Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Recurring chemical leaks rattle poultry workers
KI Fellow, Debbie Berkowitz is interviewed on dangerous conditions for poultry workers at a Georgia poultry processing plant. Debbie is collaborating with worker advocates on the ground who argue that the poultry industry has created hostile working conditions for employees. In 2021 six workers at the same plant by a chemical leak.
“The industry over the last 40 years has really prioritized production… But the problem with prioritizing production and speed and having workers work harder and faster to get chickens to consumers is that it increases the likelihood of contamination.” The chemicals that the meat is imbibed in “supposedly dissipate” before they reach the consumer but still pose a threat to workers.
“When people think of meat or poultry slaughter or processing, they never think, ‘Oh, these workers are also exposed to chemical hazards.’ But actually, the risk of illness and even death from chemicals used in the industry is almost equally as high as the risk of death and injury from the knives and the scissors and the wet floors and just the harsh physical conditions of the plants.”