USDA inspector dies as #coronavirus spreads in meat packing plants.
The safety of inspectors, and the USDA’s efforts to protect them, has recently come into question. Concerns have particularly been raised about those embedded in meatpacking facilities, where they stand in close proximity with plant workers as they examine carcasses and products to ensure food safety.
Corbo said the agency was slow to allow inspectors to wear masks inside meatpacking facilities. He provided a copy of an undated FSIS memo that said it would permit inspectors to wear face masks only if the factory granted permission.
On April 4, a second USDA memo said staff “may consider wearing a cloth face covering” consistent with new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the agency admitted it lacked supplies for all employees.