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A look into how food is inspected - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

A look into how food is inspected

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Food inspections take place in our state everyday.

Following the coal ash spill, officials required the state to inspect fish in the Dan River to ensure they were safe to eat.

"This is new territory for us. We've never actually done an investigation following a coal ash spill," said Jeff DeBerardinis, one of the people inspecting the fish with the NC Division of Water Resources.

"The main concern is to ensure the protection of the citizens of North Carolina," he said.
DeBerardinis says they start by sending a shock in the water to stun the fish. Once the fish are collected, they are taken back to a lab where they are inspected and filleted. The fish are then grinded, packed, and sent to chemistry labs for testing. The results of that are then sent to the DHHS.

But fish aren't the only food getting inspected on a daily basis.

Alan Wade oversees meat and poultry inspection in the state. He says his staff inspects everything from storage and temperature control, to packaging and the product itself.

"They actually have to verify that the animal is healthy while it's walking around in the pin, as well as once it's slaughtered, we do a post mortem inspection where we look for any abnormalities," Wade said.

Officials say food goes through several inspections before it ends up stores or rrestaurantsto ensure it is safe to eat.

But officials are still waiting to get the results from the 122 fish samples they collected from the Dan River.

DeBerardinis says they aren't inspecting fish near any other coal ash facility in the state, even the one near Goldsboro that could affect fish in the east.

"In terms of fish tissue, at this time, I've not heard of anything. But that could develop," he said.
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