Doritos seasoning causing health issues in workers, union alleges

The seasoning used to make Doritos ‘Flamin’ Hot’ chips is causing factory workers breathing difficulties, allege the United Workers Union (UWU).

UWU visited a Smith’s Chips factory in Adelaide last month, where employees “raised significant safety concerns regarding the improper handling of strongly irritating substances”.

A report was sent to workplace regulator SafeWork SA, who are now looking into the claims that workers are having difficulty breathing and experiencing skin irritation after dealing with the seasoning used to make the product.

“After interviewing 13 workers from the afternoon shift, 11 reported various effects, including sneezing, coughing, eye and skin irritation, runny nose, sore throat, chest discomfort, and difficulty breathing,” the report said.

UWU alleges that Smith’s has failed to maintain safe systems of work at the Regency Park site.

A spokesperson for PepsiCo, which owns Smith’s Chips, said the safety of its people was its top priority.

“We follow a number of safety procedures and protocols when producing products that include spicy seasoning.

“To further enhance these measures at our Adelaide site there is mandatory mask-wearing during production of this product and we are installing additional extraction fans.

“We are committed to working with our people and the union to address any further concerns.”

SafeWork SA is currently considering the union’s complaint to determine whether further action is warranted.

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