Will anyone verify meatpackers' COVID-19 mitigation efforts?

Novel coronavirus outbreaks have forced multiple meatpacking plants to shut down and turned Louisa County into Iowa’s hot spot for COVID-19 cases per capita. Governor Kim Reynolds asserted on April 15 that site visits and stepped up testing will keep employees healthy, minimizing disruption to the food supply chain.

But while routine food safety inspections of meatpacking plants continue, the companies’ additional steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 are outside the scope of regulation by the the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

Neither the Iowa Department of Public Health nor the governor’s office responded to inquiries about who–if anyone–will be inspecting meatpackers’ coronavirus mitigation measures.

Continue Reading...

The 19 Bleeding Heartland posts I worked hardest on in 2019

Five years ago, I started taking stock of my most labor-intensive posts near the end of each year. Not all of these are my favorite projects, though invariably, some of my favorites end up on these compilations.

Before getting to the countdown for 2019, I want to give another shout out to guest authors who poured an extraordinary amount of work into two posts Bleeding Heartland published last year.

Continue Reading...
View More...