April 14, 2021

Michigan National Guard Sickened After Being Served Undercooked Food

About 50 members of the Michigan National Guard have been sickened with what may be food poisoning after they were allegedly served undercooked chicken and food that is “raw and moldy” while deployed in Washington, D.C. Some were sent to the hospital. Some troops were  hospitalized, according to a letter from the state’s House delegation that was sent to CBS News, although the National Guard denies that. The troops were served food by private contractors hired by the National Guard Bureau.

Michigan National Guard Sickened After Being Served Undercooked Food

Pictures of undercooked chicken have been circulating on social media. An unidentified sergeant told WXYZ.com that “there were 74 meals found with raw beef in them. Just yesterday, the lunches were, soldiers had found metal shavings in their food.”

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) has asked that the meal service be terminated and the soldiers granted a per diem so they can purchase meals in a letter sent to General Daniel R. Hokanson and Acting Secretary of the Army John E. Whitley about this matter. He said that he was disappointed and frustrated regarding the inadequate food and meal procurement.

The letter states, “It has come to light that Guard Soldiers and Airmen are receiving undercooked, unsanitary, and inadequate meals provided through private catering companies. As a result, numerous service members have had to spend their own money to procure adequate sustenance for themselves and their troops.

“While I understand the ad hoc nature of these deployments and appreciate the tremendous efforts made by many of those under your command, it is simply unacceptable that these men and women are being fed chicken with the feathers still attached and raw ground beef and then, to add insult to injury, they are forced to purchase food with their own money.”

The National Guard released a statement about this issue, stating, “The Michigan National Guard finds the reports of undercooked and poorly prepared food provided to our service members in Washington, D.C. very concerning. The firsthand accounts and pictures of undercooked food being served clearly shows that what is being given to Michigan’s service members is unacceptable.

“As soon as the first reports were received, Governor Gretchen Whitmer called Acting Secretary of the Army John E. Whitley to communicate Michigan’s concerns. Other Michigan senior leaders also engaged at the highest levels of the federal government to inform those in charge and to ensure that they knew of our displeasure with the conditions. Every assurance was given that the issue would be addressed and corrected.

“The Post Inaugural Security Mission is a multi-state taskforce, including Michigan’s 1000 personnel, under the command and control of the Washington D.C. National Guard. A decision was made by the leadership in Washington, D.C., to provide contracted meal service for the troops there. This contract was awarded and is monitored by the National Guard Bureau. Michigan’s Adjutant General has communicated all concerns directly to the Chief of the National Guard, General Daniel R. Hokanson, who has engaged to address the reported shortcomings of the current food service contract.”

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