The following is a guest post from Phil Kafarakis, who is president emeritus of the Specialty Food Association as well as an international food industry advisor and pundit.
“The men upon the killing beds … would have to loaf around, in a place where the thermometer might be twenty degrees below zero! … Before the day was over they would become quite chilled through and exhausted, and, when the cattle finally came, so near frozen that to move was an agony…” — Upton Sinclair, “The Jungle” (1905)
About 115 years after Sinclair wrote his exposé of the meatpacking industry, Tyson Foods announced plans to hire 200 new nurses and a chief medical officer to oversee monitoring of COVID-19 in its meat processing plants — a move quickly followed by hiring a new CEO with a Silicon Valley tech background. The shocking discovery of more than 10,000 cases of COVID-19 in Tyson’s facilities, along with more than 250 deaths across the industry from the virus, have acted as a catalyst for thoroughgoing change in an industry that was long overdue for it.