For those who work in the agrifood industry, biosecurity is second nature. What can people outside the industry learn from what we already know about disease mitigation?
Podcast: Biosecurity lessons learned from animal ag to fight COVID (04:11)
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has everyone thinking more about the cleanliness of the air and surfaces around them. This includes companies that are increasingly looking for ways to keep their employees and customers safe and healthy while continuing to conduct business.
For companies in the agrifood space, biosecurity is almost second nature.
Even so, some businesses are looking to step it up by implementing new technology or by increasing the use of some tried-and true-methods. Bloomberg recently reported that Smithfield Foods has installed ionized hydrogen peroxide vapor technology at some of its production facilities to “clean” the air. Other companies are simply cleaning more often and putting more focus on sanitizing more surfaces with disinfectant sprays, wipes and hand sanitizers.
Veterans of the animal ag space are accustomed to combating disease threats, but they are usually focused on the animals rather than the people. But while COVID-19 makes people sick, it still affects animal production.
However, it’s hard to take the lessons learned from animal ag and incorporate them into daily human life. To oversimplify it: If you have a sick pig, you quarantine it from the rest of the herd and the problem is (mostly) solved. But it’s not that easy to get humans to follow the rules to mitigate disease spread.