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Behind The Scenes Of The Spam Factory


First Posted: 06/28/11 12:07 PM ET Updated: 08/28/11 06:12 AM ET

Ted Genoways of Mother Jones recently scribed a behemoth piece on some shady occurrences at Quality Pork Processors Inc., better known as the processing plant for Spam. In sum, "First Hormel gutted the union. Then it sped up the line. And when the pig-brain machine made workers sick, they got canned."

The article weaves in stories of employees losing the ability to walk or control their bowels as a result of a machine that essentially spews a mist of pig brains on the workers. In the case of one worker, his inhalation of "aerosolized brains" made his body produce antibodies. Because porcine and human neurological cells are so similar, the antibodies began destroying his own nerves.

As the company learned of the health hazards, some of the affected workers were released. Six of the 13 workers who had worker's comp claims were fired for working under forged or stolen identities.

QPP processes roughly five million hogs per years. On any given day, more than 19,000 pigs are processed.

Read the full story over at Mother Jones.

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Filed by Carey Polis  |  Report Corrections