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Sat May 16, 2020, 10:48 PM

Federal Inspectors Decry Lack of Transparency on Meat Plant Coronavirus Outbreaks

Source: GovExec.com

By Eric Katz, Govexec.com

Federal meat and poultry inspectors are raising concerns about a lack of transparency surrounding the safety of the processing plants where they work, saying local leaders are withholding information relating to the spread of the novel coronavirus at facilities.

The frustration comes as companies are starting to reopen facilities around the country after President Trump issued an executive order seeking to compel a reversal at those that had shuttered their doors due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Employees said the agency has ceased answering their questions and responding to concerns, and state officials have stopped providing information regarding employee safety.

The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 6,500 Food Safety Inspection Service employees at the Agriculture Department, specifically cited Gov. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., for his administration’s decision to no longer provide data of infection rates at specific food processing plants. At many communities with large meat processing facilities, coronavirus outbreaks have traced back almost entirely to the plants. The trend has led to facility closures or shift reductions, and thousands of plant employees and hundreds of federal inspectors contracting the virus. Without the data, the union said, employees and inspectors cannot take proper precautions.

“Hiding the number of infections from the public doesn't make the infections go away,” said Gregg James, vice president of the AFGE council that includes Nebraska inspectors. “If anything, it encourages this deadly virus to spread further by giving people a false sense of security.”

Read more: https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/05/federal-inspectors-decry-lack-transparency-meat-plant-coronavirus-outbreaks/165451/



Now USDA Management is sending meat inspectors blind into plants that some have never worked in before, without letting them know just how bad it is inside. Inspectors are NOT happy about this- but the only thing they can do is shine the light on government hiding the numbers of infected. Hey- would some reporters please file FOIA asking how many are reporting Sick, and what plants have sick Fed inspectors ? Then publish the data?

So far, more than 200 of my fellow USDA Federal Meat Inspectors have caught Covid-19, and 5 have died. Now they are hiding which plants have current infections going out of control, so that they can put out as much product before the plants collapse from sick workers. Federal Inspectors can’t refuse to work, or else they will get fired.

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Reply Federal Inspectors Decry Lack of Transparency on Meat Plant Coronavirus Outbreaks (Original post)
James48 May 2020 OP
sfstaxprep May 2020 #1
gab13by13 May 2020 #3
duforsure May 2020 #2
Sunlei May 2020 #4
bucolic_frolic May 2020 #5
Firestorm49 May 2020 #6

Response to James48 (Original post)

Sat May 16, 2020, 10:55 PM

1. Wonderful, But Who Are They Going To Vote For? nt

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Response to sfstaxprep (Reply #1)

Sun May 17, 2020, 06:41 AM

3. Maybe many are undocumented

and can't vote, you know, they aren't real Americans. Hope I don't need the sarcasm thingy.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 06:05 AM

2. Trusting our food safety while trump is in office

Is quickly becoming a issue for everyone in this country. He is intentionally weakening these regulations , which effects all Americans . Same with weakening all EPA regulations . Unsafe food and dirty air and polluted water is the opposite of making us great, its killing us. trump supporters need to wake up and smell the BS .

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 08:06 AM

4. wonder how long covid virus lives on fresh meats, raw veggies and suchi ?

How come we always hear from meat inspectors but never from the actual employees, the thousands and thousands of 'sick workers' who work in those gigantic corporate slaughter houses and factory farms?

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 08:08 AM

5. Sounds like social distancing is the best preventative

Open air, outdoors. These packing plants are indoors, packed sardine-style. Even if the air is changed by a circulating system, there's also the airborne offage from cutting, rinsing, packing. I'm no scientist but it sounds like the air in there is a petri dish without borders.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 09:59 AM

6. Regulations? We don't need no stinking regulations.......blah, blah, blah.

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