USDA grant supports K-State researchers looking to mitigate COVID-19 spread in meat and poultry processing plants

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Kansas State University researchers involved in a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project to protect meat plant workers and their surrounding communities from the spread of COVID-19. From left: Randy Phebus, Sally Davis, Valentina Trinetta, Sara Gragg and Daniel Vega. Not pictured are Jeanette Thurston, Erin Schirtzinger and Yunjeong Kim.

A Kansas State University research team is using a $1 million USDA grant and an additional state grant to study how to effectively control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities.

Researchers include those from the College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture. The study seeks to protect meat plant workers and their surrounding communities from the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the study, $330,000 from the State of Kansas National Bio and Agro Defense Facility Transition Fund will be used for research in the state’s Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Pat Roberts Hall.

The university says a key objective will be verifying the effectiveness of many 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 longevity of infectious virus that is present during and after processing and packaging activities in the meat plants.

Information in this story was courtesy of K-State Marketing and Communications. Read the full story here.

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