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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Torched Poultry Plant Exposes China’s Work-Safety Failings

June 4, 2013 9:40 am | by CHRISTOPHER BODEEN,Associated Press

A fire breaks out in a Chinese factory, and panicked workers discover one exit after another is locked. That describes not only the poultry plant fire that killed 119 people Monday, but a toy-factory blaze that left 87 workers dead 20 years earlier. The similarities between the two worst factory fires in China's history suggest that little has changed for industrial workers even as the country has transformed its economy.

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Photo of the Day: Coca-Cola Begins Bottling in Myanmar

June 4, 2013 9:38 am

Coca-Cola began bottling its famous soft drink in Myanmar on Tuesday as part of a planned five-year, $200 million investment after having no local production for more than 60 years. The company announced in a press release the ceremonial inauguration of its bottling plant in Hmawbi Township, a suburb of Yangon, the country's biggest city, with local partner Pinya Manufacturing Co.

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Daily Sound Bite: Blaze Claims 119 Lives at Chinese Poultry Facility

June 3, 2013 12:34 pm

Hundreds of Chinese poultry plant workers were trapped inside the building during a raging fire sparked by three explosions early Monday morning. Though authorities have confirmed at least 119 people died in the fire, the death toll is expected to rise.

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Tyson Buys California Food Company

June 3, 2013 12:27 pm

Tyson Foods Inc. has bought a San Diego food plant that produces refrigerated and frozen Mexican foods. The Springdale-based meat company announced Monday that it had closed on the purchase of Circle Foods LLC, which specializes in production of handheld Mexican foods. The company also produces uncooked tortillas and Indian flatbreads.

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NY Yogurt Plant to Open

June 3, 2013 12:25 pm

The latest player in upstate New York's yogurt boom is set to officially open. PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi is scheduled to cut the ribbon on the new Muller Quaker Dairy Facility in Batavia on Monday, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer and others.

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Alert Gum Highlights Uncertain Regulatory Status of Caffeine

June 3, 2013 12:24 pm

In April 2013, Wrigley launched Alert Energy Caffeine Gum with much fanfare. However, the FDA's concerns about the added caffeine in foods caused Wrigley to take its Alert Energy Caffeine gum, which has the same amount of caffeine as half a cup of coffee, off the market.

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Treasury Dept. Approves Voluntary Nutrition Labels for Alcohol

June 3, 2013 12:20 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

The Treasury Department, which regulates alcohol, said this past week that beer, wine and spirits companies can use labels that include serving size, servings per container, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat per serving. Such package labels have never before been approved.

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Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Organic Berries

June 3, 2013 12:18 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A linked to a frozen organic berry mix sold by an Oregon company. The FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 30 illnesses are linked to Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, which contains pomegranate seed mix. Illnesses were reported in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California.

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Consumer Trends: Snacking Trends

June 3, 2013 12:00 pm

The typical American eats over one thousand snack-oriented convenience foods throughout the year, and kids and teens are the heaviest users of this assortment of snacks, which include fresh fruit, sweet, and savory snacks, reports The NPD Group.

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USDA Talks GMO Wheat

June 3, 2013 9:47 am | by USDA

In the wake of a discovery of unapproved GMO wheat growing in an Oregon farm, attention has turned to the global market. Many countries outside the U.S. do not allow any GMO crops, and the presence of undisclosed GMOs in U.S. crops could have an impact on global trade.

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Community Skeptical of Proposed Neb. Beef Plant

June 3, 2013 9:46 am

Some who attended public forums about a planned beef processing plant in Scottsbluff reacted with skepticism about the proposal. The Scottsbluff Star Herald reports nearly 400 people attended the forums Wednesday and Thursday, led by planned plant general manager Keith DeHaan.

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PepsiCo Names Chief Marketing Officer

June 3, 2013 9:45 am

PepsiCo has named a global chief marketing officer for its flagship soda as it looks to strengthen the brand's image around the world. The company, which also makes Gatorade and Frito-Lay, said Kristin Patrick will focus on driving global positioning, consistency and innovation for the Pepsi cola brand in the newly created position. Patrick, who was most recently chief marketing officer at Playboy Enterprises, starts Monday.

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Fire Kills 119 at Poultry Plant in NE China

June 3, 2013 9:43 am | by CHRISTOPHER BODEEN,Associated Press

Fire raged through a poultry plant in northeastern China on Monday, trapping workers inside a cluttered slaughterhouse and killing at least 119 people, reports and officials said. Several dozen people also were hurt in the blaze in Jilin province's Mishazi township, which appeared to have been sparked by three early morning explosions, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

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Home of Smithfield Hams Ponders Foreign Buyout

June 3, 2013 9:40 am | by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM,AP Business Writer

The home of the world's largest pork producer and maker of famous Smithfield hams is divided in its reaction to news that the company agreed to be bought by a Chinese company. The reception is as mixed as whether the locals favor salt-cured or sugar-cured ham.

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Modified Wheat Discovery Triggers Cost, Safety Questions

June 3, 2013 9:36 am

The discovery of genetically-modified wheat in an Eastern Oregon field has touched off a debate on the economics and safety of altering crop genetics. Critics of genetic modification point to a study that estimates the wheat industry stands to lose $94 to $272 million annually if genetically-modified wheat is introduced.

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Photo of the Day: Chinese Poultry Plant Explodes

June 3, 2013 9:33 am

A water canon hoses down the roof of a poultry processing plant after a major fire which appeared to have been sparked by three early-morning explosions in northeast China's Jilin province's Mishazi township on Monday, June 3, 2013. The massive fire broke out at the poultry plant early Monday, trapping workers inside a cluttered slaughterhouse and killing over a hundred people, reports and officials said.

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China’s Entrepreneurs Expand Global Presence

May 31, 2013 12:42 pm | by JOE McDONALD,AP Business Writer

The force behind China's biggest takeover of an American company is a 71-year-old meat-packing entrepreneur dubbed "China's Chief Butcher" by the press. The $4.7 billion bid for Smithfield Foods by Wan Long, chairman of Shuanghui International, is another big step up for Chinese entrepreneurs who are emerging from the shadow of state-owned corporate giants and expanding on the global stage.

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Japan Suspends Some U.S. Imports After Modified Wheat Discovery

May 31, 2013 12:39 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK and NIGEL DUARA,Associated Press

Japan has suspended some imports of U.S. wheat after a genetically engineered version of the grain was found on a U.S. farm. The Agriculture Department announced the discovery of the modified wheat on Wednesday. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming.

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New Belgium Delays North Carolina Plant

May 31, 2013 12:37 pm

A Colorado brewing company has delayed plans to open a plant in western North Carolina. New Belgium Brewing Co. says added capacity in Colorado means the company does not need the brewery in Asheville as soon as expected. The craft brewer says it will delay construction in North Carolina by eight months.

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China: Baby Formula Safety Affects Nation’s Future

May 31, 2013 12:36 pm

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has vowed to tighten the monitoring of production of milk powder for babies and crack down on safety violators, saying the quality of infant formula affects the nation's future. Li's comments appeared aimed at trying to restore public confidence in China's dairy industry, which has been mired in product safety and image problems.

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