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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Ralcorp 4Q Earnings Fall On Charges

December 1, 2011 4:08 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ralcorp Holdings Inc. posted a fourth-quarter loss Tuesday as the food maker was dragged down by plant closure, hedging and impairment charges. The St. Louis-based company, which makes Post cereal and a variety of store-brand foods, reported a loss of $370.1 million, or $6.

FDA Considers Cracking Down On Arsenic In Juice

December 1, 2011 4:04 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is considering tightening restrictions for the levels of arsenic allowed in apple juice after consumer groups pushed the agency to crack down on the contaminant. Studies show that apple juice has generally low levels of arsenic, and the government says it is safe to drink.

Happy Meal Toys Live On After San Francisco Ban

December 1, 2011 3:58 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new city law aimed at making fast food for kids follow nutritional guidelines won't be making Happy Meals healthier, just more expensive — if you want a toy. Beginning Thursday, it will cost an extra dime in San Francisco to get a toy in a Happy Meal — a move one county supervisor called a marketing ploy prompted by the new law.


Gulf Harvesters Offered More Money For BP Damage

December 1, 2011 3:52 am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Gulf of Mexico shrimpers and crabbers, who have reported diminished catches since the BP oil spill, are being offered a more generous settlement package because of lingering uncertainties over the safety of their seafood. On Wednesday, Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing payments from a $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the 2010 oil spill, said he would offer shrimpers and crabbers four times their documented losses in 2010 to settle their claims against BP.

Photo Of The Day: McDonald's Skirts Toy Ban

December 1, 2011 3:48 am

In this Nov. 8, 2010 file photo, a Happy Meal is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in San Francisco. McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco found a way to comply with a city law that bans free toy giveaways with Happy Meals: charge 10 cents for the toys. San Francisco became the first major U.


Potato Chip Co. Files For Bankruptcy

November 30, 2011 4:05 am

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Mister Bee Potato Chip Company is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Parkersburg-based Mister Bee didn't list its assets or liabilities in the Chapter 11 petition filed Nov. 21 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Mister Bee President Doug Klein tells WTAP-TV that the company is looking to reorganize and take on a new investor.

Cargill Accused Of Discrimination

November 30, 2011 4:02 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Labor officials have moved to cut off federal contracts held by one of the nation's largest meatpackers, saying it discriminated against women and non-Asians. The U.S. Labor Department claims Cargill Meat Solutions discriminated against more than 4,000 qualified people who applied for entry-level jobs at the company's plant in Springdale, Ark.

Chiquita HQ Moves To N.C. After $22M In Incentives

November 30, 2011 4:00 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Banana giant Chiquita Brands International confirmed Tuesday it will move its global headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte after a North Carolina economic development panel approved an incentives deal worth more than $22 million. The state Economic Investment Committee voted Tuesday in favor of the deal, which includes more than $20 million in state incentives and more than $2 million from local government to bring at least 375 high-paying jobs to North Carolina by 2014.


Sara Lee Partners To Buy Coffee Provider

November 30, 2011 3:56 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Food maker Sara Lee Corp. and its Norwegian joint venture partner Kaffehuset Friele are buying facilities provider ISS A/S' House of Coffee business, part of Sara Lee's plan to focus on international beverages. House of Coffee distributes drinks to offices and institutions in Norway and Denmark.

Congress Lifts Ban On Slaughtering Horses For Meat

November 30, 2011 3:52 am

TULSA, Oklahoma (AP) — Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month. Slaughter opponents pushed a measure cutting off funding for horse meat inspections through Congress in 2006 after other efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed in previous years.

Photo Of The Day: Coffee Potato Chips

November 30, 2011 3:42 am

(Datamonitor) — The explosion in coffee shops that has taken place over the past couple of decades has paved the way for coffee to move beyond drinks.  Potato chips are the latest category to be inspired by coffee with Calbee Paripari Variation My Potato, Mocha Cocoa Potato Chips.


Hershey Chairman Steps Down

November 29, 2011 4:39 am

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — LeRoy Zimmerman, the former Pennsylvania attorney general who has helped steer Milton S. Hershey's considerable business and charitable ventures in an effort to keep them bound to the community, announced Monday he would leave his post atop the controlling trust company at the end of the year.

Indiana's Really Cool Foods Closes Doors

November 29, 2011 4:37 am

CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. (AP) — An eastern Indiana food company that once planned to hire 1,000 workers but never came close to that number said Monday it was closing permanently, putting its 131 workers out of jobs by the end of this year. Really Cool Foods, whose decision to put a manufacturing and distribution center near Cambridge City earned it praise from Gov.

Diamond Foods Says More Lawsuits May Come

November 29, 2011 4:36 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc., which is in the midst of an internal accounting probe and facing several related lawsuits, says it expects more suits will be filed against the company in the future. The company, based in San Francisco, is looking into allegations of improper accounting for crop payments to walnut growers.

New Cod Data Shaking New England Fishing Industry

November 29, 2011 4:34 am

BOSTON (AP) — A new look at the health of one of New England's most storied fish stocks is troubling the industry, with some saying the findings have got to be wrong. Just three years ago, a federal study showed the Gulf of Maine cod was healthy and headed toward recovery. Now preliminary data suggest the valuable species is in dismal shape and won't rebuild within the time set by federal law.

France Annuls Ban On Modified Corn

November 29, 2011 4:32 am

PARIS (AP) — France's highest administrative body has annulled rules suspending the planting of genetically modified corn, but two key ministries quickly said the government is still looking for ways to block such crops. The Council of State, acting on a complaint from U.S.-based agricultural company Monsanto and other interested parties, on Monday annulled two Agriculture Ministry rulings from 2007 and 2008 that suspended the planting of Monsanto MON 810 modified corn.

Photo Of The Day: Food Safety TV

November 29, 2011 4:30 am

(PRNewswire) — A TV spot developed by the Ad Council is running on Walmart Checkout TV throughout the Thanksgiving season, teaching shoppers about avoiding cross-contamination and food poisoning. The Ad Council's Food Safe Families campaign urges consumers to remember four key steps to food safety: separate (keep raw meats separate from other foods), clean (surfaces, utensils and hands), cook (to the right temperature) and chill (raw and prepared food).


New Turkey Feeding Plan Could Save Industry $100M

November 28, 2011 4:00 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A researcher at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia has found that turkeys don't need as much protein as they're getting and that adopting his feeding plan could save the industry $100 million. Jeff Firman, a professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, tested his theory on 800 turkeys, giving them a mixture that included more cheap grains and fewer proteins.

China Sentences 113 In Tainted Pork Scandal

November 28, 2011 3:57 am

BEIJING (AP) — More than 100 people, including over a dozen Chinese government employees, have been sentenced over chemical-laced pork that caused a food safety scandal earlier this year, state media said Saturday. One person was given the death penalty. An investigation into the safety of pork was launched in March after several farms in central Henan province were found using the fat-burning drug clenbuterol — a banned chemical that makes pork leaner but can be harmful to humans — in pig feed.

Food Banks Worry Over Rising Peanut Butter Prices

November 28, 2011 3:54 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Food banks and pantries around the country say high peanut butter prices have made it harder for them to provide one of their most-requested items — and a favorite among children — this holiday season. Peanut butter prices have gone up 30 percent or more because hot weather in states like Texas and Georgia hurt this year's peanut crop and because some farmers switched to more profitable crops, such as corn and cotton.


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