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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Fields Of Watermelon Explode In Chinese Farm Fiasco

May 17, 2011 5:29 am

BEIJING (AP) — Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, creating what state media called fields of "land mines." About 20 farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province were affected, losing up to 115 acres (45 hectares) of melon, China Central Television said in an investigative report.

Slaughterhouse Manager Heads To Appeals Court

May 17, 2011 5:29 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A hearing seeking a new trial for a former Iowa kosher slaughterhouse executive convicted of financial fraud is scheduled before the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Documents filed Monday show a hearing before the St. Louis court is set for June 15. Former Agriprocessors Inc.

Ga. Processors Face Steep Fines For Food Safety Violations

May 17, 2011 5:28 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Food processors in Georgia who don't conduct mandatory tests for contamination or hide the results would face thousands of dollars in fines under proposed regulations. Officials at the Georgia Department of Agriculture said Monday they are taking public comments on regulations implementing the fines, which were part of legislation passed by lawmakers.

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Poultry Producer Seeks To Extradite Antitrust Suit

May 17, 2011 5:27 am

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — Poultry producer George's Inc. is seeking to expedite a federal antitrust lawsuit challenging its purchase of a Tyson Food Inc. plant in Harrisonburg. George's says in court documents filed Monday that local poultry farmers could be harmed if the case is delayed.

Photo Of The Day: Moving Mexican Cattle Inspection Centers

May 17, 2011 5:25 am

(AP) — In this photo taken May 3, 2011, Mexican cattle is dipped in insecticide during a USDA inspection in Laredo, Texas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has shifted some of its cattle inspection stations from Mexico into the United States after concerns about drug cartel violence.

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Recall: Deli Meat May Harbor Listeria

May 16, 2011 4:59 am

VERNON, Calif. (AP) — A California company is recalling 16,000 pounds of ready-to-eat deli meat products that may be contaminated with Listeria. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall Friday. Vernon-based Rose & Shore Meat Co.

Hormel Plans Spam Plant Expansion

May 16, 2011 4:56 am

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — Hormel Foods has announced plans to expand its Spam plant in Fremont. Spokeswoman Julie Craven told the Fremont Tribune that Hormel will begin construction of a plant addition this summer. It will take about a year to complete. "The project is designed to increase production capacity for the Spam family of products," Craven said.

Ocean Spray To Leave Jersey Over Business Costs

May 16, 2011 4:54 am

BORDENTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A stone embedded in the sidewalk outside City Hall commemorates the good will and generosity of Ocean Spray Cranberries, a major economic force since the farmer-owned cooperative opened a 60-acre juice-manufacturing plant here almost 70 years ago. The company is known for the truckloads of juice it donates to local fundraisers, and this city overlooking the Delaware River even hosts a cranberry festival each October.

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China Opens Up About Food Safety Issues

May 16, 2011 4:49 am

BEIJING (AP) — Toxic bean sprouts, filthy cooking oil, drug-tainted pork: The relentless headlines in Chinese media have churned up queasy feelings for months about the dangers lurking in the nation's dinner bowls. The stories are grim reading but show China's usually strict censors are allowing the press more latitude to help it monitor a food industry long riddled with problems.

U.S. Cattle Inspectors Leave Mexico Amid Drug War

May 16, 2011 4:47 am

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — Wearing a grey-felt cowboy hat, long-sleeve ivory-colored shirt and freshly laundered jeans, Dr. Arnoldo Gutierrez begins his daily rounds by walking into a dusty pen baking in the South Texas heat. "Hey, hey! Let's go!" he hollers. "C'mon, Whitey. Come here, Red." Gutierrez's "patients," addressed by their color, are more than 100 head of nervous cattle freed from a truck that just arrived from Mexico, crossing the international bridge over the Rio Grande at Laredo.

Photo Of The Day: Detecting China's Food Dangers

May 16, 2011 4:44 am

(AP) — Chinese residents try to tell counterfeit cooking oil products from the real products during an event to promote awareness of economic crimes in Beijing, China, Sunday, May 15, 2011. The headlines are unrelenting: toxic bean sprouts, filthy oil, drug-tainted pork. For months, Chinese media have been churning out a queasy-making multitude of stories about the dangers lurking in the nation's dinner bowls.

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Chives Recalled For Listeria

May 13, 2011 4:48 am

NEW HAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Federal food safety authorities say chives distributed in nine states by an upstate New York company are being recalled because of possible Listeria contamination. The Food and Drug Administration says the chives from Goodness Gardens Inc. of New Hampton were sold primarily through retailers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Alabama, Illinois and Virginia.

Lawsuit Claims Exessive Pay To Top Food Execs

May 13, 2011 4:45 am

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Records disclosed in a lawsuit claim that top executives at the Sikh-controlled Oregon food company Golden Temple in Eugene drew excessive compensation in recent years while the company slashed its donations to Sikh religious and educational nonprofit groups. The Register-Guard reports the rapidly rising paychecks came after a group of Golden Temple executives largely gained control of the company through a reorganization in 2007.

Iowa Plant Lays Off 49 Workers

May 13, 2011 4:42 am

HAWARDEN, Iowa (AP) — Forty-nine workers have been laid off at a lamb slaughter plant in northwest Iowa. KTIV reports that workers at the Superior Farms plant in Hawarden were let go on Wednesday. Company spokeswoman Angela Gentry says the cuts target the harvesting portion of the operation.

Texas Bans Malt Liquor With Stimulants

May 13, 2011 4:40 am

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House has passed a ban on making and selling malt liquor containing stimulants, including caffeine and ginseng. Approved Thursday, the measure won't apply to malt liquor where stimulates occur naturally. Supporters say beverages that mix alcohol and certain stimulants have led to heart attacks and deadly car crashes.

Flooding Threatens $200M Catfish Industry

May 13, 2011 4:36 am

YAZOO CITY, Miss. (AP) — Catfish farming in Mississippi faces grave danger from flooding. The rising Mississippi River and its swelling tributaries threaten to inundate an economic mainstay that generates $200 million in annual sales. These new woes follow struggles in recent years against competition from Asian imports and high feed prices.

Photo Of The Day: Flooding Decimates Southern Crops

May 13, 2011 4:33 am

(AP) — Farm lands along Wolf Lake flood from the Mississippi River backflow Wednesday, May 11, 2011 near the Yazoo City, Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour and other officials took an aerial trip along the Mississippi River and some of its tributaries to view the spreading damage from the flood waters.

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Organic Producer Plans $63M Plant

May 12, 2011 4:51 am

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — The California-based organic frozen food producer Amy's Kitchen is coming to South Carolina with $63 million for a new plant and 700 jobs over six years, officials announced Wednesday. Gov. Nikki Haley hailed the development as a major economic win for the region and the state as a whole.

Hershey Accuses Candidate Of Trademark Violation

May 12, 2011 4:47 am

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Candy-maker Hershey says a Pennsylvania sheriff candidate's campaign signs are a tasty case of trademark violation. The chocolate company says Lancaster County sheriff candidate Mark Reese lifted the font for his campaign signs from the company's Reese's candy logo.

FDA Accuses Memphis Warehouses Of Filth, Infestation

May 12, 2011 4:44 am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Federal regulators have filed a complaint against two Memphis-based food warehouses, alleging that they have filthy conditions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked U.S. District Court Wednesday for a permanent injunction against American Mercantile Corp.

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