The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded Taza Aya $1M to adapt the company’s air curtain visor product for use by workers in the meat and poultry processing industry. Awarded through the Meat and Poultry Processing Research and Innovation (MPPRI) program, USDA is seeking to increase the resilience of the domestic food production industry, particularly for small and medium sized processors.
Of the three topic areas of interest sought by USDA, the Taza Aya technology addresses Topic Area #2: Worker Safety. Specifically, the need to protect workers from communicable diseases during stages of meat and poultry processing that require working together in close quarters. Such environments are thought to have contributed to the lost processing capacity within the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic: during the pandemic, meat and poultry processing capacity fell by 25% for beef, 15% for chicken, and 43% for pork [1-3].
Taza Aya has partnered in this two-year project with Michigan Turkey Producers (Grand Rapids, MI), who will provide important guidance on working environments, contexts, safety, and ergonomics that are needed to adapt the Taza Aya air curtain visor for use by meat and poultry processing workers.
1. Hashem, N. M.; Gonzalez-Bulnes, A.; Rodriguez-Morales, A. J., Animal Welfare and Livestock Supply Chain Sustainability Under the COVID-19 Outbreak: An Overview. Front Vet Sci 2020, 7, 582528.
2. Muth, M. K.; Read, Q., Effects of COVID-19 Meat and Poultry Plant Closures on the Environment and Food Security. In Insights Blog, RTI International: 2020.
3. Ijaz, M.; Yar, M. K.; Badar, I. H.; Ali, S.; Islam, M. S.; Jaspal, M. H.; Hayat, Z.; Sardar, A.; Ullah, S.; Guevara-Ruiz, D., Meat Production and Supply Chain Under COVID-19 Scenario: Current Trends and Future Prospects. Front Vet Sci 2021, 8, 660736.