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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Virus Can Travel 26 Feet at Cold Meat Plants With Stale Air

July 23, 2020 from NewsMax:

"Cold and stale air conditions allowed coronavirus particles to travel more than 8 meters (26 feet) at a German slaughterhouse, a study showed, giving an insight into how meat plants turned into hotspots for infections across the world."

"Researchers reconstructed the likely cause of the outbreak at a Toennies Group slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, where about 1,500 workers contracted the virus. Similar conditions at plants globally are a reason they’ve become virus epicenters, according to the report from groups including the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research."

"Meat plants from the U.S. to the U.K. and South America have seen the rapid spread of the virus, infecting thousands of employees who often work in close proximity on processing lines. Dozens of workers have died, and labor advocates have said that a lack of social distancing could continue to put people at risk. Outbreaks also forced American meat plants to close earlier this year, sparking some protein shortages."

"Meanwhile, China is ramping up testing of imports of cold food for the virus. Even as global scientific experts say that the likelihood of transmission through food is extremely low, the Asian country has slapped export bans on some abattoirs with cases, further fueling the urgency to contain the disease."

"The Toennies outbreak likely began from one employee in May and was largely transmitted in the plant’s dismantling area, where rooms are often chilled to 10C degrees (50 Fahrenheit). Chilly air circulated without frequent changes -- coupled with a strenuous work conditions -- helped particles move large distances."

"Under these conditions, a distance of 1.5 to 3 meters between workers isn’t sufficient to prevent transmission."

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