K-State Researchers Work to Protect Packers

A team of Kansas State University researchers is using a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — and an additional grant from the state of Kansas — to study how to control the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities.

The study seeks to protect meat plant workers and their surrounding communities from the spread of COVID-19.

It involves researchers from K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture.

A key objective of the project will be verifying the effectiveness of many of the approved cleaners and sanitizers for inactivating the virus during plant processing and sanitation operations.

The team will evaluate potential sources of exposure, and determine the amount and the longevity of infectious virus that is present during and after meat processing and packaging activities.

The team seeks to identify, develop, validate, and deliver practical cleaning and disinfection strategies, plus develop mathematical models to predict and reduce the risk of the virus exposure in meat and poultry processing facilities.