Concerns about the US food chain supply made their way into the mainstream this week, as more meat processing and packaging plants suspend operations temporarily due to coronavirus … As many as one in 12 cases of Covid-19 in the early stage of the pandemic in the U.S. can be tied to outbreaks at meatpacking plants and subsequent spread in … The meat industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for America's food workers, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the meatpacking industry. The Meatpacking Industry in Rural America During the COVID-19 Pandemic There was increased attention to the meatpacking industry recently as high rates of outbreaks of the coronavirus (COVID-19) caused some meatpacking plants to temporarily shut down. Cancer research scientist and childhood cancer survivor. The company tried to intimidate and discredit me, showing up on my farm for audits at all hours. (The Center Square) — Meat industry groups are urging Gov. As of May 20, officials have publicly linked at least 15,300 COVID-19 infections to 192 U.S. meatpacking plants, according to tracking by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. Michigan meat industry leaders create COVID-19 safety guidelines to increase production ... there are more than 6,500 meatpacking workers infected with COVID-19 … The corporate level of this industry faces no accountability for their heinous actions. All of my articles reflect my personal views and not those of my employer. Take out my $500,000 mortgage on now-empty chicken houses, and we've got the same story. Today China suspended all imports of poultry from Arkansas-based Tyson Foods and products arriving in Hong Kong were being seized on arrival in the country. The World Health Organization reports that heating at 56°C (133°F) for 15 minutes substantially reduced the infectivity of the virus, so any meat cooked to recommended temperatures should have no viable SARS-CoV2 left even if it is on raw meat. Meatpacking plants responsible for 10% of all beef production and 25% of all pork production have closed, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Patient Numbers Rise, How The US Military Is Handling Covid-19 And What We Can Learn From Their Experience. as well as other partner offers and accept our, Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories, sued the state's Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Democrats flouting their own COVID rules isn't just elitist hypocrisy — it's a danger to public health. Should we … There's no indication that anyone has contracted SARS-CoV-2 from eating any kind of uncooked food, including rare or raw meat,” said Rasmussen. These are the latest examples of callous worker treatment by meatpackers – and of a failure of public agencies tasked with overseeing them. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. about eating meat which has potentially come into contact with infected meat processing employees (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images), EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, Microsoft Is Using Its Tech Expertise to Help Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Efforts. Subscriber Account active Meatpacking plants are hotspots for the coronavirus, with workers elbow-to-elbow as animals are processed on a conveyor belt. But, what about meat which might not be fully cooked, such as rare steaks? Under the Trump Administration, the federal Grain Inspectors, Packers, and Stockyards Administration, the  agency tasked with protecting contract farmers, was essentially eliminated when it was merged with another department in 2017. Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. I first talked with poultry plant workers about a decade ago, when I was still raising chickens. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper backed off a pledge to release guidance for meatpacking plants due to industry pressure. The study – from USDA’s Economic Research Service – shows new coronavirus cases in rural counties dependent on packing plants for employment are about the same as other rural counties. I am also a 2017 TED Fellow, having done my TED talk on cancer survivorship and I regularly do public talks on topics ranging from ‘Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?’ to ‘Cannabis and cancer; hype or hope?’. I have seen again and again that when it comes to the big meatpacking companies, both federal and state oversight bodies act like customer service agencies instead of regulatory agencies. since, “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention”. Rasmussen however thinks that the time taken to transport meat to consumers makes this unlikely. Outbreaks at two southern Alberta meat-processing plants this spring made hundreds of people sick with COVID-19. As a survivor of childhood leukemia myself, I am a determined. As many as one in 12 cases of Covid-19 in the early stage of the pandemic in the U.S. can be tied to outbreaks at meatpacking plants and subsequent spread in … According to the Food and Environment Reporting Network, more than 50,000 workers in the meatpacking industry have contracted the virus, and 262 have died. Disinfectfrequently touched surf… The researchers concluded that meatpacking plants can do plenty more to mitigate the risk of spreading Covid-19 in the workplace. 1 of 21 . There are many valid reasons to cut down on meat consumption, such as the environment, cost and health. Nationwide, the meat and poultry processing industry, an essential component of the U.S. food infrastructure, employs approximately 500,000 persons, many of whom work in proximity to other workers (1). A USDA study indicates COVID avoidance measures taken by packing plants have had a positive impact. Along with nursing homes and prisons, meat and poultry plants were the leading source of virus outbreaks in the spring. Every year, there was some new technology they wanted me to invest in, and the understanding was that if I didn't do it, I wouldn't get more birds. I am a postdoctoral research scientist focusing on childhood cancers and new, targeted cancer therapies. They told me what they had been promised in the job and that the conditions were definitely not as advertised; about intimidation and pressure to keep their heads down; about being treated as expendable. COVID-19 Meatpacking under Executive Order 20 -103 UPDATED DECEMBER 16 , 2020 At this time, in accordance with Executive Order 20-103 (EO), activities in this sector continue to be ... for industry-specific requirements and applicable COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Requirements Guidance. On Monday, Iowa Gov. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Get it now on Libro.fm using the button below. The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for America's food workers, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the meatpacking industry. Did speak up about how the US Military is Handling COVID-19 and 253 have died in reported. Audits at all hours could really make money raising birds just over 500,000 work... 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