The speed of meat packing lines is unsafe. It’s unsafe for the workers on the line and it contributes to food safety problems. Tell the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to slow meat packing line speeds.
Meat packing plants receive live animals and process them to be sent to restaurants, grocery stores, and other food retail outlets. According to the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, many plants process more than 400 animals an hour. At that rate, workers are rushed and can easily make mistakes.
Injuries can range from repetitive motion injuries to cuts with a knife to serious injuries like hands being caught in a machine.
Not only do injuries to workers occur, but food safety is compromised as well. Adequate care needs to be taken while dressing an animal to prevent contamination of the meat with E. coli and other bacteria.
What Can You Do?
The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights has started a petition to ask the USDA and OSHA to slow down the line speed at meat packing plants.
You can sign the petition and add a comment of your own. Right now, there are less than 500 signatures. The goal is at least 3000.
What Else Can You Do?
The USDA is facing budget cuts. Without a decent budget, the USDA won’t be able to do anything about line speed at meat packing plants, even if the will is there. HR 2112 is being discussed in the House of Representatives now.
More information about the meat packing industry:
- Demand Fair Competition from the USDA and Meat Packing Industry
- 3 Lies Big Food Wants You to Believe
Image by FotoosVanRobin, used with Creative Commons license.