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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Pa. Liquor Privatization: What About Beer?

December 12, 2011 7:52 am

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — State lawmakers have been talking a lot in recent months about getting the state out of the wine and liquor business. Supporters are promising shoppers better deals on Chianti and a wider selection of vodka if the private sector gets involved. That's left some consumers — the ones who prefer their alcoholic beverages with a foamy head and the flavor of hops — asking the obvious question: "What about beer?" "They could let grocery stores sell beer," said Gary Sasso, of Bethlehem, who was picking up cases of Stella Artois, Sam Adams and Newcastle Brown Ale at Tanczos Beverage in the city for a weekend gathering.

Seafood Co. Sues Over Cancelled Lobster Contract

December 12, 2011 4:11 am

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire seafood supplier is suing over the cancellation of a contract that supplied lobster to military personnel in Afghanistan. Orion Seafood International Inc. says it provided hundreds of thousands of pounds of frozen Maine lobster tails from 2009 through the first half of 2011 before the contract was abruptly canceled.

Oyster Dispute Heads To Capitol Hill

December 12, 2011 4:07 am

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. (AP) — A creaky wooden scow piled high with gnarled oysters slides over the water toward wooden racks hung with rows of the shellfish on Drakes Estero, a stunning estuary teeming with marine and bird life. Then oystermen in green waders haul up 100-pound strings of the bivalves for Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

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Ga. Brings Back Homegrown Olive Oil

December 12, 2011 4:01 am

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Jason Shaw says his first fall harvest yielded fruit for no more than 500 bottles, just enough to sell at select tastings and to share with restaurant chefs in hopes of priming their palates for more. Friends suggested Shaw sell his limited batch for $100 a bottle, like a fine wine.

House Of Raeford Recalls Contaminated Chicken

December 12, 2011 3:58 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — House of Raeford is recalling more than 4,100 pounds of cooked chicken breasts which may be contaminated with a bacteria. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Friday that the chicken may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which can lead to listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease.

OSHA Cites Cargill Meat Solutions

December 12, 2011 3:56 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. for 23 violations at its Milwaukee ground beef production plant. The agency is proposing fines of $146,400. OSHA says Cargill failed to develop "normal operating procedures" for starting ammonia refrigeration systems and conduct equipment inspections and testing at required times, among other things.

Photo Of The Day: National Park Takes On Oyster Farm

December 12, 2011 3:50 am

(AP) — In this photo taken Tuesday Dec. 6, 2011, workers clean and sort oysters at the Drake's Bay Oyster Co. in Point Reyes National Seashore, Calif. For more than 100 years oyster farmers have culled delicious bivalves from the salty waters of a pristine bay tucked amid the green rolling hills of Point Reyes National Seashore, located about 50 miles north of San Francisco.

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Meat Industry Criticizes USDA's New Antitrust Rule

December 9, 2011 6:13 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new but stripped-down antitrust rule Thursday regulating meat companies that's far less sweeping than initial reforms that ran into strong opposition from businesses and Congress. The department published the final version of the rule after more than a year of heated debate that pitted the nation's biggest meat companies against many farmers and ranchers.

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Small Corn Surplus Likely To Keep Food Prices High

December 9, 2011 6:11 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. government barely changed its estimate for next year's U.S. corn surplus, which is expected to stay small and keep high food prices high. The Department of Agriculture estimates farmers will have 848 million bushels of corn on hand at the end of next summer, up less than 1 percent from last month's forecast.

Japan To Ease U.S. Beef Import Limits

December 9, 2011 6:10 am

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan plans to ease restrictions on beef imports from the United States, Canada, France and the Netherlands imposed over fears of mad cow disease, farm ministry sources said Friday. The move was endorsed the same day by the ministry's panel on food safety, the sources said. Japan currently allows imports of U.

China Farmer Gets Death Penalty For Poisoning Milk

December 9, 2011 6:09 am

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese dairy farmer has been sentenced to death for lacing her rival's milk supply with industrial salt, causing the deaths of three young children, state media said Friday. China has been plagued by a slew of food safety scandals. The government cracked down after the industrial chemical melamine was added to milk products to appear to bolster the protein content.

Minn.-Based Schwan's To Cut 60 Employees

December 9, 2011 6:08 am

MARSHALL, Minn. (AP) — Food maker Schwan's is laying off about 60 employees in Minnesota in a cost-cutting move. The Schwan Food Co. says the job cuts will happen in Marshall, where the company is based, and in Bloomington. Schwan's is not releasing exact figures by location, but a company spokesman tells The Independent of Marshall (http://bit.

Sara Lee Relocating Headquarters To Chicago

December 8, 2011 7:33 am

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. is moving its headquarters to downtown Chicago from Downers Grove, Ill., in 2013 after it completes its split into two units. The food maker announced earlier this year that it will split into two separate companies in the first half of 2012 with one focused on international beverages and a second focused on meats.

Romaine Lettuce Blamed for E. Coli Outbreak

December 8, 2011 7:32 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that romaine lettuce from a single farm is likely to blame for an E. coli outbreak in Missouri and nine other states. Sixty people became sick in the outbreak that began in October and ended in November. No one died, but at least 30 were hospitalized and two developed severe kidney disease.

Smithfield To Stop Using Gestation Crates For Pigs

December 8, 2011 7:30 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer, said Thursday it plans to end the practice of keeping pregnant hogs at the company's farms in small metal crates. The Smithfield, Va.-based company, which has been criticized for continuing to breed sows in gestation crates that severely restrict the animals' movement, said it will phase out the use of gestation crates at its facilities by 2017.

Ark. Court Affirms $50M Verdict For Rice Farmers

December 8, 2011 7:29 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a nearly $50 million verdict for farmers who claim they suffered economic losses when a strain of genetically altered rice seeds produced by Bayer CropScience contaminated the food supply and hurt crop prices. Bayer, a German conglomerate, had argued that Arkansas tort laws set a limit on damages, and that courts should set aside jury awards that "shock the conscience.

UN Agency: Food Prices Ease A Bit

December 8, 2011 7:28 am

ROME (AP) — A U.N. food agency says global food prices have eased marginally, with wheat prices dropping by 3 percent. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report Thursday that its Food Price index in November was "virtually unchanged" from its October level and down 10 percent from its peak in February.

Photo Of The Day: Smithfield Profits Slide

December 8, 2011 7:24 am

(AP) — In this June 14, 2011 photo, a package of Smithfield Sliced Maple Flavor Boneless Ham, is posed, in Montpelier, Vt. Smithfield Foods Inc. said Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, its fiscal second-quarter net income slid 16 percent compared with last year's quarter, when some market factors helped the pork producer firm up its prices.

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Coca-Cola Moves Formula For 1st Time Since 1925

December 8, 2011 4:10 am

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Company has moved its secret formula for the first time in 86 years, taking it from a bank vault to a new repository on exhibit at its downtown Atlanta museum. The world's largest beverage maker says the new vault containing the formula will be on display for visitors to its World of Coca-Cola museum.

USDA Awards $10.4 Million In Food Safety Grants

December 8, 2011 4:09 am

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it had awarded 17 grants totaling $10.4 million for university research projects designed to boost food safety at a time when millions of Americans get food-borne illnesses each year. The funds are being divided among universities in 13 states, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said during a visit to Michigan State University, a recipient of three grants.

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