business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• The Los Angeles Times this morning reports that "as part of President Obama's push to streamline regulations on businesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to let chicken slaughterhouses run production lines faster and with fewer federal inspectors, angering food safety advocates and poultry plant workers. Under the proposal, production lines would be allowed to move 25% faster, while the government would cut by as much as 75% the number of line inspectors eyeing chicken bodies for defects before the carcasses are packaged for consumption."

The story goes on: "The proposed rules mark a major policy shift. They are based on a 13-year pilot program that tested whether public safety would be improved by giving plant employees a bigger role — and federal inspectors a lesser one — in sorting good chickens from bad." It would also save the USDA an estimated $90 million over three years.

USA Today reports that Taco Bell is going upscale with its menu, with menu additions that "feature such ingredients as black beans, cilantro rice, citrus- and herb-marinated chicken and cilantro dressing," created by celebrity chef Lorena Garcia.

The goal, the story says, "is to give regular customers more choices and to lure new business."

The other goal is probably to better compete with the likes of Chipotle. But I still think I'll do my best to avoid Taco Bell ... there is just something about it that shouts mediocrity.

• The Times Herald-Record reports that Price Chopper "has received LEED gold certification for its environmental efficiency" for its store on Route 94 in Warwick, NY.

• In Florida, the Sun Sentinel reports that Supervalu-owned Save-A-Lot plans to "open a second Florida distribution center early next year in Pompano Beach that will create more than 30 jobs." Once opened, the new warehouse will supply 26 of Save-A-Lot's 139 Florida stores.
KC's View: