WetKeys Washable Keyboards Protect Essential Workers in Meat and Poultry Plants with Food Safety Solutions

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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our food supply chain. Meat and poultry processing workers are essential workers, and at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 while going about their daily tasks. Plant managers must fully address this new risk posed by the pandemic to better protect their workers, and WetKeys supplies washable data entry devices that solve a commonly overlooked point of contamination.

WetKeys "Flex Touch" Full-size Flexible Silicone Washable Keyboard with Touchpad and On/Off Switch Black KBWKFC103STI-BK

WetKeys "Flex Touch" Full-size Flexible Silicone Washable Keyboard | KBWKFC103STi-BK

Outfitting the shared data entry points along the processing line better protects workers from the risk of possible cross contamination.

Meat and food processing facilities present a higher risk of contamination because workers are in closer proximity in a variety of shared spaces and touchpoints throughout the plants, and social distancing measures can be hard to maintain. The CDC describes another specific concern for these workers becoming infected “from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, such as tools, workstations, or break room tables. Shared spaces such as break rooms, locker rooms, and entrances/exits to the facility may contribute to their risk.” One commonly overlooked tool at shared workstations is the data entry peripherals. Lineworkers who use the same data entry tool can be exposed to the virus through cross-contamination between the rotating shifts. Providing an adequate waterproof and washable solution that can withstand the CDC recommendation of “at least once per shift, if possible” disinfection of “frequently touched surfaces in workspaces” is vital for the protection of these workers who continue to keep our grocery store shelves stocked.

WetKeys Washable Keyboards have equipped hundreds of workstations across industry for food safety concerns. The most popular solution in the past for data entry along the processing line has been the KBWKFC103STi-BK. The WetKeys “Flex Touch” Full-Size Flexible Silicone Washable Keyboard with Touchpad is an industry exclusive to the WetKeys and SaniType brand. Chief Operating & Technology Officer and Co-founder, David Malo talks about the inception of this product and its new added value in protecting essential workers: “When we set out to design the KBWKFC103Sti-BK, we were originally considering food safety compliance and finding a cost effective solution for our food manufacturing clients. Now, this solution can be deployed by plant managers as essential PPE to better protect the hardworking individuals working the line in these plants.” This fully sealed silicone keyboard is an all-in-one solution with a built-in touchpad. The ON/OFF switch allows for easy routine cleaning at the workstations. This model is also available in white, KBSTFC103STi-W. Outfitting the shared data entry points along the processing line better protects workers from the risk of possible cross contamination.

Workers in the food supply chain across America are at a greater risk of contracting coronavirus because meat and poultry plants have become COVID-19 hot spots. The early stages of the pandemic were characterized by meat shortages that captured national attention and focused on meat and poultry workers as part of the essential workforce. Both Wyoming senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, explained the importance of these workers in a letter to U.S Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue: “When high-capacity processing facilities experienced outbreaks amongst employees, operations were forced to shut-off or slow down production, leaving the rancher with livestock they could not move and the consumer with either empty grocery shelves or overpriced products.” Outbreaks have caused many of these factories to close, and the workers to be sent home for their safety. CNBC reports on the ubiquitous issue across the industry with “nearly 240 meat processing facilities [having] at least one confirmed case among the workers, and more than 16,200 workers across 23 states [having] tested positive for the virus.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, worker safety becomes a primary goal. With so many workers being affected, it is important to acknowledge that a majority of the line workers are from communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. According to the Washington Post, “Black, Latino, and Asian workers make up about 70 percent of the processing line workers in meatpacking plants.” America’s food supply chain is dependent upon these workers; their health and safety should be a primary concern for the plant managers in maintaining continued operations.
To learn more about WetKeys or to identify the right solution to keep your workers safe, consult WetKeys.com.

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Matt Dombrowski
@WetKeys
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