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Old 05-15-2020, 10:42 AM
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Default Social distancing is tough in food processing.



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Social distancing is tough in food processing. Especially with fish canners. But none left in the USA I don't think. Meat and veg packers may be similar crowding.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:20 PM
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Need to update the photo. Automation has taken away a lot of labor indicated in that 90ís photo. Not disagreeing that SD is tough, of not impossible to maintain.
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:53 PM
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Need to update the photo. Automation has taken away a lot of labor indicated in that 90ís photo. Not disagreeing that SD is tough, of not impossible to maintain.
Yep itís an old photo but many beef boning / trim lines are still tight as are poultry lines.
Fresh fish and shellfish processing lines have benefited more from suppressed labor costs than investment in automation and again many people in close proximity to each other.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:08 PM
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I suspect that they will just have the employees wear masks for the foreseeable future.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:16 PM
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The meat packers us a disassembly line method. Workers stand close by in a line while the meat moves on a conveyor belt. The large packers have added plastic partitions between workers and have removed some of the tables in the break/cafeteria area while adding outdoor tents or tables. The dressing rooms where workers put on their protective gear remain crowded though.

Workers not on the line such as forklift drivers, etc. are usually socially distant anyway.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:10 PM
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Need to update the photo. Automation has taken away a lot of labor indicated in that 90ís photo. Not disagreeing that SD is tough, of not impossible to maintain.
True, but those working the manual jobs needed are still as packed. The rest of the plant just got more compact and efficient, and probably got converted to offices or end of year bonusses for the top.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:32 PM
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The big pork processing plant here in Minnesota run by Chinese-owned Smithfield had to close. I read they're running thousands of hogs through a wood chipper (along with wood) because they can't butcher them before they grow too large.

Imagine that. Owned by the Communist Chinese, deemed essential, employing alot of Mexicans (presumably many of them illegal).

Eat meat?
Left-right divided and conquered?
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:17 AM
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Social distancing is tough in food processing. Especially with fish canners. But none left in the USA I don't think. Meat and veg packers may be similar crowding.








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Old 05-16-2020, 01:23 PM
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New social distancing measures at packers. Workers have always worn face masks at the plants.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:49 AM
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New social distancing measures at packers. Workers have always worn face masks at the plants.
The changing areas in most plants I have been have been in are cramped and there has been a growing trend to smaller wash stations areas and turnstile entry / exits. The trend in new and refurbished plants is towards more floor space even with increasing automation.
Prior to the pandemic masks were only normally seen on packing lines or high risk lines such as cooked or cured products.
Whatever happens the measures being put in place now will affect throughput and margins for a few years to come.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:15 PM
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The changing areas in most plants I have been have been in are cramped and there has been a growing trend to smaller wash stations areas and turnstile entry / exits. The trend in new and refurbished plants is towards more floor space even with increasing automation.
Prior to the pandemic masks were only normally seen on packing lines or high risk lines such as cooked or cured products.
Whatever happens the measures being put in place now will affect throughput and margins for a few years to come.
Not sure what packing plants you visited but I have worked for two large food companies and I can assure you that for the last 20 years at least, everyone on the line wore masks. I believe it's a USDA requirement. Workers who worked at other tasks such as the kill area and shipping didn't have to wear masks prior to the Chinese virus.
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:54 AM
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Not sure what packing plants you visited but I have worked for two large food companies and I can assure you that for the last 20 years at least, everyone on the line wore masks. I believe it's a USDA requirement. Workers who worked at other tasks such as the kill area and shipping didn't have to wear masks prior to the Chinese virus.
Not challenging your own experience in food plants but the wearing of a mask that serves the purpose of a bacterial / viral barrier was not a USDA requirement on meat or poultry cutting / packing lines and was driven largely but customer driven precautionary principles or a plants technical management. USDA codes on PPE for food hygiene isn’t overly technically specific on face coverage and actually states “where appropriate”.
See the photos attached on Colts post and take a quick search around the web to see a multitude of photos of unmasked meat processors on cutting lines.
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
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The wearing of a mask that serves the purpose of a bacterial / viral barrier was not a USDA requirement on meat or poultry cutting / packing lines and was driven largely but customer driven precautionary principles or a plants technical management. USDA codes on PPE for food hygiene isn’t overly technically specific on face coverage and actually states “where appropriate”.
See the photos attached on Colts post and take a quick search around the web to see a multitude of photos of unmasked meat processors on cutting lines.
When I was gathering those pictures, typically what I saw when I did see face coverings were hair nets. Nothing that provides any infection control at all. It's just to keep a customer from finding mustache hair on their chicken breast.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:31 AM
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I can tell ya from experience I worked for Tyson a short while and you are required to wear a hair net and cover your face with a net, as well as a clothing cover or gown, its not that hard to imagine them going to a face mask, social distancing is not a easy task, in a processing plant when everyone is elbow to elbow working.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:22 AM
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I do know that the local (~25 miles away) Foster Farms processing plant had about 25 positive workers. Not sure what measures they have taken, but the chickens are still going down south...."and they never return."
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:02 AM
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Meatpacking plants (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN22D54F) and greenhouses (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/winds...reak-1.5549219) are sites of outbreaks in Canada.

They haven't exactly been known for their safety and concern for workers in the past, so I'm not surprised at all. It's grueling, underappreciated work.
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