KCK Meat Plant Accused of Selling Poultry Unfit for Human Food

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A father and son were indicted in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas on Wednesday on charges their meat company, Hitchin' Post Steak Company, processed and sold spoiled poultry.

The indictment names Craig Cunningham and his son, Jason Cunningham as conspiring to intentionally sell misbranded poultry products that were "putrid, unhealthful, unwholesome and unfit for human food."

The U.S. Attorneys office claims the company was in possession of a stamp used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve meat and used that stamp on chicken that was contaminated.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom told FOX 4 that between March and December 2008, the Cunningham's sold more than 355,000 pounds of bad poultry to companies in California, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The indictment does not indicate that anyone became sick from the poultry, but Grissom said he believes the case is solid.

"Everyone is presumed innocent and that is the same case here. The burden of proof is on the government and we feel as if we can meet that burden," Grissom said.

A person who wanted to remain anonymous and who claims to have done business with the Cunninghams recalls touring the plant and says the conditions there were of concern.

"I remember walking into the plant and everyone was done for the day and Craig took me a little tour. There were still animal parts laying all over the counters and floor and this is after they cleaned up. Very disgusting to say the least," the person told FOX 4.

If convicted, Craig and Jason Cunningham could face a 10-year prison term and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Read the indictment here.

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