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Meat factory clusters?

  • 05-08-2020 1:15pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 618 ✭✭✭ Sheepdish1


    Why are there so many clusters in meat factories?

    I don't have any experience working in one so I don't really understand the workflow but I would assume most of the preparation of the meat needs to be carried out by hand until ready to process. I assume the animals are slaughtered, bled, chilled, carcass prepared, processed and packaged in the one factory?

    Due to the nature of the work ( handling raw meat products etc ) is it not possible for workers to be protected properly with PPE to stop it spreading in these factories? Is it not feasible for them to wear PPE? It sounds like a tough working environment but why are these workers contracting the virus more than other factory workers?

    Thank you


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,974 ✭✭✭✭ Ash.J.Williams


    Going by what i've heard about local issues and German issues, it's mainly low paid immigrant workers that live on top of each other so if one get's it spreads quickly, one place even has links to a direct provision center which is odd as i thought they were not allowed work. I worked in a meat factory as a kid and you tend to pick up lots of little cuts work quite closely with people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 618 ✭✭✭ Sheepdish1


    Going by what i've heard about local issues and German issues, it's mainly low paid immigrant workers that live on top of each other so if one get's it spreads quickly, one place even has links to a direct provision center which is odd as i thought they were not allowed work. I worked in a meat factory as a kid and you tend to pick up lots of little cuts work quite closely with people.

    So it is more to do with the living conditions of the workers as opposed to the working conditions of the factory? Would it be feasible to wear PPE in a meat factory handling the carcasses and preparing the products? Or would this pose a risk to contamination of the meat with disease ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,591 ✭✭✭ enricoh


    A dozen workers living in the one house to save rent. 5 in the car to work . A good percentage fairly heavy boozers that meet up in each other's houses at the weekends.
    Not at risk of passing onto their parents so may be a bit more meh about the whole thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,546 ✭✭✭ Blaaz_


    Id imagine its fact meat factories are generally kept colder,



    Which should be biggest concern...what with winter coming....better pray for a mild one


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭ jlm29


    A relative of mine works in a meat factory, but not near the factory floor. He would attribute it to low levels of personal hygiene and crowded living conditions. Could also be a language barrier, so not grasping instruction re social distancing etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,055 ✭✭✭ jill_valentine


    Some folks living in Direct Provision can become eligible for temporary permission to work letters after a certain time, but realistically most employers aren't going to consider them regardless. Meat factories aren't too fussy about that stuff because there aren't exactly queues to the door.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,369 ✭✭✭ pconn062


    Workers often forced to live together in cramped houses, sharing commutes. Add in an industry where the only concern is the bottom line that cares little for the safety of its low paid work force and you have ideal conditions for spread. Meat factories aren't going to waste profit on worker PPE. If someone gets sick, just hire a few more immigrants.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,315 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robinph


    There is a cluster in a concrete factory near me, again where they are likely to be wearing PPE all day for work. Transmission is more likely poor coffee break protocol than what they are doing whilst working. Hanging around in the smoking area, sharing a lighter and generally more relaxed than when they were PPE'd up during work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,447 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    Going by what i've heard about local issues and German issues, it's mainly low paid immigrant workers that live on top of each other so if one get's it spreads quickly, one place even has links to a direct provision center which is odd as i thought they were not allowed work. I worked in a meat factory as a kid and you tend to pick up lots of little cuts work quite closely with people.
    that was the initial theory but then the biggest outbreak happened with a company where the workers were (relatively) well treated and the outbreak there was down to workers eating in a packed canteen, working literally shoulder to shoulder on the boning line and to cap it all the air conditioning was using 100% recycled air with no filters so the cold preserved the virus and the recirculation just made sure as many as possible had the chance to catch it.

    But yea, as said elsewhere, all down to greedy factory owners cutting every possible corner (except the 10 grand a month to former ministers as "consultants" to make sure the laws remained cushy)


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,530 ✭✭✭✭ Muahahaha


    Some folks living in Direct Provision can become eligible for temporary permission to work letters after a certain time, but realistically most employers aren't going to consider them regardless. Meat factories aren't too fussy about that stuff because there aren't exactly queues to the door.


    I know the law on asylum seekers being permitted to work changed last year but AFAIR they had to have a job offer of 30k p.a. to avail of it making it impossible to most. I highly doubt a meat factory are paying them 30k a year as its a minimum wage type job so wonder whats going on there.

    In the initial meat factory outbreaks they said many of these workers dont have a word of english and they largely didnt know much about the virus as management weren't communicating it. I think it was the Migrant Rights centre who then made up a Covid leaflet in half a dozen languages for distribution to workers in the meat factorys.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,113 ✭✭✭ Unknown Soldier


    Blaaz_ wrote: »
    Id imagine its fact meat factories are generally kept colder,



    Which should be biggest concern...what with winter coming....better pray for a mild one

    4 Degrees

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/10/coronavirus-thrives-4degc-scientists-find-raising-fears-winter/


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,751 ✭✭✭ touts


    The food industry has very small margins and the meat industry is one of the worst. Some pay barely above minimum wage and ship workers in from Eastern Europe to live in appallingly bad crowded conditions. Others pay better and support their staff. A lot comes down to the management and owners. There are a few usual suspects who are always in trouble for cutting corners (all the way back to the 80s if you get my drift) and are no different in this case. Health of workers wouldn't be high on their priority list


  • Registered Users Posts: 75,007 ✭✭✭✭ JP Liz V1


    I'd say time to close them down


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 359 ✭✭ The Unbearables


    touts wrote: »
    The food industry has very small margins and the meat industry is one of the worst. Some pay barely above minimum wage and ship workers in from Eastern Europe to live in appallingly bad crowded conditions. Others pay better and support their staff. A lot comes down to the management and owners. There are a few usual suspects who are always in trouble for cutting corners (all the way back to the 80s if you get my drift) and are no different in this case. Health of workers wouldn't be high on their priority list

    Funny thing is nobody gave a sh1t about them until now.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 686 ✭✭✭ Sylas Drab Sprawl


    Sheepdish1 wrote: »
    Why are there so many clusters in meat factories?

