Workers at a crisp factory in Australia have complained that a hot and spicy seasoning is affecting their health.
A union is claiming the “Flamin’ Hot” seasoning, used for Doritos and Cheetos products, has caused a number of adverse effects including sneezing, coughing, eye and skin irritation, and breathing difficulties.
The United Workers Union (UWU) has lodged a complaint with the workplace health and safety regulator in South Australia after interviewing staff at the Smith’s Snackfood Company factory in Adelaide.
The UWU said the employees raised “significant safety concerns” regarding the “improper handling of strongly irritating substances”.
The union said it spoke to 13 workers during one shift last week and 11 reported negative effects from the seasoning.
In its complaint to SafeWork SA, the UWU said: “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 UWU said the seasoning machine is used for the hot product “every couple of weeks”, with the ingredient “dispersing across the production area”.
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The Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cheese Supreme Corn Chips are described as having a “bold cheesy taste with full flavour and a full-on tooth-rattling crunch”.
The crisps, along with Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Puffs, feature a flame icon on the packaging to warn of their heat.
SafeWork SA and PepsiCo, which owns the factory, have been contacted for comment.