Plants used fewer chemicals before the USDA said they would have to cut pathogen levels by more than half by 2011.

Chemical use has risen at plants where slaughter line speeds have increased to help deal with contaminants that might be missed.

Chlorinated,
defeathered carcasses are prepped for organ removal.

Carcasses are rinsed with water.

Organs are removed.

Carcasses are sprayed with up to 220 ppm of peracetic acid.

Carcasses are chilled using
an average of
40 ppm of peracetic acid.

USDA SAMPLE
A carcass is added to a bag of testing solution to collect remaining pathogens and returned to the line.

The solution stops the chemicals from killing pathogens, which allows those remaining to be detected in a lab.

Carcasses treated with 30 to 40 ppm of water and pera-
cetic acid
are defeathered and prepped for organ removal.

Carcasses are rinsed with water.

Organs are removed.

Carcasses are sprayed with up to 2,000 ppm of peracetic acid.

Carcasses are chilled using
an average of
40 ppm of peracetic acid.

Carcasses are sprayed with cetylpyrid-
inium chloride
at levels up to 8,000 ppm.

Carcasses are rinsed with water.*

USDA SAMPLE
A carcass is added to testing solution to collect remaining pathogens . . .

. . . but the USDA has been
told by some chemical manufacturers that the more-concentrated chemicals continue to kill pathogens, leaving nothing for the lab to detect. The test result is not representative of carcasses being processed.

SOURCE: PowerPoint presentation to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service by chemical companies, led by Enviro Tech Chemical Service scientist Jon Howarth; Government Accountability Office; USDA inspectors.