Ex peanut plant employee speaks out about unsanitary conditions - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/18/09

Ex peanut plant employee speaks out about unsanitary conditions

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Plainview, TX (KCBD) - NewsChannel 11 is going to introduce you to a man who we'll call Daniel. He doesn't want his face to be shown, but he has a lot to tell about his days working at this peanut plant.

Since it's opening in March of 2005 till it closed last week, Daniel worked at the Peanut Corporation of America Plant in Plainview. "Basically what happened this past week I knew that was going to happen because of the condition of the building itself," said Daniel. 

A building that he says he knew was unsanitary from day one due partly to a drainage problem from leaks in the roof. "I basically didn't like what I first saw when I first started working there nobody really liked keeping it clean, the first time I was there and there was only a hand full of us that really did care and it takes everybody to actually make it happen and that's not the way it was," said Daniel. 

The amount of time that was given to clean the equipment was something that always bothered Daniel. "They wouldn't really care how the equipment got they would just process the product and keep going and going and going and not actually clean the facility the way they were supposed to," said Daniel. 

He says though the condition of the plant improved over the years; he says when it first opened was the worst. "We would notice the mishandling of the product sometime. You are suppose to always have your latex gloves on and at times you would catch people not wearing gloves, hair nets weren't worn as long as I was there," said Daniel. 

And Daniel says it was not uncommon to see rats and rat droppings around the building.  "Of course we share the world with the mice here we pretty much maintained the problem, but it was a lot worse when I first started," said Daniel. 

After the closing of Peanut Corporation of America Plant in Georgia, Daniel says it came as no surprise when the Plainview plant closed as well. "Everyone in our facility knew for a fact that they were going to come down to us pretty fast and sure enough they were there within no time," said Daniel.   

NewsChannel 11 asked if Daniel felt guilty at all.  "To be honest with you I actually did feel guilty. I'm only human, I felt bad and I felt guilty and it makes you think was there anything that we all could have done to prevent this," said Daniel.   

Now that Daniel's time is over at the Plainview Plant. He is currently going on job interviews paying very close attention to the working conditions.

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