USDA to Investigate COVID-19 Spread in Meat Processing Facilities

Dan Cattle, Coronavirus, USDA

meat processing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is initiating an audit of USDA actions that may have contributed to the spread of the COVID-19 in meat processing facilities.

The USDA OIG initiated the audit in response to Colorado Senator Michael Bennet’s request last August for an investigation. Bennet says high infection rates early in the pandemic at meat processing plants raise “serious questions about any federal actions that may have contributed to the spread of the virus.”

The USDA OIG investigation will address Bennet’s specific concerns in his August letter, including inquiries into USDA actions following the executive order that invoked the Defense Production Act. The USDA will also review department actions taken to communicate the federal government’s authority, standards and expectations with State Departments of Health and USDA actions to ensure inspectors’ health and safety and protocols in response to COVID-19 positive tests at meat processing facilities.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)