Third Romaine Recall Hits Trucking Industry

Third Romaine Recall Hits Trucking Industry

January 13, 2019

What do truckers do when told to dump 15 truckloads of lettuce two days before Thanksgiving?

Massive disruptions to the transport of potentially tainted romaine lettuce occurred as 43 people in 12 states were sickened by a particularly dangerous strain of E. coli.  This was the third such crisis to hit the romaine industry within the last 12 months.

Truckers working with Allen Lund Company eventually dumped tons of lettuce in landfills and dumps.  Because the CDC could not immediately track the source of the contaminated lettuce, both retailers and truckers tossed out the good with the bad.

Eventually, the tainted romaine was traced to growers on the central California coast, but only after lettuce from many other places was thrown out or pulled from store shelves.  In the meantime, the price for alternate varieties of lettuce rose quickly, as lettuce supplies contracted and many consumers looked for alternative greens.


Video Spotlight: Lettuce is Twice as Expensive, Thanks to Romaine E. coli Outbreak


This post is based on the Transport Topics article, Romaine Recall Causes Disruption in Trucking Industry, by Jim Stinson, December 3, 2018; and the Cooking Light video, Lettuce is Twice as Expensive, Thanks Continue reading

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Made in Italy: High Prices, but Rock-Bottom Production Costs

Made in Italy: High Prices, but Rock-Bottom Production Costs

If you think Italian luxury clothes are hand sewn by skilled workers, you are right. If you think their craftsmanship is well compensated, think again.

This New York Times investigation paints a bleak description of the working conditions of Italians working for MaxMara, Fendi, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. Most luxury brands outsource a major portion of their manufacturing. Several factors including intense competition from abroad result in the exploitation of labor, and the multi-tiered supply chain hinders transparency.


Video Spotlight: Made in Bulgaria: Luxury Fashion Brands Move East


This post is based on the New York Times article, Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy, by E. Paton and M. Lazazzera, September 20, 2018, and the Reuters video, Made in Bulgaria: Luxury Fashion Brands Move East, by T. Tsolova and M. Kahn, June 7, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Nenad Aksic

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the reasons for the “sweatshop wages” given to the Italian seamstresses making the luxury garments at home?

Guidance: Reasons include high unemployment in the region, intensive competition from Asian and Eastern European labor, contractors’ questionable ethics, luxury brands claiming ignorance about a well- known problem, “cut-throat” negotiating practices in procurement, and no government-set Continue reading

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