Los Angeles

Smithfield pork plant in LA faces rolling Covid-19 outbreak

A coronavirus outbreak at the Farmer John pork processing plant in Los Angeles County that began nearly a year ago has been the focus of two state investigations. Cases at the Smithfield Foods-owned plant have more than doubled — with over 300 cases reported in January alone — as the county has become a Covid-19 epicenter, Leah Douglas and Georgia Gee report in FERN's latest story, produced in collaboration with the Covid-19 Reporting Project.

Now antibiotic-free, chicken is back on the menu in Los Angeles schools

For more than a year, chicken has been a rare item in Los Angeles public school cafeterias, reflecting the school board's policy to hold vendors responsible for animal and worker welfare among other things and the challenge of finding enough food for the nation's second-largest school system. The Los Angeles Times says chicken tenders, patties and frankfurters will be back as soon as May now that three new vendors are under contract.

LA lost out on $6 million in rent from city fairgrounds, say auditors

A state audit found Los Angeles County “likely lost out on more than $6 million in revenue” from its 500-acre fairgrounds because it didn’t adequately monitor its lease with the L.A. Fair Association, says the Los Angeles Times. “State Auditor Elaine Howle said the revenue was lost while the …

Chocolate and strawberry milk returning to some L.A. schools

The Los Angeles school board voted, 6-1, to loosen its ban, dating from 2011, on sugary, flavored milk in lunchrooms, in the hopes that more relaxed rules will reduce food waste and encourage consumption of plain milk, says the Los Angeles Times. "We wouldn't serve caramel apples to increase apple consumption," objected Brent Walmsley, founder of the advocacy group Sugarwatch.