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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Judge Grants Class Action Status to National Beef Suit

February 1, 2013 12:28 pm

A federal judge has granted conditional class action status to the lawsuit against National Beef by workers at its Liberal, Kansas slaughterhouse. The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil certifies the class for purposes of sending notices to workers who might wish to join the lawsuit filed last May.

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Rules Would Make School Snacks Healthier

February 1, 2013 12:27 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make school snacks healthier, a move that would ban the sale of almost all candy, high-calorie sports drinks and greasy foods on campus. Under new rules the Department of Agriculture proposed Friday, school vending machines that once were full of Skittles and Sprite would instead be selling water, lower-calorie sports drinks, diet sodas and baked chips.

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Hong Kong Clamps Down on Cross-Border Baby Formula Trade

February 1, 2013 12:25 pm | by KELVIN CHAN,AP Business Writer

Hong Kong announced measures Friday to curb the amount of baby formula that mainland Chinese visitors are buying as anger grows at shortages in the city's stores ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. Chief among the measures is a plan to change the law to restrict the amount of baby formula that individuals can take out of the city.

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Hebrew National Suit Dismissed

February 1, 2013 12:23 pm

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit Thursday that claimed Hebrew National's hot dogs and other meat products weren't entirely kosher, saying such a standard was "intrinsically religious in nature" and outside the court's purview. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ruled that the First Amendment's protection of religious freedom bars the court from examining claims about whether the products completely meet Jewish dietary laws.

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Residents Sue Company over Dumped Blueberry Waste

February 1, 2013 12:21 pm

Ten residents of rural Benzie County have filed a lawsuit against a northern Michigan fruit processor and a septic hauler who dumped waste blueberry juice into a gravel pit more than a decade ago, damaging a stream and contaminating groundwater.

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Consumer Trends: Valentine's Day Dining Trends

February 1, 2013 12:00 pm

Restaurant.com reveals details about diners' plans for restaurant romance this Valentine's Day.  A recent survey by the company found that nearly half (49 percent) of respondents selected Italian as the cuisine of choice for a Valentine's Day meal over romantic rivals fondue (12 percent) and French (11 percent).

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Fire at Wis. Egg Plant Contained

February 1, 2013 9:58 am

Several hundred firefighters spent all night battling a stubborn blaze at a southeastern Wisconsin food processing plant before the fire was contained Thursday, more than a dozen hours after it began. About 50 people who were evacuated from 10 houses and an apartment building near the Echo Lakes Foods plant in Burlington were allowed to return home Thursday morning after spending the night away.

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Chocolate Makers to Pay $81.3M for Price Fixing in Germany

February 1, 2013 9:56 am

German antitrust authorities have fined 11 chocolate makers €60 million ($81.3 million) for colluding to rig the price of confectionary. The Federal Cartel Office says the offences committed by companies including Kraft and Nestle occurred between 2004 and 2008.

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The Avocado’s Super Bowl Legacy

February 1, 2013 9:54 am | by J.M. HIRSCH,AP Food Editor

As recently as 13 years ago the avocado wasn't the football juggernaut it is today. It has been a relentless and cunning campaign to victory, achieved in part through marketing muscle. In 2002 the Hass Avocado Board was formed to promote the dominant avocado variety sold in the U.S. Today, Americans are expected to consume 79 million pounds of avocados around the championship game.

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U.S. Challenges Deal to Merge Budweiser and Corona

February 1, 2013 9:50 am | by PETE YOST,Associated Press

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev's proposed $20.1 billion purchase of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, which would unite the ownership of popular beers like Budweiser and Corona. The government said the deal could lead to higher beer prices in the U.S. because it would substantially reduce competition in the domestic beer market, particularly in 26 metropolitan areas.

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Poland: No Proof Horsemeat Came from Country

February 1, 2013 9:46 am | by VANESSA GERA,Associated Press

Poland is conducting DNA tests on meat samples at seven facilities to see if any are the source of horsemeat discovered this month in Irish-produced burgers, a senior meat safety official said Thursday. So far, Polish investigators haven't found any evidence to link the country to the horsemeat detected in burgers produced by Ireland's Silvercrest processing plant.

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Photo of the Day: The Super Avocado

February 1, 2013 9:42 am

 Back at the turn of this century, Americans ate a mere 8 million pounds of avocados during Super Bowl festivities. Today, Americans are expected to consume 79 million pounds of avocados around the championship game. For those keeping score, that's roughly 158 million avocados. 

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Thought of the Day: Courage Under Fire

January 31, 2013 12:52 pm

The Echo Lake Foods egg processing plant in Burlington, Wis., burst into flames on Wednesday, leading to the evacuation of employees as well as 10 surrounding homes. Fire officials say that the cause of the fire is still under investigation and that the city of Burlington will be greatly affected by the disaster.

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Brewers Want to Cut off Beer Tax Growth in Tenn.

January 31, 2013 12:42 pm | by ERIK SCHELZIG,Associated Press

The brewing industry wants Tennessee lawmakers to declare last call on the state's ballooning beer taxes. A bill unveiled Wednesday wouldn't cause the state to lose its ranking as having the highest-taxed beer in the country, but it would halt future increases tied to rising costs and inflation.

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Texas Plant Closure May Help SD Slaughterhouse

January 31, 2013 12:40 pm

The closing of a beef processing plant in Texas could help a fledgling slaughterhouse in northern South Dakota fill out its workforce. Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen has sent recruiters to Plainview, Texas, to interview workers laid off at the Cargill Beef plant there, which closes Friday.

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Green Mountain Coffee up After Favorable Reports

January 31, 2013 12:38 pm

A fresh batch of favorable analyst reports helped send shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. higher Wednesday. Many investors have been concerned that Green Mountain, a pioneer of single-serve machines, would suffer when other companies launched similar products, said Anton Brenner, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners, in a report out Wednesday.

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Ore. Man Imprisoned for Making Lead-Heavy Wine

January 31, 2013 12:37 pm | by DANIEL WAGNER, Associated Press

An Oregon man has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for failing to pay more than $879,000 in federal taxes on a secret liquor bottling operation that also produced wine containing dangerous heavy metals. William Myers ran up the tax bill while falsely telling the government that he had conducted no business at his company, officials said in a court filing distributed Wednesday.

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Fire Engulfs Wisconsin Egg Plant

January 31, 2013 12:35 pm

Smoke and flames poured Thursday from a southeastern Wisconsin food processing plant, where dozens of firefighters battled a blaze all night in frigid temperatures. Hazardous materials handlers have secured the area where ammonia and liquid oxygen tanks are stored at the Echo Lake Foods egg processing plant near downtown Burlington, Mayor Bob Miller said.

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Consumer Trends: Winter Fancy Food Show Favorites

January 31, 2013 12:00 pm

The top five food trends for 2013 have been picked by a panel of trendspotters at the 38th Winter Fancy Food Show. The show is the largest marketplace for specialty foods and beverages on the West Coast, with 80,000 products on display including cheeses, snacks, olive oils, vinegars, chocolate, and natural and organic products.

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Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks to Face off in Vietnam

January 31, 2013 9:50 am

Dunkin' Donuts is about to face off with Starbucks in Vietnam. The parent company of the chain, Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., said Wednesday that it signed a franchise deal to develop the brand in the coffee-loving country, with the first locations planned for Ho Chi Minh City area. The announcement comes just weeks after Starbucks announced plans to open its first cafe in the country.

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