Frontline food workers: The heroes that keep our families fed

When we think about frontline workers, our minds go straight to the heroes of the health sector. But, there are frontline workers in several sectors, including the food industry. When COVID-19 hit, governments identified frontline food workers as essential because of their efforts in keeping our communities stocked and fed. Here is all you need to know on Frontline Food Workers!

What exactly is a frontline food worker and why are they important?

Frontline food workers are people working on the food production line preparing and packaging food products. About 65% of all the food leaving a farm makes its way into a processing facility so it is up to our frontline heroes to prepare and pack everything.

What types of jobs are done by frontline food workers?

There are as many jobs as the types of foods that we eat each day, but it doesn’t stop there. People that maintain food production equipment and keep food manufacturing facilities running are also considered frontline food workers. Here are just a few of the key jobs in the food and beverage processing sector:

Bakers prepare bread, rolls, muffins, pies, pastries, cakes and cookies in retail and wholesale bakeries.
Testers and Graders ensure that ingredients and finished food or beverage products are up to standard.
Industrial Butchers and Meat Cutters prepare meat and poultry for further processing or for packaging for wholesale distribution.
Food Technologists/ Technicians plan recipes for large volume production of healthy and safe food products.
Shippers and Receivers ship, receive and record the movement of parts, supplies, materials, equipment and stock.

Process & Machine Controllers operate multi-function process control machinery and single-function machines to process and package food and beverage products.

Fish and Seafood Workers include machine operators who set up and operate machinery to process and package fish and seafood products AND plant cutters and cleaners who cut, trim and clean fish and seafood by hand. 

Is it safe to be a frontline food worker?

Working at home is not an option for frontline food workers, so the use of personal protection equipment (PPE) and occupational health and safety measures are the priority. Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers have been helping reduce the spread of the virus and keeping workers and the workplace healthy by following public health measures and requirements. Across the country there are approximately 270,000 people committed to making food for families every day.

The heroes that keep our families fed

Frontline food workers have been working tirelessly to give the very best quality products, despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on the industry. When you meet a frontline food worker, make sure to say “thanks”.

Is there anything you want to know about your food? We have answers to your most frequently asked questions.

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