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Allen Harim plant back up and running after USDA suspension

A Sussex County chicken processing plant reopened after being effectively shut down by the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a notice of suspension to the Allen Harim chicken slaughter and processing plant in Harbeson last Wednesday, removing government inspectors and effectively shutting down the plant. 

Federal personnel are required to approve outgoing product on-site with the USDA mark of inspection. The plant can only legally produce product with the inspectors present, according to Food Safety and Inspection Service spokesman Buck McKay.


McKay said the plant was suspended for failure to comply with sanitary condition standards, but declined to offer additional details. 

He said the plant sent his agency a list of corrective actions to be taken — and was allowed to restart Sunday. 

The plant will be subject to a ninety-day abeyance period of increased USDA inspection. 

Allen Harim did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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