Government issues new regulations to limit Covid-19 spread in slaughterhouses

Brazil issues regulations to limit Covid-19 spread in slaughterhouses
Woman butcher in protect mask selling a variety of cut meats at open market. Photo: Ireneuke/Shutterstock

The Agriculture, Economy, and Health Ministries issued a joint decree to establish preventive guidelines to control the potential Covid-19 in Brazil’s slaughterhouses. Among its main guidelines, the decree mandates the careful monitoring of slaughterhouse workers for Covid-19 symptoms. It also obliges companies to follow the World Health Organization’s recommendations on social distancing.

The goal will be to harmonize health safety protocols across slaughterhouses in Brazil and “guarantee the safety and health of workers” as well as “the supply of food to the population.”

Companies are also encouraged to promote remote work, when possible, and avoid the use of artificially climatized environments.

Deemed as an essential activity, slaughterhouses and similar segments of the meat industry have remained open during the pandemic, making them potential hotspots for spreading the coronavirus among workers.

Earlier this month, The Brazilian Report covered the judicial closing of an abattoir belonging to meat-processing giant JBS after 21 of the units’ 1,700 workers tested positive for Covid-19. Other slaughterhouses have also been closed due to similar concerns. The decree will be effective immediately for the 3,299 meat processing establishments in the country currently operating.

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