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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Vegetable Farm Settles Discrimination Suit

December 14, 2012 10:05 am | by PHILLIP LUCAS,Associated Press

One of the state's largest vegetable farms reached a settlement with former employees who claimed they were discriminated against because of their race or national origin. Hamilton Growers Inc., which has done business as Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable Inc., agreed to pay $500,000 in a suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Coalition.

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Gloria Jean's Tall Coffee Scheme Leaves Bitter Taste

December 14, 2012 10:03 am | by MIKE IVES,Associated Press

A promotion earlier this month by Gloria Jean's Coffees International offered a free second drink to women who measure at least 1.65 meters, or about 5 feet 6 inches, and was meant to echo a government campaign to increase the average national height, state media reported. But critics said on the social networking site Facebook that the promotion was offensive to Vietnamese women, prompting the company to cancel it and apologize.

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Illnesses Prompt Expanded Burger Recall

December 14, 2012 10:01 am

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it is monitoring the recalls, which were prompted by four cases of E. coli infection. Public Health officials notified the CFIA last week that the E. coli cases could possibly be linked to a food source, which prompted the investigation into the meat.

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Consumer Prices Drop 0.3 Percent

December 14, 2012 9:47 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer

A steep fall in gas costs pushed down a measure of U.S. consumer prices last month, keeping inflation mild. The seasonally adjusted consumer price index dropped 0.3 percent in November from October, the Labor Department said Friday. Gas prices fell 7.4 percent, the biggest drop in nearly four years. That offset a 0.2 percent rise in food prices.

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Schumer: Fiscal Cliff Would Hike NY Milk Prices

December 14, 2012 9:45 am

Sen. Charles Schumer warns that if Washington doesn't avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, New Yorkers could see the price of milk double and dairy farmers would suffer. The Democrat says Congress must agree on a budget or a 1940s law will kick in on Jan. 1 that will trigger higher costs even as famers get lower prices under the government's subsidy program.

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Missouri Wineries Flourish Over Past Decade

December 14, 2012 9:43 am

A University of Missouri researcher says the number of wineries in the state more than tripled over the past decade. Fabio Chaddad is an assistant professor of agricultural economics. His research on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Missouri had 108, mostly small wineries last year, compared with just 31 wineries in 2000.

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Graincorp Rejects ADM's Latest Offer

December 14, 2012 9:40 am

GrainCorp says Archer Daniels Midland Co.'s latest, $2.35 billion offer for the Australian grain handler is still too low. ADM earlier this month offered GrainCorp shareholders 12.20 Australian dollars per share in cash. That works out to about $2.35 billion for the shares of GrainCorp ADM doesn't already own. ADM has a 19.9 percent stake in GrainCorp.

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Dairy Co-Owner Indicted In Theft

December 14, 2012 9:36 am | by CASEY GROVE,Anchorage Daily News

A grand jury has indicted the former manager and current co-owner of Valley Dairy, which owns and operates Palmer-based Matanuska Creamery, on charges of misusing federal grant money that was intended to help Alaska's dairy industry. Under the indictment handed up Tuesday, Kyle Beus faces three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Photo Of The Day: A Cranberry Christmas

December 14, 2012 9:32 am

“Cranberries are an exceptional holiday fruit,” said Larry Martin, vice president of global marketing at Ocean Spray. “They make everything more festive and provide the perfect complement to holiday dishes and décor whether they’re fresh, dried, juice or sauce.”

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U.S. Trade Deficit Grows To $42.2 Billion

December 13, 2012 10:33 am

The U.S. trade deficit grew 4.8 percent in October from September to $42.2 billion. The deficit increased because exports fell by a larger margin than imports. U.S. exports dropped 3.6 percent to $180.5 billion because sales of commercial aircraft, autos and farm products all declined. Imports fell 2.1 percent to $222.8 billion, reflecting fewer shipments of foreign-made cell phones, autos and machinery.

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NY Chocolate Festival Makes Manhattan Debut

December 13, 2012 10:30 am

With choices ranging from healthy and nutritious to decadent and delicious, attendees will get to sample, purchase and otherwise indulge in gourmet chocolates, baked goods, fudge, gelato, specialty foods, cheeses, wines, beers and much more from over 60 local and regional vendors.

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Weekly Unemployment Aid Applications Drop

December 13, 2012 10:28 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for a fourth straight week, a sign that the job market may be improving. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the lowest in two months. It is the second-lowest total this year.

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Canadian Company Recalls Burgers For E. Coli

December 13, 2012 10:26 am

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Loblaw Companies Ltd. are warning the public to avoid certain Butcher's Choice Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers because of possible E. coli contamination. The affected product is sold frozen in 1.13 kilogram packages with a best-before date of March 3.

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Food Prices Rise By Most In 2 Years

December 13, 2012 10:24 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer

Food prices rose by the most in nearly two years, pushed higher by costlier beef and vegetables. Beef prices jumped 8.2 percent, the biggest gain in four and a half years. Vegetable prices rose nearly 12 percent. Grocery stores may mark up the prices of those products in the coming months, but probably not by as much.

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Consumer Trends: Catering Trends

December 13, 2012 10:19 am

Recent research on consumers' use of restaurants and retailers for social catering found three-year compound annual growth rates projected at 5 percent or better for several market segments. But fast-casual restaurants are poised to outperform all other players, with projected growth at 12 percent, followed by quick-service sandwich restaurants (8 percent) and club stores (7 percent).

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Snack Company Issues Allergy Alert For Raisins

December 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Mister Snacks, Inc. of Amherst, New York, is recalling its 5 oz. packages of Sunbird Snacks Yogurt Raisins because they may contain undeclared peanuts. People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

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Cheese First Made At Least 7,500 Years Ago

December 12, 2012 5:41 pm | by MARIA CHENG,Associated Press

Little Miss Muffet could have been separating her curds and whey 7,500 years ago, according to a new study that finds the earliest solid evidence of cheese-making. Scientists performed a chemical analysis on fragments from 34 pottery sieves discovered in Poland to determine their purpose. Until now, experts weren't sure whether such sieves were used to make cheese, beer or honey.

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Thirsty West Ponders Water Solutions

December 12, 2012 5:36 pm | by KEN RITTER,Associated Press

Rising demand and falling supply are spurring talk in the arid West of outside-the-box ideas including piping in water from the nation's heartland and towing Arctic icebergs south to help such thirsty U.S. cities as Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

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USDA Calls On Russia To Suspend Testing Rules For U.S. Beef

December 12, 2012 5:33 pm

United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today issued the following statement in response to Russia's new requirements that U.S. beef and pork exports to Russia be tested and certified free of the feed additive ractopamine.

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BPI Worker Sues ABC, Jamie Oliver Over 'Pink Slime'

December 12, 2012 5:30 pm | by KRISTI EATON,Associated Press

A former worker at a South Dakota beef processor is suing ABC News, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and a food blogger, saying their use of the phrase "pink slime" to describe one of the company's products led to him losing his job. Bruce Smith, 58, is among about 750 people who were laid off at Beef Products Inc. in the wake of news reports about the product: lean, finely textured beef.

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