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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Tainted Beef Sickens 16 in 5 States

January 29, 2013 9:31 am | by MIKE STOBBE,AP Medical Writer

Federal health officials say at least 16 people in five states have been sickened by salmonella food poisoning linked to ground beef. No one has died, but half were hospitalized. Most of the illnesses have been in Michigan, but a few cases were scattered in Arizona, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

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McKee Foods to Pay $27.5M for Drake’s Brand

January 29, 2013 9:29 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Hostess has picked the maker of Little Debbie as the lead bidder for its Drake's cakes. According to a filing in U.S. bankruptcy court, McKee Foods has offered $27.5 million in cash for the cake brands, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels. The fate of Twinkies and other Hostess cakes are still being negotiated with other bidders.

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Photo of the Day: Weathering Disaster

January 29, 2013 9:26 am

In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 photo, Caddo County farmer Karen Krehbiel examines unharvested milo on her family’s farm near Hydro, Okla. Not all of the farm’s milo fields were irrigated because of an ongoing drought, the latest natural disaster to strike the county, which also has been beset in recent years by floods, tornadoes, ice storms and hail.

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Thought of the Day: Selling Your Soul for a Bucket of Soda?

January 28, 2013 12:45 pm

As opponents of New York City's landmark ban on large, sugary drinks position themselves for a fight with the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking off the gloves too. Two minority groups — the Hispanic Federation and the New York NAACP — are drawing the most ire from the mayor.

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Consumer Trends: Looking to Warehouse Clubs for Growth

January 28, 2013 12:00 pm

Consumer products executives expect their highest growth to come from the warehouse club channel compared with any other retail sales channel over the next three years, including mass merchandise, grocery, and e-commerce, according to new research from Deloitte.

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Beef Labeling Rule Caught in Bureaucratic Limbo

January 28, 2013 10:19 am

A new beef labeling rule that has the support of food safety advocates has been under review for months by the White House Office of Management and Budget. The Kansas City Star reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed requiring labels on steaks and other beef products that have been mechanically tenderized.

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Japan Relaxing U.S. Beef Import Limits

January 28, 2013 10:16 am

Japan has agreed to ease some of its restrictions on U.S. beef, so exports to the Asian nation may grow. The Agriculture Department announced the change Monday. For several years Japan has restricted beef imports only to animals age 20 months or younger because of concerns about mad cow disease.

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Chiquita Expects Increase in 4Q Sales

January 28, 2013 10:13 am

Chiquita Brands International Inc. said Monday that it expects its fourth-quarter sales to total about $738 million, up about 2 percent from $722 million in the same period the year before. The Charlotte, N.C.-based produce company also said that it expects to post an operating loss of $188 million to $233 million, compared with an operating loss of $12 million a year earlier.

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Ark. Nestle Plant Cuts 70 Jobs, Slashes Hours

January 28, 2013 10:11 am | by CURT HODGES,The Jonesboro Sun

Nestle USA officials told Jonesboro employees Friday that operations will be curtailed, and 70 full-time positions will be eliminated. The facility's work schedule will be reduced from six days per week to four days per week beginning Feb. 11, factory manager Dan Braswell said. And 70 full-time positions will be eliminated permanently the same day.

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Huge Cuts Coming to New England Fishing

January 28, 2013 10:10 am | by JAY LINDSAY,Associated Press

New England's top fishing regulator said Friday that crippling cuts in catch limits this year are unavoidable and they will devastate what remains of the region's once-flourishing fishing industry. On Friday, John Bullard, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northeast office, said key fish populations are so weak, "draconian" cuts in catch are needed.

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ND Bill Would Allow Brewpubs to Distribute Beer

January 28, 2013 9:46 am | by DAVE KOLPACK,Associated Press

North Dakota craft beer makers who have been foaming at the mouth for legislation that would allow microbreweries to peddle a certain amount of ale to restaurants and bars without paying a distributor may finally be tasting success. A proposal shot down in various forms the last few years is now being supported by beer distributors.

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Beef Linked to Salmonella Cases in 2 States

January 28, 2013 9:44 am

More than 1,000 pounds of ground beef are being recalled in suburban Detroit after federal officials linked it to salmonella in Michigan and Arizona. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the beef is being recalled from Troy-based Gab Halal Foods and Sterling Heights-based Jouni Meats.

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Subway Apologizes for Short Sandwiches

January 28, 2013 9:43 am

Subway is apologizing that its "Footlong" sandwiches fell short of expectations. The world's largest fast-food chain faced widespread criticism last week after a man posted a photo online showing a "Footlong" next to a tape measure that showed it to be just 11 inches.

Mayor Bloomberg: Group ‘Sold Its Soul’ over Drinks Issue

January 28, 2013 9:40 am

Two minority groups' effort to block the city's size limit on sugary drinks is "an outright disgrace," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday. The Hispanic Federation "sold its soul" and the local chapter of the NAACP turned its back on the people it represents by joining a court fight against the first-of-its-kind restriction, the mayor said on his weekly WOR Radio show.

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McKee Foods Seeking Hostess Snack Brand

January 28, 2013 9:39 am

A published report says McKee Foods Corp. is offering to pay between $25 million to $30 million to acquire the Drake's brand from Hostess Brands Inc. The report late Friday in The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed people familiar with the negotiations between the two packaged food companies. McKee, based in Collegedale, Tenn., makes Little Debbie snack cakes.

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Photo of the Day: Peanut Butter Safety

January 28, 2013 9:36 am

Thanks to the Food Safety Modernization Act implemented in 2011, consumers won’t have to worry about choosing peanut butter contaminated with salmonella. Sparta Systems takes a closer look into the peanut butter manufacturing industry, outlining how peanut butter gets contaminated and what the Food Safety Modernization Act does to improve food quality.

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Thought of the Day: Sustainable Filet-O-Fish Coming Soon

January 25, 2013 12:56 pm

McDonald's has announced that it will be the first national chain restaurant to carry the Marine Stewardship Council's "ecolabel," which certifies fish that comes from companies utilizing sustainable fishing practices. The company's Filet-O-Fish will now contain Alaskan Pollock sourced from sustainable fisheries.

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Texas Company Recalls Hog Head Cheese for Salmonella

January 25, 2013 12:35 pm

A Houston head cheese maker is recalling almost 2½ tons of hog head cheese it says may be tainted with salmonella. A Thursday statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says Stallings Head Cheese Co. is recalling 4,700 pounds of the cold cuts shipped to a distribution center for retail distribution in Louisiana and Southeast Texas.

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Starbucks up After Strong 1Q

January 25, 2013 12:34 pm

Starbucks shares rose in premarket trading Friday after the coffee company reported a 13 percent increase in profit for its latest quarter. The Seattle-based company said sales at cafes open at least a year rose 7 percent in the Americas region, which is its flagship business. The figure rose 11 percent in Asia and fell 1 percent in the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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Maine Bans BPA in Baby Food, Formula

January 25, 2013 12:32 pm

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection has voted to ban the toxic chemical bisphenol-A from baby food and infant formula packaging. The board voted on Thursday, agreeing with Department of Environmental Protection staff recommendations pertaining to infant formula but also went further by applying it to baby food.

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