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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

USDA Releases New Food Safety Tool For Farms

December 16, 2011 7:15 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has unveiled a free online tool aimed at helping farmers lower their risk of contamination on the farm by generating customized food safety plans. How farmers grow, pack, and trace produce has become a major concern following numerous deadly foodborne safety illness outbreaks in recent years.

Gummy Bears Recalled For Metal Contamination

December 16, 2011 7:12 am

(AP) — Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: WINN), is voluntarily recalling Sunrise Assorted Flavor Gummy Bears sold in the self-serve bulk area of select store produce departments between November 14 and December 13 due to a remote possibility of metal contamination. The gummy bears included in this recall have been sold in five Winn-Dixie stores in Florida and Louisiana:   St.

New Parts Of Ga. Immigration Law To Take Effect

December 16, 2011 7:09 am

ATLANTA (AP) — With the arrival of the new year, a key section of Georgia's new law targeting illegal immigration will begin to take effect. Starting Jan. 1, any employer with 500 or more employees will have to use a federal database called E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of all new hires.

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Beam To Buy Cooley Distillery

December 16, 2011 7:06 am

DEERFIELD, Illinois (AP) — Spirits company Beam Inc. said Friday it agreed to buy Cooley Distillery, the industry's last remaining independent Irish whiskey distiller, for about $95 million. Cooley owns and produces the Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell and Greenore brands. It currently sells about 250,000 9-liter cases per year and has enough production capacity to support future growth, Beam said.

Diamond Foods Faces SEC Investigation

December 16, 2011 4:06 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc. is facing a formal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over crop payments to walnut growers, the food company has disclosed. The company, which makes Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret popcorn, said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a formal order of investigation from the SEC on Wednesday.

Coca-Cola Advances Plant Bottle Technology

December 16, 2011 4:04 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. announced a deal Thursday with three biotechnology companies that it says will speed its development of plastic for its bottles that will be made entirely from plants. Beverage makers are trying to use new types of bottles to cut their environmental impact and lower their costs.

Threshold Met For $750M Rice Deal

December 16, 2011 4:01 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Rice growers met a threshold to move forward with a $750 million settlement over genetically modified rice, the company blamed for the problem said Thursday. Bayer CropScience had agreed to the settlement this summer, five years after the company inadvertently introduced a strain of genetically altered long-grain rice into the U.

Texas Drought Expected To Raise Beef Prices

December 16, 2011 3:59 am

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The worst drought in Texas' history has led to the largest-ever one-year decline in the leading cattle-state's cow herd, raising the likelihood of increased beef prices as the number of animals decline and demand remains strong. Since Jan. 1, the number of cows in Texas has dropped by about 600,000, a 12 percent decline from the roughly 5 million cows the state had at the beginning of the year, said David Anderson, who monitors beef markets for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

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UPDATE: India Raids Distilleries As Bootleg Death Toll Hits 170

December 16, 2011 3:56 am

DIAMOND HARBOUR, India (AP) — Police raided illegal distilleries and dismantling dozens of liquor dens Friday across an eastern Indian district where 170 people have died after drinking bootleg alcohol that had been mixed with toxic methanol. Twelve people have been arrested in connection with making and distributing the cheap, illicit liquor, but police were still searching for the kingpin of the operation, District Magistrate Naraya Swarup Nigam said.

Photo Of The Day: 600K Cattle Lost To Texas Drought

December 16, 2011 3:50 am

(AP ) — In this Aug. 12, 2011, file photo a cow grazes in a dry field near Westbrook, Texas. Texas' historic drought brought the biggest one-year decline in cows with an estimated 600,000 fewer bovines in the state now than on Jan. 1. Beef economist David Anderson said the declining cow numbers will lead to tighter supplies from fewer calves and as much as a 5.

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Job Market Brightens As Unemployment Claims Drop

December 15, 2011 6:39 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for the job market is looking brighter. Far fewer people are seeking unemployment benefits than just three months ago — a sign that layoffs are falling sharply. The number of people applying for benefits fell last week to 366,000, the fewest since May 2008.

Bootleg Liquor Kills 143, Sickens Dozens

December 15, 2011 6:35 am

SANGRAMPUR, India (AP) — Bootleg liquor containing toxic methanol killed 143 people and sickened dozens more who drank the cheap, illicit brew bought at small shops in eastern India, officials said Thursday. Police arrested 10 suspected bootleggers. Emergency medical teams rushed to the village outside Kolkata, and thousands of relatives, many of them wailing in grief, gathered outside the packed hospital.

'M.A.S.H.' Hot Dog Exec Charged With Theft

December 15, 2011 6:22 am

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The grandson of the founder of a hot dog diner in Ohio made famous on TV's "M.A.S.H." was charged Wednesday with stealing more than $100,000 from the family business. The charges stem from a yearlong family battle over control of Tony Packo's, a restaurant chain whose hot dog sauce and pickles are sold in stores across the nation.

Heineken Takes Controlling Stake In Haiti Brewer

December 15, 2011 6:19 am

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Dutch brewer Heineken NV says it will increase its stake in the dominant beer company in Haiti to 95 percent. Heineken says it already owned nearly 23 percent of Brasserie Nationale d'Haiti SA, known as Brana. The Dutch company says it sees room for growth in Haiti with the country's increasing economic and political stability.

Fishermen Stranded Off Bahamas For 5 Days

December 15, 2011 6:17 am

MIAMI (AP) — Authorities say four fishermen spent five days stranded off the Bahamas without food or water before being rescued. U.S. Coast Guard officials say two fishing skiffs did not return to a larger fishing vessel from the Bahamas as scheduled Saturday morning. The Royal Bahamian Defence Force searched for the missing boats before requesting the Coast Guard's help Tuesday afternoon.

4 Fishermen Stranded Off Bahamas For 5 Days

December 15, 2011 6:17 am

MIAMI (AP) — Authorities say four fishermen spent five days stranded off the Bahamas without food or water before being rescued. U.S. Coast Guard officials say two fishing skiffs did not return to a larger fishing vessel from the Bahamas as scheduled Saturday morning. The Royal Bahamian Defence Force searched for the missing boats before requesting the Coast Guard's help Tuesday afternoon.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Projects High Earnings

December 15, 2011 4:09 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., which bottles and sells Coca-Cola drinks in Europe, said that its full-year earnings will likely come in at the higher end of its prior forecast. Coca-Cola Enterprises previously predicted earnings between $2.14 and $2.18 per share, which includes a 15 cents per share foreign exchange benefit.

Mars Petcare To Add 275 Jobs

December 15, 2011 4:06 am

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A pet food company says it will add about 275 jobs as it expands its plant in Columbia. The State newspaper reported Mars Petcare plans to spend nearly $130 million as part of the expansion over the next five years. Company officials say the expansion will more than triple the number of employees at the plant.

Whiskey Company To Make Barrel Wood In Ala.

December 15, 2011 4:04 am

STEVENSON, Ala. (AP) — The company that produces Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey is breaking ground in north Alabama for a plant that will produce the wood used in its barrels. The mill operated by Brown-Forman Cooperage is located in Stevenson, which is in northeast Alabama. The mill will produce white oak stave and heading material that will be used to produce whiskey barrels.

Rice On The Rise

December 15, 2011 4:03 am

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