Berks County poultry plant cited for safety violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed fines of $59,400 against a kosher meatpacker in Berks County over safety violations.

The director of OSHA’s Harrisburg office, Kevin Kilp, says inspectors observed serious violations of safety standards, including risks of amputation, electrical hazards and hearing loss in the fast-paced work environment.

“I hope that the employer takes these citations seriously and acts on them in a quick manner this time,” Kilp said.

The current owner, Birdsboro Kosher Farms took over the Exeter Township poultry plant last year from MVP Kosher Foods, which had racked up multiple OSHA violations. The new owners say they’re in the process of resolving safety problems that were left by their predecessor.  They also plan to hire a dedicated director of environmental health and employee safety.

On behalf of Birdsboro, Luisa Murray-Garcia said that “we do take employees health and safety very seriously.”

Meatpacking is consistently one of the country’s most dangerous occupations, with workers suffering injuries and illness at more than twice the national average, Kilp said.

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