Tyson Foods has negotiated a settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for $1 million. The settlement is linked to a lawsuit in which the meat processor said a federal meat inspector lied about inspecting hogs at its Storm Lake, Iowa, plant, forcing the company to destroy 8,000 carcasses and resulting in $2.4 million in losses and expenses.
Tyson Foods filed suit against the government agency in May after an inspector signed inspection cards for 4,622 hogs at the Storm Lake facility. The antemortem inspections were never actually conducted by the agency in person as the report stated.
The meat giant was able to show the courts the inspector never left her car, but signed the cards without seeing the hogs.
Tyson Foods said it incurred losses of $2.48 million from the false reports. By the time it learned of the alleged actions, the negligently inspected hogs had been intermingled into a larger group of some 8,000 hog carcasses and therefore could no longer be positively identified and the entire group had to be destroyed.
“This was an unfortunate situation and we appreciate the USDA for working with us to address our losses. We take our commitment to food safety very seriously and look forward to a continued partnership with the USDA,” Tyson Foods spokesman Worth Sparkman told Talk Business & Politics in an email statement.