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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-112-1922, E.S.I. Meats, Inc., Bristol, Indiana.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 87-112-1922, 1988 Aug; :1-30
In response to a request from three employees at E.S.I. Meats, Inc. (SIC-2013), Bristol, Indiana an investigation was made of respiratory symptoms among workers exposed to meat tenderizers. The facility was a meat portioning plant which used the proteolytic enzyme meat tenderizer papain (9001734) as a component of spice mixtures sprayed on some steaks prior to packaging. Medical studies indicated that immunoglobulin-E mediated tenderizer related occupational asthma (TROA) occurred among the workers. The prevalence of possible or definite TROA among this workforce was at least 8 percent and the prevalence among tenderizer exposed workers was at least 12 percent. The prevalence among symptomatic workers was 58 percent. Immunologic sensitivity to tenderizer in the absence of reported symptoms, observed in 11 participants, may be a predictor of the development of asthma with continued exposure. The authors conclude that a hazard existed from occupational exposure to proteolytic enzyme meat tenderizers. The authors recommend that worker exposure to proteolytic enzymes be reduced as low as possible through better engineering controls. Appropriate respiratory protection should be used until effective engineering controls are in place. All skin contact with the spice solutions or meat treated with spice should be avoided.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-87-112-1922; Region-5; Hazard-Confirmed; Food-processing-industry; Meat-handlers; Meat-packing-industry; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division