SIOUX CITY, Iowa —Tyson Foods Inc. reached a $1 million settlement with the US government and the US Dept. of Agriculture after the company stated a federal meat inspector lied about inspecting hogs at Tyson’s plant in Iowa.
The Springdale, Arkansas-based company said it was forced to remove 8,000 carcasses from production, which resulted in a loss of $2.4 million. Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. filed the notice of dismissal on Oct. 28 and the case ended the next day.
While the company processed some of the meat into non-edible products, it claimed a loss of $1.85 million for the destroyed hogs, along with almost $315,000 in canceled sales; $213,000 in reduction of normal processing activities while diverting resources in response to the emergency; $51,000 in overtime hours worked; and $50,000 in freight and storage fees.
“This was an unfortunate situation and we appreciate the USDA for working with us to address our losses,” Tyson Foods said in a statement. “We take our commitment to food safety very seriously and look forward to continued partnership with the USDA.”
In May, Tyson filed a negligence lawsuit alleging that FSIS inspector Yolanda Thompson, DVM, certified slaughtered hogs at the company’s Storm Lake, Iowa, plant on March 26, 2018. However, the lawsuit alleges video footage showed that Thompson did not enter the pre-slaughter holding area to perform an in-person inspection of the hogs. The lawsuit states Thompson remained in her vehicle at the plant and signed the inspection cards.
On Nov. 16, 2018, the USDA denied Tyson’s initial claim for damages which resulted in the current lawsuit. Four counts have been alleged against the USDA and federal government including negligence, negligent inspection, negligent retention and negligent supervision.