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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Mother Sues Four Loko Over Son's Death

May 20, 2011 4:51 am

CHICAGO (AP) — A distraught mother who claims in a wrongful death lawsuit that Four Loko alcoholic drinks contributed to her 15-year-old son's death appeared in Chicago on Thursday to publicize the suit and warn others about the dangers the drinks pose. Karla Rupp of Centreville, Va.

McDonald's CEO: Fast Food Is About Choice

May 20, 2011 4:48 am

McDonald's Corp. CEO Jim Skinner came out swinging Thursday when asked about Ronald McDonald and whether the burger chain hooks children with junk food. Skinner, speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting at McDonald's headquarters outside Chicago, said that newspapers ads Wednesday calling for Ronald's retirement had prompted an outpouring of support to his office, with parents and customers asking Skinner "to defend their right to choose.

Sara Lee To Lay Off 62 Workers

May 20, 2011 4:45 am

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. will lay off 62 workers in Chester County starting June 30, and the facility there will close by the fall. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported the coming layoffs this week. The employees are part of Sara Lee's household and body care division.

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Plant Closes 2 Years After Deadly Explosion

May 20, 2011 4:42 am

GARNER, N.C. (AP) — Production of Slim Jim snacks is ending at a plant in Garner where an explosion killed four people in 2009. The closing of the ConAgra plant Friday puts 200 employees out of work. ConAgra announced in February it intended to close the plant. Investigators have said contractors were purging gas lines at the time of the blast, causing the building's roof to collapse.

Photo Of The Day: Stink Bug Threatens Orchards

May 20, 2011 4:39 am

(AP) — In this Thursday, April 14, 2011, file photo Tom Haas stands in his Cherry Hill Orchards in Lancaster, Pa. Stink bugs wiped out up to 40 percent of Haas’ peaches last season. The peaches looked so bad that he let the fruit fall to the ground, where it rotted away over the winter.

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Cheese Recalled For Listeria

May 19, 2011 4:51 am

(FDA) —“Quenby Hall Blue Stilton Cheese” is being recalled by Schratter Foods Incorporated, a Fairfield, New Jersey-based food distributor, because the product has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

CEO Leaves Hershey For Del Monte

May 19, 2011 4:48 am

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — After leading The Hershey Co. to three years of strong performances, CEO David West is leaving to take the top job at the smaller Del Monte Foods Co., a surprise move that sent the candy maker's shares plummeting Wednesday. Del Monte Foods, the San Francisco-based food processor, said that West will become its CEO on Aug.

Jack Daniel's Unveils New Bottle

May 19, 2011 4:44 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The maker of Jack Daniel's said Monday it is rolling out a taller, slimmer bottle and simplified label for the popular whiskey made in rural Tennessee. The new packaging for Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 -- known as Jack Daniel's black label -- accentuates the bottle's familiar square shoulders.

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Tenn. Pushes Beer Bill To Lure Brewer

May 19, 2011 4:40 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A California beer maker that produces some potent suds is seeking a site for a new brewery, and some Tennessee lawmakers are pushing legislation that they hope will persuade the company to build it in East Tennessee. Tennessee's Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 10-0 to advance the bill establishing state guidelines for high-alcohol beer to a full floor vote.

Wis. Man Sues Kraft For Wrongful Firing

May 19, 2011 4:37 am

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Fond du Lac man has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Kraft Foods of firing him rather than accommodating his bad back. James L. Brown was hired in 2001 at a Kraft frozen-pizza facility in Little Chute. His lawsuit says he missed a few days of work in 2008 to get treatment for chronic back pain.

Photo Of The Day: Ronald McDonald's Identity Crisis

May 19, 2011 4:34 am

(AP) — In this file photo taken April 6, 1988, Ronald McDonald watches as about 20,000 balloons head skyward at the opening of the 10,000th McDonalds restaurant worldwide, in Dale City, Va. Some branding experts think the McDonald’s Corp. clown's floppy red shoes and flaming-red hair are too hackneyed for iPod-savvy kids.

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General Mills Buys Yoplait Stake For $1.15 Billion

May 18, 2011 5:07 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — General Mills says it has signed a deal to buy a controlling stake in French yogurt company Yoplait for about $1.15 billion. The deal protects General Mills' U.S. yogurt business. The food maker has sold the world's second-largest yogurt brand under license in the U.

Activists Patrol Waters For Tuna Poachers

May 18, 2011 5:05 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — A U.S.-based organization of environmental activists plans to steam into Libyan waters to stop poachers from netting bluefin tuna. The organization, called Sea Shepherd, will send two boats into the war zone — the 58-meter (190-foot) Steve Irwin, named after the Australian conservationist, and the 35-meter (115-foot) Gojira — said Paul Watson, the organization's founder.

83,000 Chickens Killed In Egg Farm Fire

May 18, 2011 5:01 am

VERSAILLES, Ohio (AP) — Authorities estimate that about 83,000 chickens were killed in a barn fire at a western Ohio egg farm. WHIO-TV says about 70 firefighters were called out shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday to fight the fire near Versailles. The barn is on a farm owned by Kissinger Brothers Poultry and was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.

Fighting For The French Fry

May 18, 2011 4:58 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Often maligned, the french fry is fighting back. The spud has had a tough time lately. In the last year, it has been marginalized by new school lunch rules, demonized by a popular television program and blamed for the nation's obesity epidemic. Health advocates and government officials have pushed to take them off lunch lines, where kids often reach for the crispy treats instead of greener vegetables.

College Students Promote Beef Consumption

May 18, 2011 4:55 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The national beef industry has enlisted college students across the country in its public relations fight for America's hearts, minds and stomachs. The Masters of Beef Advocacy program also recruits farmers, ranchers, high-end chefs and school dietitians to spread the gospel of red meat consumption.

Photo Of The Day: Doctored Melons Explode In China

May 18, 2011 4:50 am

(AP) — In this May 13, 2011 photo, farmers clear out watermelons from their rented greenhouse that had burst in Danyang city in eastern China's Jiangsu province. Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, according to state media reports, Tuesday, May 17, 2011.

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E. Coli Rates In U.S. Ground Beef Plunge

May 17, 2011 5:30 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. (American Meat Institute) — New federal data show that E. coli O157:H7 is found in less than one quarter of one percent of ground beef samples, a 72 percent decline since 2000 in ground beef samples testing positive for the pathogen. The data are from Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 2010 year end results of microbiological samples for raw ground beef products analyzed for E.

Fields Of Watermelon Explode In Chinese Farm Fiasco

May 17, 2011 5:29 am

BEIJING (AP) — Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, creating what state media called fields of "land mines." About 20 farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province were affected, losing up to 115 acres (45 hectares) of melon, China Central Television said in an investigative report.

Slaughterhouse Manager Heads To Appeals Court

May 17, 2011 5:29 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A hearing seeking a new trial for a former Iowa kosher slaughterhouse executive convicted of financial fraud is scheduled before the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Documents filed Monday show a hearing before the St. Louis court is set for June 15. Former Agriprocessors Inc.

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