(Alaettin YILDIRIM/Shutterstock.com)

BC Chicken Slaughterhouses Hit With Outbreaks Of COVID-19

by | April 24, 2020

Two BC chicken slaughterhouses have confirmed cases of COVID-19


United Poultry in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side has confirmed 29 cases. Two further cases have been confirmed at Coquitlam’s Superior Poultry — a sister-plant to United Poultry — with health officer Dr Bonnie Henry saying she expects to see more.

No product has been recalled, as Henry and BC officials say there is no evidence that the virus can be passed through food.

The encampment in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
The encampment in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (haseg77/Shutterstock.com)

Overexposed In The Downtown Eastside

United Poultry is just blocks away from Oppenheimer Park, a homeless encampment in the Downtown Eastside. The neighborhood is well known as a hotbed of drug use, and home to a number of marginalized, struggling people who are left at risk in the face of COVID-19.

While stay-home orders are issued, a number of the area’s residents are left overexposed.

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COVID-19 PPE
One plant reportedly refused to supply staff with PPE (Maridav/Shutterstock.com)

Slaughterhouses & COVID-19

Slaughterhouses — or “processing plants” — around North America have become hotbeds for COVID-19.

In the US, Smithfield foods has reported hundreds of cases, followed by the closure of a number of its plants — alongside worker complaints of unfair treatment and financial manipulation.

Meat giant Tyson Foods has also closed its plant in Waterloo, Iowa after a number of confirmed cases.

Tyson and Smithfield are two of the United States largest “pork producers” — and the country has been left in a state of threatened supply.

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