Cold, crowded, deadly: how U.S. meat plants became a virus breeding ground
24 mins | May 15, 2020
The story of how the industry's failure to protect workers has led to a serious food supply shortage. "Trump’s executive order may keep plants open, but it can’t force sick and scared workers back to the line. The shortfall in output could continue to run as high as 15% even after plants reopen, Perdue, the agriculture secretary, said on April the 30th. Slaughterhouses, after years of lobbying to run their lines faster—resisted by labor advocates as too dangerous and by some food safety experts as likely to allow more unhealthy animals to be processed—may be forced to slow down for months and possibly years to adjust to fewer workers with more space between them. Livestock farmers may have to keep culling their herds, prolonging higher meat prices." Peter Waldman, Lydia Mulvany and Polly Mosendz investigate in Bloomberg Businessweek.