Former USDA undersecretary for food safety Richard Raymond discusses the many challenges facing the packing industry in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With COVID-19 positive employees becoming an increasing issue for the nation’s beef, pork and poultry processing plants, and announcements of packing plant closures becoming more commonplace, we turned to former U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for food safety Dr. Richard Raymond to gain his insight on the situation.
A regular columnist for Feedstuffs, Raymond graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical School and had a long-time family practice in Nebraska where he also served as that state’s Chief Medical Officer. He served as undersecretary of food safety at USDA from 2005 to 2008.
Feedstuffs editor Sarah Muirhead talked with Raymond about matters related to COVID-19 and food safety, employee risk and more.
Raymond is located in Colorado not far from a major packing plant area hit hard by the virus. In fact, the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colo., was closed April 13, the day this podcast was recorded, after two workers died of the novel coronavirus. The company is now working with the state and county health officials and the plan is to reopen after testing and a containment strategy are put in place.
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