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AFG worker: "We would sweat through our masks and that would drop onto the meat"

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Posted at 9:56 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 11:47:54-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) -- A worker at American Foods Group said he was let go for speaking out about safety issues at the facility. Filiberto Reyes said the company did supply them with proper gear. However, he claims the conditions were not safe while workers at the plant test positive for COVID-19.

"They gave us masks and gowns," Reyes said. "Some workers decided to not show up. Our staff is short. Sometimes we work and sweat through the masks, and the sweat would drop onto the meat."

He says when he and another employee confronted his manager, they were shown the door.

"He said if you don't like it there is the door, you can leave," Reyes said. "I was shown the door April 22nd. They told me human resources would contact me to tell me if I was fired or laid off. I have not received that call yet."

170 employees have tested positive for coronavirus. They are still operating. We reached out to American Foods Group and we are still waiting a response.

According the Brown County Health Department, conditions inside the plant are meeting their requirements.

"We have toured all three facilities with the CDC," said Claire Paprocki from the Health Department. "We are not concerned at this time. We are continuing to monitor the situation. If they are not meeting OSHA and CDC requirements we would re-evaluate while also staying within the perimeters of the executive order."

The CDC says there is currently no evidence to suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted through food.
https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/newsletter/food-safety-and-Coronavirus.html

Reyes says he wants employees to be treated better during this pandemic.

"We are valued workers right now," Reyes said. "I want us to feel like we are valued."

Reyes is working with Voices de la Frontera to possibly file a complaint with OSHA about safety in the workplace.