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5@5: Is the meat industry hiding its worker illness data? | Amazon, Costco rate highest for COVID-19 response

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.

As meatpacking plants reopen, data about worker illness remains elusive

A troubling number of meat processing facilities are being pointedly opaque about releasing data on how many of their workers have tested positive for COVID-19. County officials, it would appear, have little power when it comes to pushing America's giant meatpacking companies to implement protective measures. Legal experts argue that releasing information about sick workers in a given area is a "standard public health response" and not an invasion of company privacy. Read more at The New York Times

 

Amazon, Costco have 'most favorable' COVID-19 response, shoppers say

New consumer market research shows that shoppers view Amazon, Costco, Walmart, Publix and Kroger as having the best responses to the current pandemic, in that order. The research also reveals that 18% of shoppers have switched their primary grocery store in an effort to support smaller, local chains. Read more at Supermarket News

 

COVID-19 causes supply chain headaches for coffee growers

Demand shortages on the part of restaurants and cafés for coffee is putting pressure on coffee-producing communities in countries such as Guatemala and Colombia. Ocean freight prices are going up, labor disruptions and shortages are rampant and the increased cost of sanitation in processing beans is going to increase costs for both producers and consumers. Read more at Modern Farmer

 

Which grocery chain has the best health and safety policies for its workers?

This month many retail chains began lifting monetary bonuses for their essential employees, unfortunately. In this ranking of nationwide chains' policies, it's clear that big-box retailers have struggled over the past few months to respond quickly and adequately, and workers are having mixed experiences as COVID-19 fears and illness rates remain high. Read more at Eater

 

Self-serve salad bars and all-you-can-eat buffets face an uncertain future in the age of coronavirus

While FDA has maintained that COVID-19 isn't likely to be transmitted through food packaging or food, the agency still recommends food retailers and restaurant chains discontinue self-service buffets and salad bars for the time being. And when they do reopen (if at all), experts forsee that sneeze guards, single-use serving utensils, hand sanitizing stations and mandatory mask-wearing will become the norm. Read more at CNN… 

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