A mail carrier cooked steak on a postal truck's dashboard to draw attention to extreme heat - and a member of Congress wants the post office to take action

Postal truck steakRepresentative Shawnna Bolick

  • A steak hit a "medium" temperature after 12 hours on a postal trucks dashboard, a member of congress says.
  • The postal worker cooked the steak to show how hot trucks can get in the summer.
  • Shawnna Bolick, a Republican who represents Arizona's 20th Congressional District, is urging the post office and its workers' union to take action.
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It's hot in Phoenix. So hot you can cook steak on the dashboard of a mail truck, apparently.

That's what one postal worker did to call attention to hazardous conditions, and his call is being echoed by member of congress who represents the city.

"It has come to my attention that quite a few USPS employees over the past few weeks in the Phoenix area have been sent to the emergency room to deal with heat stroke and heat exhaustion," Shawnna Bolick, a Republican who represents Arizona's 20th Congressional District, said in the letter, sent on August 1 to the postal workers' union leadership and post office executives.

"In a few cases, these postal carriers have been hospitalized for several days and at least one was disoriented in their mail truck," she said.

Over the course of a 12-hour day, one unidentified letter carrier managed to cook a steak to 142 degrees, a perfect "medium" temperature, on the dashboard of his delivery truck, where temperatures have averaged 128 degrees, the letter said. However, the 142 degree sear falls just short of the 145 degrees the Food and Drug Administration says is the safe minimum internal temperatures for meat.

Read more: July was likely the hottest month ever, and experts say it has 're-written climate history'

It's not clear if the postal worker consumed the steak after a brief photoshoot to show its doneness.

In July, a record-breaking heat wave swept across the United States and much of the world. Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the US, killing about 136 people each year.

"I would like to know what your organization is doing to improve your employee's working conditions," Bolick's letter concludes. "I implore you to review any safety or incident reports that have been filed and hold necessary hearings to help improve the working conditions of your members because right now they are inhumane."
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