WASHINGTON - New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith is asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to investigate reports that unsafe food was being provided to members of the National Guard, still stationed in Washington D.C. after the pro-Trump Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
In a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday, Smith wrote that members of the National Guard in several states — including at least 30 from New Jersey — became ill due to "tainted and unhealthy food" from a private-sector vendor.
"Some have even reported vomiting in the Senate parking lot," Smith wrote. "Alarmingly, the soldiers have noted receiving completely raw meat, some of which, according to press reports, even contained pieces of shaved metal."
Smith asked that the company in charge of catering and food service be voided, and a new food provider be found immediately.
"The provision of this food, whether intentional or not, warrants a thorough investigation," Smith continued. "The men and women deployed here from New Jersey and elsewhere to protect the Capitol deserve meals that are absolutely safe and healthful."
Smith’s letter came just two days after members of Congress from Michigan wrote to the Pentagon citing several reports of "the poor quality of food" being provided to their service members."These reports include meals being provided that are badly undercooked, raw, moldy, and even filled with metal shavings," the House members wrote.
They also asked that the food provider’s current contract be voided, as the meals are "poorly prepared, often times inedible, and highly inadequate to support our soldiers."
"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," they wrote.
Capitol Police requested on Thursday that members of the National Guard continue to provide security at the U.S. Capitol for another two months. Defense officials say the new proposal is being reviewed by the Pentagon.
Members of the National Guard continue to handle security at the Capitol due to ongoing concerns regarding security and the potential for violence at the Capitol by right-wing militias, two months after rioters stormed the building, which left five people — including a police officer — dead.
According to the Associated Press, law enforcement was on high alert Thursday around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a "possible plot" by a militia group to storm the building.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.