retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Sara Lee announced yesterday that it will eliminate 700 jobs during the next three years, a move it expects will save the company between $200 million and $250 million.

"In addition to the cost savings, business process outsourcing will help Sara Lee further drive standardization, increase efficiency and provide flexibility," CEO Brenda Barnes said in a statement.

• The Des Moines Register reports that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Inspector General has released a report saying that there was no evidence of cattle abuse when 10 plants were investigated…but conceded that “inspectors don't watch all areas of plants continually and could miss instances of abuse … The report recommended USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service take steps to improve its oversight, including analyzing plants to determine where more frequent or in-depth reviews are needed.”

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