Getting shanked in the shower is definitely a worry, but biting into pus-filled poultry? That’s cruel and unusual punishment. Just ask the three Vermont men who are seeking $100,000 in damages from ConAgra Foods after reportedly purchasing bad chicken from the prison store at Lee Adjustment Facility in Beattyville, Kentucky. The sickening saga began three years ago when the trio, who were serving their sentences in Kentucky because of overcrowding in Vermont jails, apparently bit into a batch of Banquet chicken filled with pus. Brown-bagging the rank, three-year-old meat to court to serve as exhibit A, one litigant described the diarrhea and weight loss (as well as the harassment by other inmates) that he says resulted from ingesting the foul fowl.
Pusitively gross, right? Well, take heed, because food poisoning caused by putrid poultry isn’t confined to prison food. Animals raised for food are intensively confined on disease-ridden factory farms. By the time they reach the slaughterhouse, many are suffering from pneumonia and other chronic illnesses, and some have cancerous lesions or pus-filled wounds all over their bodies. Wait—it gets worse! Pus-coated bird bits often go into a mixture called a “binder,” which is used in chicken nuggets, patties, and “buffalo” wings.
And while eating contaminated meat is downright disgusting and dangerous, the real victims here are the chickens who are being knocked off to make these noxious nuggets. I say prisons should pardon chickens and all animals from their menus.
Written by Amy Elizabeth