With support from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, we deeply examined the outbreak at Triumph Foods, which sickened hundreds of meatpacking workers and killed at least four. Here's how we did it.
December 29, 2020
USA TODAY and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting spent five months piecing together the pivotal moments in the Triumph Foods outbreak, interviewing more than a dozen current and former workers and examining thousands of pages of government records.
November 11, 2020
Welcome to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, and thank you for pitching us.
October 17, 2020
Newly obtained confidential statewide data shows that coronavirus outbreaks in workplaces, schools and prisons are driving Illinois’ rising cases — and many of these outbreaks have never been made public.
October 7, 2020
Even as thousands of their employees fell ill with COVID-19, meatpacking executives pressured federal regulators to help keep their plants open, according to a trove of emails obtained by USA TODAY and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
September 14, 2020
At least eight migrant workers who were infected with COVID-19 waited several days before isolating because the company they worked for, Bayer, declined to pay for expedited tests, Champaign County health officials said.
August 31, 2020
While poultry processors have seen large profits, poultry growers — the farmers that care for the chickens while they’re maturing — have not shared in the wealth, current and former growers said.
July 10, 2020
Since the executive order, COVID-19 cases tied to meatpacking plants have skyrocketed from fewer than 5,000 at the time to more than 25,000 as of this week, according to tracking from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. Rather than protecting workers, a half dozen experts and advocates said, the federal government is failing them.
June 18, 2020
The meatpacking industry has evolved into a marvel of modern efficiency, producing 105 billion pounds annually of poultry, pork, beef and lamb destined for dinner tables across America and the world. That’s nearly double what it produced three decades ago.
But its evolution came at a cost. The same features that allow a steady churn of cheap meat also provide the perfect breeding ground for airborne diseases like the coronavirus: a cramped workplace, a culture of underreporting illnesses, and a cadre of rural, immigrant and undocumented workers who share transportation and close living quarters.
May 22, 2020
A week after President Donald Trump attempted to prop up the nation's meat supply chain through an executive order, the industry remains hobbled by plant closures and production losses, USA TODAY and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found.
May 5, 2020