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Pork line speed trial extended

Some pork processing line speeds will continue to run faster, at least for now.  The USDA extended the trial time for a study testing ergonomics, automation, and different crew arrangements to create safer work environments.

In March of 2021, a U.S. District Court in Minnesota vacated USDA’s final rule eliminating line speed limits for New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS) establishments.  USDA then worked with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA to develop a limited-time trial at six processing plants.

USDA says the extension of that timed trial until November 30 will allow the contractors to finalize their reports and enable the agency to assess the data to determine future actions.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauds USDA’s extension, saying ensuring sufficient harvest capacity is critical to allow America’s pork producers to continue providing products to consumers. NPPC says they appreciate the extension of the trial period and will continue working with the administration and Congress toward a permanent line-speed solution.

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