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
As more and more Smithfield workers in South Dakota fell ill with COVID-19, the company's workers at a Missouri plant contended with policies that made social distancing almost impossible, according to an affidavit from a plant worker filed in a lawsuit last week.
April 27, 2020
As coronavirus cases mounted at meatpacking plants this month, the federal government granted 15 poultry processors waivers to cut chickens faster, usually by crowding more workers onto their production lines.
April 25, 2020
A U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector tasked with ensuring safe food quality at meat processing plants died Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19, a source who was on a call in which the federal agency confirmed the death told USA TODAY.
April 24, 2020
We're tracking closures, cases of Covid-19 among workers and employee deaths in the meatpacking industry. Search our database for impact in your area.
April 16, 2020
Wisconsin had had the most farmers file for Chapter 12, or farm, bankruptcy in recent years. But one area has a particularly high concentration of filings.
April 14, 2020