Heard about the latest hummus scandal? While the latest recall of Trader Joe’s and Target hummus may certainly be a cause for concern, I think that the real hummus scandal that should be trending is corporate giant Nestle’s Tribe Mediterranean Foods’ failure to follow safety procedures in a New England hummus plant.
Daniel Collazo, 28-year-old Puerto Rican immigrant, father, and employee of Tribe, died in 2011 – caught in the hummus grinder and crushed to death. Tribe was warned of the safety hazards practiced at that New England plant, yet unsafe practices continued.
Tribe paid $540,000 in fines, but often, these fines are less than the amount of money it would take to enforce the safety regulations. This is a disincentive to protect employees and could, in theory, be resolved through policy changes.
According to Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, said some employers view these “safety penalties as ‘just a cost of doing business.’”
“We know there are employers out there doing this cost-benefit analysis,” Goldstein-Gelb said. “If you’re having an employee do life-threatening work, risking being killed, to not ensure that essential life-saving measures are in place is effectively negligent. And it is reckless and unconscionable.”(Read More Here)
According to Collazo, “They waited for something bad to happen” … “They just use people like us—take advantage of us. They just throw you in there and it’s like, what happens, happens.”
For more information, see http://www.propublica.org/article/hummus-maker-warned-of-extreme-safety-risk-before-temp-workers-death