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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Drought Forces ADM To Ponder Drier Future

November 16, 2012 12:40 pm | by DAVID MERCER,The Associated Press

At the height of this year's drought, decision-makers at the agribusiness giant Archers Daniels Midland kept an uneasy eye on the reservoir down the hill from their headquarters. At one point, the water level fell to within 2 inches of the point where the company was in danger of being told for the first time ever that it couldn't draw as much as it wanted.

McDonald’s Ousts U.S. President After Sales Drop

November 16, 2012 12:38 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

McDonald's Corp. is hoping a leadership shake-up for its U.S. business can help it warm up sales and fight off intensifying competition. The world's biggest hamburger chain said Thursday that Jan Fields, president of McDonald's USA, will be replaced by Jeff Stratton, its global chief restaurant officer, effective Dec. 1.

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Dole Shares Tumble On 3Q Loss

November 16, 2012 12:36 pm

Dole Food Co. shares fell Friday after the company posted a surprise third-quarter loss. Excluding one-time items, Dole late Wednesday posted an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $5.3 million, or 6 cents per share. Revenue fell 6 percent to $1.96 billion.

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Consumer Trends: Thanksgiving Across America

November 16, 2012 12:32 pm

Over 80% of people surveyed said Thanksgiving is the most important non-religious holiday of the year. While most people said they spend Thanksgiving with direct and extended family members, people in the West also share the holiday with friends more than people in other parts of the country.

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La. Ag Chief To Borrow $7M To Take Control Of Mill

November 16, 2012 10:03 am | by MELINDA DESLATTE,Associated Press

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain will borrow up to $7 million to take control of a defunct sugar cane mill in southwest Louisiana that was built with state tax dollars and only operational for 90 days. Strain received approval Thursday from the Bond Commission to borrow the money through a bond sale and repay it over 10 years.

Monster Shares Slip On Energy Drink Probe

November 16, 2012 10:01 am | by SARAH SKIDMORE,AP Business Writer

Monster Beverage Corp.'s stock was buffeted Thursday by the news that the Food and Drug Administration is investigating deaths potentially tied to a competitor's product. The Corona, California-based company's stock fell more than 5 percent in early trading.

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Hostess Going Out Of Business

November 16, 2012 9:59 am | by CANDICE CHOI and TOM MURPHY,Associated Press

"Many people have worked incredibly long and hard to keep this from happening, but now Hostess Brands has no other alternative than to begin the process of winding down and preparing for the sale of our iconic brands," CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a letter to employees posted on the company website.

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XL Foods Starts Shipping Beef

November 16, 2012 9:57 am | by The Canadian Press

The plant at the center of an extensive beef recall has resumed shipping products for the first time since an E. coli outbreak forced its closure in September. The union representing workers at the XL Foods Inc. plant in Brooks, Alta., says the shipments include a full range of products, including ground beef and steaks.

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FDA: Sunland Knowingly Shipped Tainted Peanut Butter

November 16, 2012 9:55 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

A New Mexico peanut company linked to a recent salmonella outbreak distributed peanut and almond butters after its own internal testing showed the products were contaminated, the Food and Drug Administration says. Sunland Inc. is the nation's largest organic peanut butter processor, though it also produces many non-organic products.

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Photo Of The Day: No More Twinkies

November 16, 2012 9:52 am

Hostess Brands Inc. says it's going out of business after striking workers across the country crippled its ability to make its Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Wonder Bread and other snacks. The company had warned employees that it would seek to shutter its operations and sell assets if plants didn't resume normal operations by a Thursday evening deadline.  

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EU Aims To Get More Women In Boardrooms

November 15, 2012 1:07 pm | by DON MELVIN,Associated Press

Europe's companies should be required to have more women in the boardrooms — not just because it is fair but as it also makes good business sense, the European Union's executive branch said Wednesday. Commissioner Vice President Viviane Reding told reporters the target is to have women comprise at least 40 percent of the non-executive directors of publicly traded European companies by 2020.

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Minn. Officials Ending Food Safety Program

November 15, 2012 1:04 pm

Minnesota agriculture officials are phasing out a federally funded program that allows them to test produce for contaminants like E. coli and salmonella. The USDA's Microbiological Data Program had operated in 11 states, including Minnesota.

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French Senate Passes ‘Nutella Tax’

November 15, 2012 1:02 pm

First the French government went after the rich. Now it has it in for Nutella. Despite an outcry in support of the beloved chocolate and hazelnut spread, the Senate passed a measure Wednesday that would triple the tax on palm and some other vegetable oils in the hope of cutting down on obesity.

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BP Gets Record Fine For Gulf Oil Spill

November 15, 2012 1:01 pm | by MICHAEL KUNZELMAN,Associated Press

BP said Thursday that it will pay $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government over the disastrous 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and plead guilty to criminal charges related to the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress.

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FDA Investigating If Deaths Were Linked To Energy Drinks

November 15, 2012 12:57 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of 13 deaths possibly linked to so-called "energy shots" and cautioning consumers to talk to their doctors before they take them or other energy drinks. The agency has received 92 reports that cite illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths after consumption of a product marketed as 5-Hour Energy.

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Consumer Trends: Turkey Day Survey

November 15, 2012 12:52 pm

To delve deeper into turkey day trends, Baskin-Robbins commissioned a nationally-representative, independent survey of 1,005 Americans. The survey revealed that six in 10 Americans (59%) usually bring dessert to their Thanksgiving meal when dining as guests.

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Analyst: Restaurant Sales Indicate Recession

November 15, 2012 9:52 am

Restaurant industry sales trends may be signaling that the U.S. is already in a recession, according to a Cowen and Co. industry report out Wednesday. Analyst Paul Westra said that key sales trends are starting to slow in the quick-service restaurant industry and that spells bad news for the overall economy.

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Diamond Foods Erases $56.5M In Profit In Restated Results

November 15, 2012 9:49 am | by SARAH SKIDMORE,AP Business Writer

Diamond Foods Inc. effectively wiped away $56.5 million in profit from its books Wednesday after it restated two full years of results. The San-Francisco based snack company is restating its results for 2010 and 2011 after an internal investigation last year found that the company improperly accounted for payments to walnut growers, which skewed its financial results.

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Booze Calories Nearly Equal Soda’s For U.S. Adults

November 15, 2012 9:46 am | by MIKE STOBBE,AP Medical Writer

Americans get too many calories from soda. But what about alcohol? It turns out adults get almost as many empty calories from booze as from soft drinks, a government study found. Soda and other sweetened drinks — the focus of obesity-fighting public health campaigns — are the source of about 6 percent of the calories adults consume, on average.

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Starbucks Acquires Teavana

November 15, 2012 9:44 am | by CANDICE CHOI and SARAH SKIDMORE,Associated Press

The Seattle-based company said Wednesday that it will pay $620 million in cash to buy Teavana Holdings Inc., which sells high-end loose leaf teas in 300 shopping mall locations. The plan is to grow Teavana's footprint beyond the suburban mall with stand-alone shops around the world, while adding tea bars where customers can buy hot and cold drinks.

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