Cases and deaths from COVID-19 among workers at the leading U.S. meatpacking plants were three times as high as previously estimated, an investigation by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has found.
The subcommittee surveyed major meatpackers Tyson Foods, JBS USA, Cargill, National Beef , and Smithfield Foods, which together control over 80% of the beef market and 60% of the pork market in the United States. It also examined documents from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
At those companies’ plants, worker cases of COVID-19 were 2.6 times higher, and deaths were 3 times higher, than a previous estimate by the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), which had been used by government agencies and media throughout the pandemic. (Reporting by Leah Douglas; Editing by Howard Goller)
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