Non-Quality Control

Further processors of donated Government meat are required by the Food Nutrition Service (FNS) to employ the USDA’s Quality Assurance Division to oversee the production of donated meat into end-items; that are intended for schools and other food help programs. On the surface this Government oversight sounds like a good idea, but in reality further processors merely have to pay the Government in order to do as they please with no inventory cost USDA donated meat. The required End Product Data Schedule (EPDS) for each manufactured end-item is literally rubber stamped with the signature of a designated QAD official. Then Meat Graders stationed at producing plants are tasked with overseeing production to the approved EPDS specifications. EPDS’s can be revised and resubmitted for certain QAD reapproval at any time. Therefore, these meat product’s quality levels are established by pay-to-play meat companies. But there’s more! The EPDS for some bagged products have an approved water weight range of as much as 12.9% variance, from batch to batch. It seems that Quality Control of such items would dictate batch formulation from a stated browned meat percentage. But then again, selling water to non-bottom line, subsidized schools can be a lucrative proposition.