Cooking and Eating Facilities in Migrant Farmworker Housing in North Carolina

ArticleinAmerican Journal of Public Health 103(3) · January 2013with21 Reads
Impact Factor: 4.55 · DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300831 · Source: PubMed

    Abstract

    Objectives:
    We sought to (1) describe observed cooking and eating facilities in migrant farmworker camps, (2) compare observed conditions with existing farmworker housing regulations, and (3) examine associations of violations with camp characteristics.

    Methods:
    We collected data in 182 farmworker camps in eastern North Carolina during the 2010 agricultural season. We compared our observations with 15 kitchen-related housing regulations specified by federal and state housing standards.

    Results:
    We observed violations of 8 regulations in at least 10% of camps: improper refrigerator temperature (65.5%), cockroach infestation (45.9%), contaminated water (34.4%), rodent infestation (28.9%), improper flooring (25.8%), unsanitary conditions (21.2%), improper fire extinguisher (19.9%), and holes or leaks in walls (12.1%). Logistic regression showed that violations were related to the time of the agricultural season, housing type, number of dwellings and residents, and presence of workers with H-2A visas.

    Conclusions:
    Cooking and eating facilities for migrant farmworkers fail to comply with regulations in a substantial number of camps. Greater enforcement of regulations, particularly during occupancy during the agricultural season, is needed to protect farmworkers.