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HHE determination report no. HHE-76-78-416, Peyton Packing Company, El Paso, Texas.

Potter ME; Markel HL Jr.; Keith WD
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 76-78-416, 1977 Aug; :1-31
Environmental and medical surveys were conducted on August 10 to 19, 1976, to investigate the incidence of brucellosis at the Peyton Packing Company (SIC-2011) in El Paso, Texas. The investigation was requested by company management after 48 of the 470 employees were determined to have significant brucella antibody titers by the El Paso Health Department. Medical surveys revealed that 46 cases of brucellosis occurred from December, 1968 to August, 1976, with 44 cases occurring in the epidemic period of June, 1975 to August, 1976. The attack rate was highest in the kill room workers, and was higher in workers with the least seniority. Airborne, contact, and conjunctival infection were the primary routes of exposure. Ventilation studies indicated no air flow from the kill room to adjacent departments. Protective equipment and clothing had no significant effect on risk of brucella infection. The authors conclude that a total of 44 cases of brucellosis occurred because of the slaughtering of brucella infected cattle. They recommend that entry to the beef kill department be restricted to essential operating personnel, that no further modifications in the facility result in aerosols from the beef kill department entering other work areas, that employees who recovered from brucellosis be assigned to high risk areas, that an education program about brucellosis be conducted for employees and supervisors, that a nurse be employed to coordinate medical care at the company, and that brucellosis be routinely considered when diagnosing febrile illnesses.
Region 6; NIOSH-Author; HHE-76-78-416; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Meat-packing-industry; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-7; Food-handlers; Infectious-diseases; Disease-transmission; Epidemiology; Exposure-methods; Animals; Livestock; Slaughtering-and-rendering; Humans; Author Keywords: Brucellosis; cattle; slaughter house; serologic testing
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Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division