The National President of the Agriculture Union has reached out to the federal Minister of Health to urge greater action to protect the health and safety of Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fabian Murphy contacted the Hon, Patty Hajdu to warn that federally-regulated meat production plants could become major hotspots for the spread of the coronavirus.

While expressing appreciation for the recently-committed $20-million boost to the CFIA inspection budget, Murphy expressed his concern that several inspection plants have already been shut down following multiple positive tests for the novel corona virus.

“In spite of the risk associated with working in these plants and the strategic importance of these facilities to our food security, not enough has been done to ensure these facilities protect the workers whose job it is to produce safe food safely.”

Murphy called for the swift provision of personal protective equipment and expanded testing of both inspectors and plant production workers to ensure the security of the country’s critical food chain.

“These people cannot work from home,” he noted. “Production line speeds continue to be high to meet demand, even though many facilities are cramped to the point where people are working shoulder to shoulder. Social distancing to stay safe from the new corona virus is often not possible. Yet these workers show up every day to help keep food on our dinner tables.

The full text of Murphy’s letter to Minister Hadju can be read HERE.