Several members of Michigan’s National Guard that are currently stationed in Washington, D.C. to protect the U.S. Capitol are now hospitalized after being fed food that was severely undercooked, moldy, and even contained metal shavings.
According to a staff sergeant with the National Guard, who wished to remain anonymous,, over 70 meals were thrown away after they discovered undercooked beef, while other meals had metal shavings.
Now, dozens of soldiers who have been stationed in the nation’s capital since Jan. 6 have gotten sick from the meals.
“Yesterday, for instance, there were 74 different meals found with raw beef in them,” the staff sergeant said. “Just yesterday, the lunches were, soldiers had found metal shavings in their food.”
The sergeant was not the first person to complain about the quality of food given to guardsmen. According to WUSA-TV, a soldier’s mother brought up the issue to Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee several weeks ago.
He reportedly contacted the National Guard to take action, but nothing was done. But now that there have been several hospitalizations, there is a renewed sense of urgency surrounding the matter.
The National Guard provided an update to members of Congress. According to that update, 59 soldiers have been pulled from duty for gastrointestinal issues as a result of the food. An undisclosed food vendor contracted by the Pentagon provided the meals.
The issue has reportedly been sent up the chain of command, and Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office is aware.
In a statement, the National Guard called the situation “very concerning,” saying, “The firsthand accounts and pictures of undercooked food being served clearly shows that what is being given to Michigan’s service members is unacceptable.”
State lawmakers in Michigan are demanding that action be taken against the current food provider.
“It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington D.C are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided,” the representatives wrote in the letter to National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel Hokason. “As Representatives of these service members, we request that either the current contract be voided and a new food provider be brought in or that the service members be provided with a per diem throughout their remaining time in Washington, D.C.”