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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Burger King CEO Takes Top Job at Heinz

April 11, 2013 12:26 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Heinz is bringing in Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees as its next top executive, signaling what may be the first of many changes planned by the ketchup maker's new owners. The Pittsburgh-based company, which also makes baked beans, vinegar and Classico pasta sauce, had announced in February that it was being acquired and taken private by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital.

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China KFC Sales Hit Hard by Bird Flu

April 11, 2013 12:23 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Yum Brands says publicity surrounding a new strain of flu is hurting its KFC sales in China, putting added pressure on its efforts to recover from an earlier controversy over its chicken suppliers. The Louisville, Ky.-based company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the new bird flu cases have had a "significant, negative impact" on KFC in the past week.

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China’s Demand for Baby Milk Leads to UK Rations

April 11, 2013 12:21 pm | by SYLVIA HUI,Associated Press

Demand for baby milk formula is surging in Britain, but it seems likely the powder is going to babies thousands of miles away. British retailers said Wednesday they are limiting purchases of baby milk powder to two tins per customer after noticing some people were buying unusually large quantities in stores, apparently to export to China for profit.

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Obama Proposes $714M for Biodefense Project

April 11, 2013 12:18 pm | by JOHN MILBURN,Associated Press

The budget proposal President Barack Obama sent to Congress on Wednesday includes $714 million to build a new federal biosecurity lab in Kansas, the largest proposed federal expenditure for the project to date. Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas said the recommendation signals the administration's support for building the $1.15 billion lab.

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Consumer Trends: More Shoppers Embrace Organic

April 11, 2013 12:00 pm

U.S. families are increasingly embracing organic products in a wide range of categories, with 81 percent now reporting they purchase organic at least sometimes. This finding is one of many contained in the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) newly released 2013 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, conducted Jan. 18-24, 2013.

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Panel OKs Ecosystem Plan for West Coast Fisheries

April 11, 2013 9:41 am | by JEFF BARNARD,AP Environmental Writer

After three years of consideration, West Coast federal fisheries managers on Tuesday unanimously adopted their first ecosystem approach to decisions on fishing seasons and catch quotas. Meeting in Portland, the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted the Fishery Ecosystem Plan, whose first initiative will be to consider how to make sure enough little forage fish remain in the ocean for bigger fish to eat.

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Taco Bell on a Health Kick

April 11, 2013 9:39 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Taco Bell isn't putting down the chalupa just yet but it wants to start shedding its reputation as a purveyor of junk food. The chain announced Wednesday that it's exploring ways to offer more "balanced choices," marking just the latest sign that the fast-food industry is trying to adapt to changing tastes and upend the conventional wisdom that it only offers caloric indulgences.

Judge Blocks University from Releasing ‘Pink Slime’ Data

April 11, 2013 9:34 am | by RYAN J. FOLEY,Associated Press

A judge has blocked Iowa State University from releasing documents about food safety research conducted for the beef-processing company that makes the product dubbed "pink slime" by critics. District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the records would damage Beef Products, Inc. by revealing information about its proprietary food-processing techniques.

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Vermont Breweries Gain Fame

April 11, 2013 9:31 am | by LISA RATHKE,Associated Press

Everyone expects Vermonters to wow the world with their maple syrup and cheeses. But lately the buzz has been about the brews. Not that the craft beer movement is anything new to this tiny New England state, which sports the highest number of brewers per capita — roughly 25,030 people per brewery.

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Bird Flu Found on Ostrich Farm in South Africa

April 11, 2013 9:30 am

South African officials say they have detected bird flu on an ostrich farm but that it is unrelated to the strain that has killed eight people in China. Still, the discovery is another blow for an industry that has lost 40 percent of its 50,000 farmers since the European Union imposed a ban on imports of South African ostrich meat after a 2011 outbreak.

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Photo of the Day: Judge Shields 'Pink Slime' Studies

April 11, 2013 9:28 am

An attorney for Beef Products Inc. on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, praised an Iowa judge's ruling that blocked the release of documents on food safety testing conducted for the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company. Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the information would cause "irreparable harm" to BPI by revealing information about proprietary food-processing techniques.

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Daily Sound Bite: Guest Worker Plan Proposed for Dairies

April 10, 2013 12:37 pm

Congressmen from Vermont and New York are proposing legislation in the U.S. House that would expand the nation's guest worker program to immigrant workers who are currently working illegally in dairies. Dairy farmers have expressed difficulty finding U.S. workers willing to work on farms.

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Companies Post More Jobs But Fill Them Slowly

April 10, 2013 12:29 pm | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer

U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in nearly five years in February, but they boosted hiring at a much slower pace. The figures suggest that companies remain too cautious about the economy to quickly fill open jobs. The number of openings rose 8.7 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted 3.93 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

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Wis. Farmers, Grocers Oppose Junk Food Bill

April 10, 2013 12:28 pm | by KEVIN WANG,Associated Press

The state should not tell people who receive food stamps what they can or can't eat, representatives from food companies, grocery stores and food banks told Wisconsin lawmakers during a Tuesday hearing at the Capitol. They spoke in response to legislation introduced last month by Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah, to reduce the amount of food stamps spent on junk food.

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Recall: UK Corned Beef Contains Vet Drug

April 10, 2013 12:26 pm

British supermarket chain Asda says it is recalling all corned beef from its budget range after traces of a veterinary drug were found in some batches. The Food Standards Agency says "very low levels" of a painkiller called phenylbutazone, known as "bute," were detected in the products.

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Congressmen Propose Dairy Worker Plan

April 10, 2013 12:25 pm | by LISA RATHKE,Associated Press

With immigration reform heating up in Congress, one congressman from Vermont and two from New York plan to introduce legislation in the U.S. House to expand a guest worker program to thousands of immigrants working illegally on the states' dairy farms.

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Dutch Pull 50K Tons of Meat Across Europe

April 10, 2013 12:23 pm | by MIKE CORDER,Associated Press

Dutch authorities are recalling 50,000 tons of meat sold as beef across Europe because its exact source cannot be established and it may contain horse meat, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. The announcement was the latest development in a far-reaching scandal that saw horse meat mixed in with other meats and sold as beef across the continent without informing consumers.

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Consumer Trends: Americans Cut Back on Dining Out

April 10, 2013 12:00 pm

Americans appear to be cutting back in how often they eat out; when asked whether they have eaten out more or less frequently at the same list of restaurant types over the past six months, "less frequently" responses consistently outpace "more frequently" ones.

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Small Business Optimism Falls in March

April 10, 2013 9:41 am

Optimism among small business owners took a dive last month as expectations for their companies' sales and the economy fell, according to a survey released Tuesday. The National Federation of Independent Business said its index of small business optimism, compiled from a survey of its members, fell 1.3 points to 89.5 after three months of modest gains.

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USDA Commits To Improving School Meals

April 10, 2013 9:39 am

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discussed USDA efforts to improve school meals and outlined the need for a renewed commitment to improve childhood nutrition, which will lead to a healthier generation of Americans. Vilsack noted that America's students now have healthier and more nutritious school meals due to improved nutrition standards implemented as a result of the historic Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

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