Infection rates among meat, poultry workers lower than general population

BROOKINGS, S.D. (WNAX) – A new analysis of independent data for November shows that reported new COVID 19 infection rates among meat and poultry workers were more than eight times lower than the general population. That analysis followed a Centers for Disease Control decision this month to prioritize vaccinating processing workers.

SDSU Extension Swine Specialist Dr. Bob (taller) Thaler says that’s good news for the essential workers that the animal agriculture industry relies on.

He says the independent analysis indicates that processing plants and the workers are doing a good job following safety protocols.

Thaler says many processors are getting back online to handle the amount of pork and beef going to them. He says however there is some shortage of skilled meat processors to handle the high value spiral ham cuts and bone out loins.

Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts says this new analysis is encouraging evidence that the more than $1.5 billion in comprehensive protections implemented since spring have reversed the pandemic’s effects on processing workers.