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K-State Research and Extension News

Nov. 20, 2020


Researchers aim to mitigate COVID-19 in meat and poultry processing facilities

Kansas State University researchers are involved in a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project to protect meat plant workers and their surrounding communities from the spread of COVID-19.

In this video, animal sciences professor Randy Phebus talks about the work that includes key partnerships between faculty in the College of Agriculture and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Primarily we are focusing our efforts on giving the meat and poultry processing industry tools and knowledge that they can use to develop and implement better programs to protect their workers,” Phebus said.

He said the team’s goals include validating the cleaning and disinfection systems that are used during production, and during sanitation shifts in the plant. The researchers also hope to gain an understanding of how COVID-19 moves around in the plant and maintains – or doesn’t maintain – its infectious nature, according to Phebus.

“We also have a piece of this where we are generating models that the industry can use for years to come in setting up the most effective management plans around COVID, (and) probably other agents like influenza,” he said.

The research is taking place in the Biosecurity Research Institute, a biosafety level 3 agriculture facility.


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