An anonymous staff sergeant with the Michigan National Guard told WXYZ on Tuesday that more than a dozen soldiers on his deployment have been made ill after being served undercooked meat since they arrived in Washington, DC, shortly after the Capitol riots on 6 January.
The sergeant also claimed the troops, some of whom he said have been hospitalised after eating the food provided for them, were also served mouldy bread and food containing metal shavings.
“Yesterday, for instance, there were 74 different meals found with raw beef in them,” the sergeant told WXYZ before providing them with photos of the undercooked meat.
The sergeant added that the meals, which were not “good from the start”, were made “even more dangerous” by delays of up to four hours for the food to be served.
Last month, another soldier told The Detroit News that “multiple soldiers have been getting sick and vomiting after eating,” and added: “Morale is very bad; many have served overseas and cannot believe the quality of food they are being fed here.”
In reaction to the comments, 14 members of the Michigan House of Representatives sent a letter complaining about the standard of food being provided.
“Recently, there have been several reports regarding the poor quality of food that is being provided to these service members,” they wrote on Tuesday.
They added: “It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington, DC are being hospitalised due to the food they are being provided.”
A spokesperson for the National Guard responded to the claims in a statement to CNN on Tuesday, saying a small minority of meals have been affected.
“Since the beginning of the mission on 7 January, we’ve served about 26,000 personnel more than 1.2 million meals. And of that, in 0.01 per cent we’ve discovered the appearance of undercooked meals,” the spokesperson said.
They told CNN the National Guard received its first complaint about undercooked chicken a few weeks ago and “ever since we got the complaint, we’ve been trying to increase our safety measures.”
The spokesperson also denied the claims of soldiers being hospitalised, telling The Independent that “since 6 January, there have been no National Guard members hospitalised because of illness from food.”
National Guard troops from 54 US territories and states were deployed to Washington, DC, on 7 January, just a day after a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the Capitol building.
Five people died and several more were injured on that day, causing House members to barricade themselves inside their offices. The deployment of the soldiers is expected to end on 12 March.
Around 5,200 troops continue to guard the Capitol amid fears that a militia plans to breach the building again on 4 March, the same day supporters of the QAnon conspiracy believe that Donald Trump will be made US president again. There is no truth to the claims.