lard cook room . . . “vats with shanks contaminated with flaked paint and dead flies” in ham pump room . . . “corn bin open to rodents” … lockers “grossly unsanitary” . . . “girls handling bacon wearing rings, with hair not properly netted.” “Many gizzards were being packed with sizeable pieces of mucosa still adherent” . . . “men’s rest rooms: strong urine odor, toilet bowls and water tanks unclean.” “Women handling product off floor, and then product without washing hands and/or changing plastic gloves.” Alamo Braun Beef Co., San Antonio departments are sitting under themanure-loaded trailers and trucks and on ground with their frocks and white gloves on . . . ” Harrell Packing Co., San Antonio granules are strewn on ground . . . boners are putting their knives and stones on the ground upon which there are granules.” Had enough? Readers of The Jungle will remember the poor soul who fell into a boiling vat and came out packaged as Gold Leaf Lard. While nothing of this dimension has turned up in USDA reports examined by this writer, there are cases of foreign objects creeping into food products. At Mountain Pass Canning Co. in Anthony, inspector Ennis Earl Williams August 10, 1973 9
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