Doritos Workers File Workplace Safety Complaint

( – Following complaints from workers about respiratory issues and skin irritation, Smith’s, the snack company that is owned by Pepsico, is taking measures to improve ventilation in its Adelaide facility, where “flamin’ hot” Doritos seasoning is produced. The concerns brought to the attention of SafeWork SA, the Aussie equivalent of OSHA, by the United Workers Union highlight potential safety issues related to the handling of substances that might irritate the body if exposed to them long enough or without proper care.

The union’s report detailed that the seasoning, used in products like flamin’ hot Doritos and Cheetos, would sometimes permeate the entire production area. Interviews with 13 afternoon shift workers revealed symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, skin and eye irritation, and breathing difficulties. The union further accused Smith’s of neglecting to ensure a safe work environment and cited unsafe conditions in the factory’s waste hall.

In response, a PepsiCo spokesperson emphasized the company’s commitment to employee safety. They outlined existing safety protocols for handling spicy seasoning products and announced additional measures for the Adelaide site, including mandatory mask usage during production and the installation of extra extraction fans in the facility. The company pledged collaboration with both workers and the union to address any outstanding safety concerns so that something like this does not happen again at any location.

Meanwhile, SafeWork SA is reviewing the union’s allegations to determine the need for further investigation or action. The union complained back in January about seasoning dust building up but did not indicate that there were any health issues at the time it was reported. SafeWork had subsequently conducted an inspection to verify the implementation of adequate safety controls.

The ongoing situation underscores the importance of robust safety protocols in food production environments, particularly where potentially irritating or hazardous substances are involved.

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