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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

TreeHouse Foods Takes A Warm Weather Hit

January 20, 2012 3:50 am

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — TreeHouse Foods said its adjusted fourth-quarter adjusted earnings took a hit because of unseasonably warm weather this year, which drove down sales volumes in December. Its shares took a hit in premarket trading, too, falling 8 percent. The company sells of canned soup, instant oatmeal and powdered coffee creamer to both stores and restaurants, products that tend to sell better when consumers are seeking a respite from the cold.

Muslim Inmates Settle Pork Lawsuit

January 20, 2012 3:47 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Muslim death row inmate has settled a lawsuit that accused the Ohio prison system of denying him meals prepared according to Islamic law while providing kosher meals to Jewish prisoners. Ohio had previously decided to remove all pork products from prison menus in response to the lawsuit, though inmates weren't seeking a ban on pork.

Cantaloupe Grower Fined For Unsafe Migrant Housing

January 20, 2012 3:44 am

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado cantaloupe grower whose farm was identified by federal authorities as the source of a listeria outbreak that killed 30 people last year was fined by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday for failing to provide safe migrant worker housing. The federal agency said Eric Jensen, owner of Jensen Farms, of Holly, rented migrant workers unsanitary, overcrowded rooms at a motel he owns.

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Common Substance May Fight Food Poisoning

January 20, 2012 3:42 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A substance found in nuts and whole grains may someday help doctors fight the kind of food poisoning that sickened thousands of people in Europe last summer, a study in mice suggests. While a variety of germs can cause food poisoning, the European outbreak involved a dangerous strain of the bacterium E.

Immigration Crackdown Forces Farmers To Change Plans

January 20, 2012 3:38 am

ATLANTA (AP) — It's unclear whether farmers in Georgia and Alabama will face a shortage of workers due to tough new laws targeting illegal immigration, but some producers said they have begun changing their plans for planting and harvesting this year's crops. Some farmers said they might reduce the number of acres they plant or shift to less labor-intensive crops, while others are bracing for higher labor prices and have turned to new recruiting tools to attract workers.

Photo Of The Day: Jensen Farms Fined On Migrant Housing

January 20, 2012 3:33 am

(AP) — This Sept. 28, 2011 file photo shows co-owner Eric Jensen as he examines cantaloupe on the Jensen Farms near Holly, Colo. The Food and Drug Administration recalled 300,000 cases of cantaloupe grown on the Jensen Farms after connecting it with a listeria outbreak. The US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division announced on Thursday, Jan.

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Consumer Trends: Shoppers Optimistic Amid Continued Frugality

January 19, 2012 9:56 am | by Point of View

CHICAGO, Ill. (Business Wire) — Shoppers became more optimistic in Q4 2011, with an increase among those believing the economy improved in the last six months of 2011 and will continue to strengthen during the first six months of 2012, reports SymphonyIRI Group’s latest MarketPulse™ survey, released today.

Campaign Petitions FDA To Label Genetically Engineered Foods

January 19, 2012 7:27 am | by About Just Label It

BOSTON, Mass. (PRNewswire) — With more than a half-million consumers already on board, a campaign petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to label genetically engineered (GE) food today launched  the video "Labels Matter" to garner even more consumer awareness and participation.

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S.D. Passes N.D. As Top Sunflower Producer

January 19, 2012 7:23 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — South Dakota farmers can boast for the first time in recorded history that they are the nation's top sunflower growers, although producers understand those bragging rights aren't likely to last. North Dakota has worn the sunflower production crown since 1977, when the government started compiling data for the Dakotas.

Top Meat Antitrust Regulator Steps Down

January 19, 2012 7:20 am

A top federal antitrust regulator for meat companies is stepping down. J. Dudley Butler will end his tenure next week as head of the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday. Butler oversaw key parts of the Obama administration's effort to pass sweeping antitrust reforms covering the meat packing industry.

Beef Group Responds To Proposed Consolidation Of Agencies

January 19, 2012 7:17 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NCBA) — “The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supports the administration’s recognition of the need to improve government efficiency and eliminate wasteful spending. However, precautions must be in place to avoid unintended consequences. “NCBA has strong concerns about President Obama’s proposal to merge the Office of the U.

Paula Deen: 'Practice Moderation, Y'all'

January 19, 2012 7:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Celebrity chef Paula Deen on Wednesday pledged a portion of her earnings from a lucrative endorsement deal with a diabetes drugmaker to the nonprofit American Diabetes Association. The queen of Southern cooking and author of numerous cookbooks disclosed Tuesday that she's had Type 2 diabetes for three years while promoting high-fat, high-sugar recipes as usual on her Food Network TV shows.

Report: Closing The Skills Gap Critical For American Competitiveness

January 19, 2012 4:01 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRNewswire) — A concerted national effort to close the widening gap between the skills needed in the U.S. workplace and the skills being produced by its education and worker training systems is critical to continued U.S. competitiveness, DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman told U.

Currency Woes May Hurt Beverage Makers

January 19, 2012 3:54 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Pressure on beverage makers is intensifying because of the tough economy in Europe and the dollar's increasing strength against the euro, Citi analyst Wendy Nicholson said Wednesday. THE OPINION: Consumers in Europe are likely to continue to keep sales at a sluggish pace for beverage makers, Nicholson wrote in a research note.

Shrimp Season Could Be Cut Short

January 19, 2012 3:49 am

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — New England fishermen have been casting their nets in the cold Gulf of Maine waters since the northern shrimp season began Jan. 2, but their season could be cut short this winter if their catches are too strong. Regulators are meeting Thursday to assess where the overall harvest now stands.

Diamond Foods Gains On Investor Report

January 19, 2012 3:47 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Diamond Foods Inc. gained more than 4 percent on Wednesday on reports that hedge fund manager David Einhorn may have closed his short positions on the food company. THE SPARK: Various media reported that Einhorn's firm, Greenlight Capital Inc., sent a letter to investors on Tuesday saying that it closed its short position on Diamond Foods, maker of Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret popcorn.

Dean Foods Cuts Jobs At HQ

January 19, 2012 3:44 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dean Foods Co., one of the largest dairy distributors in the United States, has cut a "significant" number of jobs at its Dallas headquarters. The company would not disclose the exact number of jobs cut on Wednesday. But Liliana Esposito, a spokeswoman for the company said that more information may be made available when the company reports its financial results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year on Feb.

Photo Of The Day: Shrimp Season Sails On

January 19, 2012 3:41 am

(AP) — In this Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 photo, James Rich maneuvers a bulging net full of northern shrimp caught in the Gulf of Maine. New England fishermen have been casting their nets for Gulf of Maine northern shrimp since the season began Jan. 2, but their season could be cut short if their catches are too strong.

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Consumer Trends: No-Guilt Snacking Popular With Football Fans

January 18, 2012 9:45 am

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Business Wire) — With the NFL ® playoffs in full swing and the Super Bowl ® fast approaching, the majority of football fans say they feel no guilt about snacking down heartily as they watch their favorite teams try to make it to the Super Bowl, according to the third annual SUPERVALU ® Snack Down Survey by Harris Interactive.

Wholesale Prices Fall Slightly

January 18, 2012 7:05 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices fell last month because companies paid less for food and energy, evidence that inflation remains tame. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach consumers, declined 0.

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