Food

Category archives for Food

Eat poultry? Data reveals brands that self-inspect under controversial USDA program

Dozens of poultry plants no longer have a team of USDA personnel inspecting chicken and turkey carcasses. A food safety group used the Freedom of Information Act so the public can know which brands are partaking in this public-health deregulation.

“Holding it”: Tyson, Perdue workers denied bathroom breaks

Imagine if employees are your local grocery store or restaurant weren’t given access to the bathroom when they needed to use it. Employees soiled themselves while stocking shelves or working at the check-out counter. That’s what is happening where we can’t see: behind the walls of poultry processing plants.

Occupational Health News Roundup

CDC investigates diacetyl exposure in coffee production facilities; Supreme Court rules in favor of workers’ First Amendment rights; Latino workers still face the greatest fatality risks at work; and a job-seeking experiment finds women bear the brunt of age discrimination in the job market.

When President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, he also ushered in the first major nutrition changes in the school meal program in 15 years. Perhaps, not surprisingly, the changes received a good bit of pushback, with many arguing that healthier foods would mean fewer kids buying school lunches and big revenue losses for schools. But a new study shows otherwise.

In another example of the value of investing in public health, a recent study finds that PulseNet, a national foodborne illness outbreak network, prevents about 276,000 illnesses every year, which translates into savings of $507 million in medical costs and lost productivity. That’s a pretty big return on investment for a system that costs just $7.3 million annually to operate.

Poultry company priorities: Vegetarian meals for the chickens, but their workers still can’t use the bathroom

Delaware-based Allen Harim Foods provides another upsetting example of the poultry industry caring more about its chickens than its employees.

In the last few years, the residents of Flint, Michigan, and its surrounding suburbs lost five grocery stores. Today, within the city limits, there’s just one large chain grocery store, about 10 small and often-pricier groceries, and 150 liquor stores, convenience stores and gas stations. People who have a car often travel out to the suburbs for more variety and better prices. Much of Flint is a food desert — a place where accessing healthy, affordable food is a very real challenge.

Manufacturers who market their products as “BPA-free” aren’t just sending consumers a message about chemical composition. The underlying message is about safety — as in, this product is safe or least more safe than products that do contain BPA. However earlier this month, another study found that a common BPA alternative — BPS — may not be safer at all.

Achoo!!  No paid sick leave for 91% of Arkansas poultry workers

On the day that Arkansas-based Tyson Foods announced $461 million in quarterly profits, a survey of Arkansas poultry workers found 91% did not have paid sick leave.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Federal laws fail to protect workers left out of state workers’ comp systems; electronics recycling workers and their families face dangerous lead poisoning risks; California farmworkers join forces with low-wage food service workers for better pay; and a worker who died during preparations for the Super Bowl is remembered.