Mystery illness among pork workers named

05-02-2008 | |

Further to reports of a rare neurological disorder having affected 11 workers at a Minneapolis pork processing plant last year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have officially termed this illness progressive inflammatory neuropathy, or PIN.

PIN is believed to be triggered by inhaling pig brains. In Minnesota at the Quality Pork Processors plant, and now in another plant in Indiana, many workers have been reporting symptoms of the illness, which include numbness, fatigue, and a tingling feeling in the arms and legs.

Officials in Minnesota said they want to investigate QPP workers going back a decade, to when an air-compression system was installed to remove brain tissue from pig heads.

The question is whether pig brain tissue was inhaled by workers who became sick after it was liquefied during removal by the air-compression system and sprayed into the air as droplets.

Both plants have already stopped the process of removing pig brains and the CDC is continuing its investigation.

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