Video Shows Hygiene Concerns at Neepawa Hog Processing Plant

May 15, 2020

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberal Health Critic Jon Gerrard says a video and photo taken inside the Hylife hog processing plant in Neepawa raises concerns about the hygiene in the plant, especially given a series of outbreaks of COVID-19 at meat processing facilities across Canada and North America.

Two videos show a toilet in a men's bathroom that when flushed, gushes water onto the floor around the seal. A garbage bin for paper towels is overflowing, with towels all over the floor.

Another photo of the processing floor shows garbage, blood and stains on machinery as well as the shop floor.

Gerrard says the videos and photo show that the province needs to step up its inspections and ensure the safety of workers and the food supply.

"We can't have people walking through water that leaked from a toilet and then walking out to a floor where food is being processed," said Gerrard. "Given outbreaks of disease at other plants, we should be seeing even higher levels of cleaning and hygiene. This is a real failure on the part of the Pallister government."

Gerrard said meat processing plants often require people to work very close together, making social distancing difficult or impossible.

There have been outbreaks of COVID-19 at beef processing plants in Alberta, Quebec and in the United States. A pork processing plant in South Dakota, Smithfield, also had a major outbreak of COVID-19.

On April 9 and again on April 28, 2020, Gerrard and the Manitoba Liberals wrote to the Pallister Government to release specific guidelines on how meat processing facilities should work safely to cope with COVID-19. Gerrard said that more than a month later, the PCs have yet to release one.


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