Organic Consumers Association

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Cook Organic not the Planet Campaign

The Meat Industry Is Hiding a Dark Secret, as Workers at 'America's Worst Job' Wade Through Seas of Blood, Guts, and Grease

Sanitation workers at slaughterhouses may just about have the worst job in America.

And that's not just because the gig involves wading through a sea of "blood and grease and chunks of bone and flesh" in the dead of night, according to a recent report from Bloomberg Businessweek's Peter Waldman and Kartikay Mehrotra.

Here are just a few of the conditions cleanup crews have to deal with at slaughterhouses, as detailed by the Bloomberg report:

• Employees risk horrific injuries working around dangerous equipment — including crushed limbs, severed arms, and even a gruesome death in a meat blender, as detailed in the story.

• The slaughterhouses can make for terrible work environments. The Bloomberg article detailed spaces flooded with bloody water and cramped rooms where the stench of meat and cleaning products made it difficult to breathe.

• Sanitation workers typically work the graveyard shift and are often pushed to work fast by management. Meat plants have extended their work days to ensure more output, leaving less time for cleanup crews to work.

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