The meat and poultry industry strives for maximum operating efficiency and productivity, which are directly affected by the line speed at each plant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates line speeds. Lines that are more heavily staffed can move at a greater speed while maintaining quality standards.
If line speeds are set too fast, workers may be unable to perform their job correctly and may become injured. In addition, when lines move too quickly for the staffing, product quality problems may result.
Companies benefit by setting line speeds properly. USDA inspectors, in plants at all times, also may adjust line speeds down if they believe the speed of the line is preventing full compliance with federal food safety.
For additional information, see our Line Speeds Fact Sheet.