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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. May 5, 2020

Meat and Poultry Plants are Hotbeds for COVID-19

Crowded conditions at meat and poultry processing plants add to the risk for COVID-19 among workers, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers gathered data from 115 meat processing facilities in 19 states. By late April, there were 4,913 cases and 20 reported deaths due to COVID-19 in those plants, with one facility reporting more than 18% of its workforce was infected with the virus. The work environments did not effectively promote prevention of the spread of the disease (e.g., close proximity between staff and poor disinfection practices). Additionally, socioeconomic hardships and attendance payment programs incentivized working through illness.


Dyal JW, Grant MP, Broadwater K, et al. 19 Among workers in meat and poultry processing facilities —19 States, April 2020. MMWR. Published online May 1, 2020.

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