• From the Wall Street Journal this morning:
"The U.S. pork industry faces a new speed limit on hog slaughtering, the result of a court ruling that worker groups welcomed and industry officials warned could disrupt farmers and processing plants.
"The U.S. Agriculture Department has notified pork processors that plants running at higher speeds should prepare to process no more than 1,106 hogs an hour, meat industry executives said. That guidance follows a March federal court ruling that found the USDA, which regulates meatpacking plants, hadn’t fully assessed how faster processing affects worker safety.
"Slowing the lines that slaughter hogs and disassemble carcasses would affect some of the U.S. pork industry’s biggest plants, including facilities owned by JBS USA Holdings Inc., Clemens Food Group, and Seaboard Corp., that together represent nearly a quarter of U.S. pork processing capacity. The shift would partially reverse the USDA’s 2019 revamp of hog slaughtering rules, representing a victory for labor unions and worker advocates who argued faster-moving processing lines challenge workers and inspectors to keep up, jeopardizing employee and food safety."
• The New York Times reports this morning that McDonald's is saying that "sales of Big Macs, chicken nuggets and french fries got back to pre-pandemic levels in the first part of the year.
"Global same-store sales grew 7.5 percent in the first quarter from the year-earlier period. That was driven by a big jump of 13.6 percent in the United States, McDonald’s reported. Revenues for the quarter rose to $5.12 billion, topping the $4.7 billion brought in a year ago as well as the $4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic struck.
"Chris Kempczinski, the president and chief executive officer of McDonald’s, touted the company’s rebound, noting that it had occurred 'even as resurgences and operating restrictions persist in many parts of the world'."