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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

USDA to Continue Increased Line Speeds for Pork Plants


The ongoing USDA evaluation of higher line speeds for pork plants has been extended to November 30th 2023.  Currently six plants are evaluating ergonomics, automation and labor requirements to enhance productivity without sacrificing food safety or wellbeing of workers.  Increased line speeds were approved for a trial period of one year as from November 2021 with approved establishments functioning in accordance with the New Swine Inspection System.


The National Pork Producers Council supported the decision to continue with structured evaluation that will allow collection of data.


Higher line speeds have been opposed by unions who have engendered support from pro-labor members of Congress and their fellow legislators who are opposed to intensive livestock production motivated by environmental concerns or a vegan lifestyle.


Demonstrating the benefits of higher line speeds in pork processing may have subsequent benefits for the broiler segment of the U.S. poultry industry. Automation, machine vision and robotics is further advanced in chicken plants compared to red meat packing justifying higher line speeds without sacrificing either quality or food safety.


Copyright © 2023 Simon M. Shane