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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

New School Lunch Guidelines Take Effect This Fall

August 21, 2012 12:41 pm

New Agriculture Department guidelines for school lunches will take effect this fall, including the first national calorie and sodium limits for what can be served on lunch lines. Here is a look at what the new guidelines require, according to the School Nutrition Association.

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Corn Harvest Ahead Of Schedule

August 21, 2012 12:39 pm | by DAVID PITT,Associated Press

One of the worst growing seasons most U.S. farmers can remember is coming to an end with a corn harvest that's at least three weeks early thanks to an unusually warm spring and suffocating summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday in its weekly crop progress report that 4 percent of the corn harvest is complete. Normally, just 1 percent of the crop is in at this point in August.

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Calif. Legislature Considers Farmworker Overtime Bill

August 21, 2012 12:36 pm | by DON THOMPSON,Associated Press

California farmworkers would be paid overtime after working an eight-hour day or 40 hours in a week, the same as other non-management employees, under a bill approved by the state Senate on Monday over the objections of Republican lawmakers.

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Va. Celebrates Craft Beer Industry

August 21, 2012 12:34 pm | by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM,AP Business Writer

From industrial outskirts of Richmond to the pastoral landscapes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond, an army of artisans is turning their love of beer into business.Armed with an arsenal of barley and hops, these craft brewers are looking to cash in on a growing interest in all things local, including alcoholic libations. And recent changes to state law are helping craft brewers grow their business.

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UN Calls On Nations To Adopt Drought Policies

August 21, 2012 12:32 pm | by JOHN HEILPRIN,Associated Press

The world urgently needs to adopt drought-management policies as farmers from Africa to India struggle with lack of rainfall and the United States endures the worst drought it has experienced in decades, top officials with the U.N. weather agency said today.

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Consumer Trends: Back-To-School Breakfasts

August 21, 2012 12:30 pm

"Back to School" is another kind of New Year, and Canadian kids can benefit from a resolution for a healthier start to the day. New polling from the Heart and Stroke Foundation found that while the majority of Canadian parents recognize what constitutes a healthy breakfast, they face challenges getting their kids to eat one.

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Lettuce Recalled For E. Coli

August 21, 2012 9:56 am

A Northern California produce supplier said Sunday it is voluntarily recalling romaine lettuce that was shipped to 19 states, Puerto Rico and Canada over fears about possible E. coli contamination. Salinas-based Tanimura & Antle said the recall is limited to a single lot of its Field Fresh Wrapped Single Head Romaine that was available at retail stores starting Aug. 2.

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School Lunch 101

August 21, 2012 9:55 am | by KRISTEN WYATT,Associated Press

At a School Nutrition Association conference in Denver this summer, food workers heard tips about how to get children to make healthy food choices in the cafeteria. The problem is a serious one for the nation's lunch-line managers, who are implementing the biggest update to federal school-food guidelines in 15 years.

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ConAgra Closes $267M Deal With Unilever

August 21, 2012 9:51 am

ConAgra Foods closed on its $267 million acquisition of the Bertolli and P.F. Chang's frozen meals businesses.ConAgra announced the deal with previous owner, Unilever, in July. Unilever said that the sale was a part of a broader initiative to get out of the frozen foods business.

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Final Hostess Offer Would Slash Wages

August 21, 2012 9:49 am

Hostess Brands Inc.'s final contract offer to certain union members includes lowering wages and commissions by 8 percent in the first year of a five-year contract. The company is also considering the possible sale of its Merita brand. In a letter sent to all Hostess workers Monday, President and CEO Gregory Rayburn says that the wage cut would apply to everyone at the Irving, Texas, company, including management.

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Feds Shut Down Slaughterhouse After Abuse Video

August 21, 2012 9:47 am | by TRACIE CONE,Associated Press

Federal regulators have shut down a Central California slaughterhouse after receiving undercover video showing dairy cows — some unable to walk — being repeatedly shocked and shot before being slaughtered. Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which inspects meat facilities, suspended operations Monday at Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, Calif., which slaughters cows when they lose their value as milk producers.

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Photo Of The Day: Excited About Eggs

August 21, 2012 9:44 am

A recent study found that when people ate high-quality protein foods for breakfast they had a greater sense of sustained fullness throughout the day.Eggs are also one of the few natural foods that provides a good source of vitamin D, which helps grow strong bones.

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Calif. Lawmakers Mull Tougher Heat Rules For Farmworkers

August 20, 2012 1:00 pm | by GOSIA WOZNIACKA,Associated Press

With temperatures in the Central Valley recently surpassing 110 degrees and state regulators investigating two possible heat-related deaths in the fields, the California legislature is considering new laws that would strengthen rules for protecting farmworkers from heat.

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McCormick Buys Bouillon Maker For $141M

August 20, 2012 12:59 pm

Spice and flavoring maker McCormick & Co. said Monday that it reached a deal to buy China's Wuhan Asia-Pacific Condiments Co. for about $141 million.The deal, which must be approved by regulators, is expected to close in mid-2013.

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Potato Chip Factory Gets Fresh Start

August 20, 2012 12:57 pm | by GEORGE HOHMANN,Charleston Daily Mail

Mister Bee Potato Chip Co. shut down in November 2011 and filed for bankruptcy protection. But now the factory is buzzing again, and the new owners and their young management team are focused on growing market share and standardizing the company's products.

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Colo. Cantaloupe Growers Rebound After Outbreak

August 20, 2012 12:55 pm | by KRISTEN WYATT,Associated Press

Nearly a year after tainted cantaloupes from southeast Colorado sickened hundreds and caused a nationwide melon scare, farmers in Rocky Ford are celebrating a strong crop and high prices.But the effects of last year's listeria outbreak are still being felt by people who grow the melons with a distinct sweetness thanks to the area's hot, sunny days and cold nights.

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Egg Groups Fight Against Cholesterol Study

August 20, 2012 12:53 pm

A recent study concluded that regular consumption of egg yolks should be avoided by those at risk for cardiovascular disease. According to the American Egg Board and the Egg Nutrition Center, these findings are surprising and contradict more than 40 years of research demonstrating that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

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Consumer Trends: Channel Surfing Dominates Shopper Behavior

August 20, 2012 12:48 pm

"The days of shopping trips to one store just to fill the pantry are long gone," says Laurie Demeritt, The Hartman Group's president and COO. "For today's consumers, shopping is very much in constant motion; it's a virtual 24-hour, seven-day-a-week activity. The consumer is now in total control of the shopping process, not the manufacturer or the retailer."

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Heineken Raises Bid For Tiger Beer

August 20, 2012 9:52 am

Dutch brewer Heineken NV has raised its bid for a controlling stake in Tiger Beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries to $4.47 billion, hoping to ward off a rival bid.Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave agreed early Saturday to sell its 39.7 percent stake in APB to Heineken, which would give the Dutch brewer 81.6 percent of APB.

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Indiana Melons Linked To Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

August 20, 2012 9:50 am

Health officials in Indiana and Kentucky say they are investigating farms, distributors and retailers after an outbreak of salmonella that has killed two and sickened at least 141 people nationwide was linked to cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana.

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