    I don't have any experience working in one so I don't really understand the workflow but I would assume most of the preparation of the meat needs to be carried out by hand until ready to process. I assume the animals are slaughtered, bled, chilled, carcass prepared, processed and packaged in the one factory?

    Due to the nature of the work ( handling raw meat products etc ) is it not possible for workers to be protected properly with PPE to stop it spreading in these factories? Is it not feasible for them to wear PPE? It sounds like a tough working environment but why are these workers contracting the virus more than other factory workers?

    Thank you

    Because they exploit poor migrant workers forced to live in cramped conditions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,489 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore


    Because they exploit poor migrant workers forced to live in cramped conditions.

    And because Johnny Consumer wants cheap meat products.


  • Registered Users Posts: 75,007 ✭✭✭✭ JP Liz V1


    What are the names of the meat factories, I heard just Carroll's


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ Fr_Dougal


    And because Johnny Consumer wants cheap meat products.

    There’s nothing cheap about Brady’s meat products.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,591 ✭✭✭ enricoh


    Because they exploit poor migrant workers forced to live in cramped conditions.

    A lazy generalisation imo
    There's a meat factory beside me and I very much doubt they are exploited or forced to live anywhere.
    unless you call minimum wage exploitation. They're mainly Brazilian and here to make money. Rent anywhere is pricey so they get the bunk beds in. Paddies do it in Sydney, the poor migrant workers!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭ jlm29


    JP Liz V1 wrote: »
    What are the names of the meat factories, I heard just Carroll's

    One of them is a pet food factory, and the one that makes Brady's ham, is that o' briens? Maybe they said kildare chilling too, not certain of that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,820 ✭✭✭ jlm29


    JP Liz V1 wrote: »
    What are the names of the meat factories, I heard just Carroll's

    One of them is a pet food factory, and the one that makes Brady's ham, is that o' briens? Maybe they said kildare chilling too, not certain of that.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,571 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    I know the law on asylum seekers being permitted to work changed last year but AFAIR they had to have a job offer of 30k p.a. to avail of it making it impossible to most. I highly doubt a meat factory are paying them 30k a year as its a minimum wage type job so wonder whats going on there.

    In the initial meat factory outbreaks they said many of these workers dont have a word of english and they largely didnt know much about the virus as management weren't communicating it. I think it was the Migrant Rights centre who then made up a Covid leaflet in half a dozen languages for distribution to workers in the meat factorys.

    There is an not insubstantial number of people living in DP after getting refugee status (and with it the full right to work, accumulate time for citizenship etc etc) due to there not being anywhere else to house them. Many of them would take any work anywhere; and meat processing doesn't require much in the way of languages for starters.


  • Registered Users Posts: 72,066 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn


    First positive test a week ago, factory let stay open until today where now 80 confirmed positive, what an absolute joke, what's the point in everyone else playing their part when the factories are allowed do whatever they want, bloody disgrace...
    Results received on 30 July confirmed that the person had tested positive.

    The company engaged with the HSE and said it took what it believed was “the most responsible decision to test all employees which was coordinated by the HSE and a private provider to expedite testing.”

    Of 243 tests completed, 80 employees have been confirmed as positive for Covid-19.

    Of the 80 confirmed, the level of asymptomatic infectivity appears to be very high, the company said.

    https://www.thejournal.ie/kildare-factory-confirms-80-covid-19-cases-suspends-operations-immediately-5169920-Aug2020/


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ Ray Donovan


    enricoh wrote: »
    A dozen workers living in the one house to save rent. 5 in the car to work . A good percentage fairly heavy boozers that meet up in each other's houses at the weekends.
    Not at risk of passing onto their parents so may be a bit more meh about the whole thing.

    And that is literally it summed up right there!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 491 ✭✭ YellowBucket


    COVID-19 shows up all the pressure points: poor employment practices, poor housing, weak health infrastructure or operations, political ineptitude etc etc and it has done that EVERYWHERE from the US, to the U.K., to Germany, France and here in Ireland.

    The meat plant problem in Germany was also one of somewhat high pressure work practices involving bad terms and conditions of employment more than anything technical about the plant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,465 ✭✭✭ YFlyer


    Funny thing is nobody gave a sh1t about them until now.

    Only about ourselves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,388 ✭✭✭✭ machiavellianme


    Will all the meat they touched or came in close contact with be destroyed?
    If it were to be, presumably the management would enforce stricter health practices as it'd affect the bottom line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,814 ✭✭✭ beggars_bush


    The workers often live in houses owned by the meat factories or management

    There's local quarry/concrete business here and the owner has a few houses with polish lads crammed into them


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,465 ✭✭✭ YFlyer


    Will all the meat they touched or came in close contact with be destroyed?
    If it were to be, presumably the management would enforce stricter health practices as it'd affect the bottom line.

    Cook the meat before eating and you be grand.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,084 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler


    Will all the meat they touched or came in close contact with be destroyed?
    If it were to be, presumably the management would enforce stricter health practices as it'd affect the bottom line.

    The workers are on site only 10 hrs/day who is going to enforce the rules in the other 14hrs of the day.
    Local factory workers here are very badly behaved, even during the weeks when their own factory was badly affected. They couldn't keep them off the streets or out of the shops and the local shops were very willing to deliver


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