Challenging Work Conditions At Smithfield Plant In South Dakota Display Meat Packers Vulnerability
A workplace comprised of a growing immigrant population that saw the jobs as a way to a better life became one of the nation's largest clusters with more than 500 cases last week. In other news on the food industy, concerns about food safety grow.
The Associated Press:
For Meat Plant Workers, Virus Makes A Hard Job Perilous
Kulule Amosa’s husband earns $17.70 an hour at a South Dakota pork plant doing a job so physically demanding it can only be performed in 30-minute increments. After each shift last week, he left exhausted as usual — but he didn’t want to go home. He was scared he would infect his pregnant wife with the coronavirus — so much so that when he pulled into the parking lot of their apartment building, he would call Amosa to tell her he wasn’t coming inside. When he eventually did, he would sleep separately from her in their two-bedroom apartment. (Groves, 4/19)
USDA Under Pressure As Food Safety Concerns Grow
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA) is facing growing pressure to ensure the safety of the nation's food supply during the coronavirus outbreak. Experts who spoke to The Hill stressed that the food supply was safe now. But they also pointed to growing challenges for the USDA as food industry workers fall sick and inspectors scramble for limited resources, questioning whether officials responsible for food supply safety are ready for the task at hand. (Gangitano, 4/19)