As Coronavirus Spreads In Meat Plants, Nearly 200 USDA Inspectors Test Positive

by | May 11, 2020

Meat inspectors travel to multiple plants to inspect but what if they are carriers of the virus? From Food Dive

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“A U.S. Agriculture Department spokesperson told Food Dive that 197 field employees in the Food Safety and Inspection Service ​are absent from work after testing positive for coronavirus and 120 FSIS employees are under self-quarantine due to contact with or exposure to COVID-1​9 as of May 5.”

“The American Federation of Government Employees, a union representing 6,500 federal food inspectors, said three inspectors have died in Illinois, Mississippi and New York, Meat and Poultry reported.” 

The FSIS now has enough masks and protective gear (as of last month inspectors had to find their own according to an article at Politico) for a few months and due to plant closings they are able to keep up with inspections. However, they are concerned that as plants reopen the smaller work force won’t be able to provide enough inspectors. They may have fewer inspectors that have to travel to multiple plants thus risking the further spread of the virus or they may forgo inspections altogether at some plants.

Food Dive is tracking plant closing here.

H/T to Fwoggie2 follow his supply chain updates here

 

 

 

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