The meat processing industry appears to be a source of fire for corona infections in several countries. Nieuwsuur reported yesterday about a slaughterhouse of the Dutch Vion in Bad Bramstedt, Germany, where all staff are quarantined. Vion, which was one of the funders of the farmers’ protest against nitrogen policy, employs 108 Romanian temporary workers at its facility in Bad Bramstedt.
There are also major problems at other German slaughterhouses. For example, in April hundreds of Romanians fell ill in a slaughterhouse in Birkenfeld. Because guest workers are often housed together in small rooms, the risk of contamination is high. “Too many people with too few toilets, showers and common areas,” Marcel Mansouri of the NGG union summarizes the problem. Employees are also transported to work in small vans.
Germany has relatively good control of the coronavirus, except in the meat industry. We went to see a branch of a Dutch company in Bad Bramstedt, of which the entire staff is quarantined. #News Hour pic.twitter.com/v6RmN3itQC
– news hour (@News Hour) May 18, 2020
It also goes completely wrong in other countries. For example, this week 54 workers at a slaughterhouse in Fleury-les-Aubrais were found to be infected with the corona virus. It was by no means the first meat processing company with an outbreak in France. For example, 69 workers fell ill at a slaughterhouse in Côtes-d’Armor.
At least thirty slaughterhouse workers have already died in the United States. In half of the American areas where the coronavirus has hit hardest so far, the outbreak can be traced to a slaughterhouse. Nearly 500 workers were infected at a slaughterhouse in Minnesota. Because many slaughterhouses in the U.S. have closed due to the corona outbreak, farmers decide to suffocate their chickens by shutting off ventilation.
cc photo: BlackRiv