5@5: Judge dismisses case against meat plant | Why grocery workers are dying

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

May 7, 2020

2 Min Read
meat processor

Judge dismisses worker safety case lodged against Smithfield Foods

A federal judge in Missouri has dismissed the case of a meat plant worker who sued their employer for failing to put proper protections in place against the spread of COVID-19. The plant, Smithfield Foods, argued that it is following the CDC's recommendations and cited President Donald Trump's executive order on April 28 asking meat processing plants to remain open. Meanwhile, employees report that such operations continue to pressure potentially sick workers to come in and are lacking in basic sanitation supplies including masks and soap. Read more at Modern Farmer


Dozens of grocery workers have died. Here's what workers say their employers did wrong

COVID-19 has elevated grocery workers to hero status, but the financial reality of many of these employees tells a different story. New data show that food retailers were initially slow to enact measures that could have protected employees from the virus, and many still have policies in place that effectively terminate sick and at-risk workers for staying home. Workers have also reported a lack of personal protective gear and smaller raises than expected given that sales are booming at big-box grocery chains across the board. Read more at Orlando Weekly


Boom in canned foods means a boom in cans, too

Processed shelf-stable foods continue to be in high demand, which is why U.S. makers of food and beverage cans are now in production mode around the clock. Canned foods had previously been on the decline, taking a back seat to more nutritious fresh and frozen products. Read more at The New York Times


A whopping 94% of deaths from COVID-19 occur in individuals with underlying age-related chronic conditions caused by excess body fat. This virus has underscored how unhealthy the U.S. is, with only 12% of citizens considered metabolically healthy. A diet high in processed, sugary, starchy foods is the norm, and this leads directly to high levels of inflammation and a compromised immune system. Read more at The Boston Globe


As major meat processors buckle under COVID-19 crisis, busy smaller competitors fight red tape

The spotlight is on America's small- to mid-sized meat processors as large packers continue to shut down. However, rules in place that favor bigger operations and USDA's perceived inflexibility to change regulations given the current circumstances has created a roadblock to getting the meat that is in such high demand right now to shelf. Read more at The Counter… 

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