A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a community advocacy group and a worker at Smithfield’s Milan, Mo., pork plant, finding the company has taken “significant steps … to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak at the plant.”
The full Senate returns to Washington for the first time since March, setting the stage for a partisan battle over the next big coronavirus aid bill and a growing list of requests from agriculture and other sectors for relief.
Twenty workers in meat and poultry processing plants in 19 states have died, and nearly 5,000 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report released Friday.
President Donald Trump defended his actions to end a “bottleneck” in the food supply, but legal experts differed over whether an executive order aimed at ensuring meatpackers keep operating amid the coronavirus pandemic could override state and local objections or make companies immune from lawsuits.
Meat and poultry plants should implement social distancing and “consider the appropriate role for testing and workplace contact tracing” in helping to control COVID-19 at their facilities, according to new guidance issued by federal agencies.
Thirteen members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International union who work in meatpacking or food processing have died after contracting COVID-19, UFCW said on a media call today to press for personal protective equipment and testing.
Meat packers need federal inspectors to produce the pork chops, T-bone steaks and ground beef that consumers are counting on to be in grocery stores, but the USDA inspectors on the front line are being told they are on their own when it comes to securing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19.