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The Nation

September 13, 1987

Federal meat and poultry inspectors with AIDS would be dismissed under a proposed Agriculture Department rule, a department official said. The policy was drafted after one of the USDA's 7,200 food inspectors working at meatpacking plants nationwide was diagnosed as having AIDS, said Lester Crawford of the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The USDA has no reason to believe that acquired immune deficiency syndrome can be transmitted through food, but meatpacking industry officials have expressed fear that the disease could be transmitted via blood from knife cuts and other injuries common among meat and poultry workers, he said.

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