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5@5: Trump takes executive action to keep meat plants open | Pandemic causes plastic boom5@5: Trump takes executive action to keep meat plants open | Pandemic causes plastic boom

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.

April 28, 2020

2 Min Read

Trump to take executive action to keep meat-processing plants open

Trump is invoking a Korean War-era law to keep meat-processing plants open even as employees of these facilities and USDA's food inspection taskforce are falling ill at alarming rates. Meat company executives are reportedly implementing plastic shields and giving workers face masks to help keep processing line work stations safe. So far, about 20 meat- and food-processing workers have died of COVID-19. Read more at The Wall Street Journal


How the pandemic is creating a plastic boom

Reusable bags have been banned for the time being at most retail outlets, meaning that cheap and convenient plastic bags are making a comeback. More people are also shopping for groceries online and bulk bins have been shut down, which also contributes to excess plastic waste. But the plastic industry is using this change in shopper habits and priorities to reverse plastic bag bans nationwide and promote misinformation about the dangers of reusables in the era of COVID-19. Read more at Civil Eats


Hundreds of USDA meat inspectors are getting sick

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection service is considered essential, but now hundreds of its workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 according to a report from Government Executive. FSIS employees were not given proper personal protective gear, such as masks, when visiting plants that are now shut down due to virus outbreaks and they are being told to continue reporting for work until they display symptoms of the illness. Read more at Modern Farmer… 


The pandemic will change American retail forever

Big-box companies are more powerful than ever, many mom-and-pop operations are primed to die off, ecommerce as a whole has skyrocketed and COVID-19 has brought the "golden age" of restaurants to an abrupt end. Whole cities will also be reshaped as those who can afford to flee to less-populated locations, which will hopefully allow small businesses to thrive once more. Read more at The Atlantic


Publix is buying milk and produce that farmers would've been forced to dump and donating it to food banks

Publix will be donating farmers' excess produce and milk to overwhelmed food banks in an effort to help out farmers and food insecure Americans. The southeastern grocery chain expects to donate over 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk in the initiative's first week. Read more at Business Insider

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