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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Daily Sound Bite: Hostess Sale Leaves Union Uneasy

February 28, 2013 12:39 pm

The sale of Wonder bread by the now bankrupt Hostess to Flowers Foods may save the iconic lunchtime brand, but the future of the employees is still uncertain. The union objected to the sale in court filings, noting that Flowers Foods has not agreed to preserve any jobs.

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EU Ministers Back Ban on Fish Discards

February 28, 2013 12:10 pm | by DON MELVIN,Associated Press

Officials from the 27 European Union countries proposed Wednesday a phased-in ban on the discarding of unwanted fish by fishing vessels, but environmentalists immediately condemned the measure as too weak. Dead and dying fish are often thrown overboard if they do not meet quotas or fishermen's preferences, creating a huge waste of for the ecosystem and business alike.

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Plastic Pieces Found in Recalled Bread

February 28, 2013 12:07 pm

Fred Meyer has recalled five types of private label wheat bread after discovering pieces of plastic in loaves delivered to stores in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The Oregonian reports the bread was also sold in QFC stores in Oregon and Washington. They all featured March 8 sell-by date.

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AB InBev Forecasts Weak Sales

February 28, 2013 12:05 pm | by TOBY STERLING,Associated Press

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world's largest brewer, said Wednesday that profit fell 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter due to higher financing costs, and it forecast weak first quarter sales volumes in the United States and Brazil. The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and Beck's said net profit was $1.76 billion (€1.35 billion), down from $1.85 billion in the same period a year ago.

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Court: Anti-Whaling Protestors Are ‘Pirates’

February 28, 2013 12:03 pm | by PAUL ELIAS,Associated Press

Their supporters call them heroes. The Japanese government calls them terrorists. Earlier this week, the United States' largest federal court labeled them pirates. In doing so, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals castigated Paul Watson and members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society he founded for the tactics used in their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the dangerous waters of Antarctica.

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Poland Finds Horse DNA in Beef Samples

February 28, 2013 12:01 pm

One of Poland's top veterinarians said Thursday that traces of horse-meat DNA have been found in beef samples taken from three meat processors — the first acknowledgement that the country could be a source of the horse meat that fraudulently ended up in processed meat products sold as beef across Europe.

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Consumer Trends: Canadians' Definition of 'Healthy' Evolves

February 28, 2013 12:00 pm

Consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious, but their perceptions of what is considered healthy eating at restaurants are also changing. Contemporary definitions of health are strongly associated with local, natural, organic and sustainable food and drink.

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Vt. House Panel Approves Tax on Sugary Drinks

February 28, 2013 9:40 am

A Vermont House committee has reversed itself and approved a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to pay for health care subsidies, but the idea appears still to have a bumpy road ahead. The House Health Care Committee had defeated the measure on a 5-5 tie vote on Friday. But on Wednesday, the panel voted in two 7-4 tallies to advance the measure.

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Liquor Bill Aims to Take Down Utah’s ‘Zion Curtains’

February 28, 2013 9:38 am | by ANNIE KNOX,Associated Press

One of Utah's famously strict liquor laws forbids the restaurant from pouring alcohol in front of customers. The barriers, known here as "Zion curtains," went up around the state in 2010. Right now, the curtain requirement applies to restaurants that are less than 3 years old. But this year, the curtains may come down.

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Japan Complacent as Tuna Disappears

February 28, 2013 9:34 am | by MALCOLM FOSTER,Associated Press

It is the king of sushi, one of the most expensive fish in the world — and dwindling so rapidly that some fear it could vanish from restaurant menus within a generation. Yet there is little alarm in Japan, the country that consumes about 80 percent of the world's bluefin tuna. Japanese fisheries experts blame cozy ties between regulators and fishermen and a complacent media for failing to raise public awareness.

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Locked Out Crystal Sugar Workers Can Get Benefits

February 28, 2013 9:32 am | by KRISTI EATON,Associated Press

More than 400 American Crystal Sugars workers in North Dakota who are locked out in a contract dispute are eligible for unemployment benefits, the state Supreme Court said in a ruling issued Tuesday. The decision reverses a lower court's ruling that said the workers were not eligible for benefits from Job Service North Dakota because state law prohibits unemployment insurance for workers involved in labor disputes.

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Hostess Sale of Wonder Bread Nears Completion

February 28, 2013 9:31 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Wonder bread could start appearing in school lunchboxes again soon. A person familiar with the situation says a bid by Flowers Foods to buy Wonder and several other bread brands from bankrupt Hostess was met with no qualifying competing offers. The individual requested anonymity because the auction process is private.

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Photo of the Day: The Disappearing Tuna

February 28, 2013 9:26 am

Catching bluefin tuna, called "hon-maguro" in Japan, is a lucrative business. A single full-grown specimen can sell for 2 million yen, or $20,000, at Tokyo's sprawling Tsukiji fish market. Japanese fishermen are vying with Korean, Taiwanese and Mexican fisherman for a piece of a $900 million wholesale market.

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Daily Sound Bite: Imperial Sugar Execs Escape Criminal Prosecution

February 27, 2013 12:36 pm

The U.S. Justice Department announced today that it won't seek criminal charges against Imperial Sugar executives over a 2008 explosion that killed 14 employees. The government has found only enough evidence to justify possible misdemeanor charges. Former workers expressed disappointment.

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Both Parties Agree on Need for More Farm Workers

February 27, 2013 12:17 pm | by ERICA WERNER,Associated Press

Republicans and Democrats said farmers should be allowed to hire foreign workers more easily as Congress reworks U.S. immigration laws. But there was some disagreement on how it should happen. Lawmakers and witnesses at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing said the visa program that lets farmers hire foreign agricultural workers is so unwieldy it accounts for only a very small percentage of farm workers hired in the U.S.

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Tyson Foods: 2Q Tougher Than Expected

February 27, 2013 12:14 pm

Tyson Foods said Tuesday that its fiscal second quarter has been tougher than expected because of lower margins in its beef and pork divisions. The nation's biggest meat company said it's still optimistic about its full-year results. Its shares dropped more than 4 percent in morning trading.

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Tennesseans Debate Supermarket Wine Referendums

February 27, 2013 12:13 pm | by ERIK SCHELZIG,Associated Press

Opponents of a proposal to allow Tennessee communities to hold referendums on whether to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores argued Monday that the votes could do more harm than good. The Senate State and Local Government Committee heard from opponents and supporters during a nearly two-hour meeting.

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After Meatballs, Ikea Pulls Sausages

February 27, 2013 12:11 pm | by KARL RITTER,Associated Press

After withdrawing meatballs from stores across Europe, home furnishings company Ikea said Wednesday its own tests confirmed "a few indications of horse meat" and that it would also remove wiener sausages made by the same supplier. Ikea said it would withdraw the sausages from stores in France, Britain, Spain, Ireland and Portugal.

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No Charges in 2008 Sugar Refinery Blast

February 27, 2013 12:08 pm | by RUSS BYNUM,Associated Press

The Justice Department has decided it won't seek criminal charges against Imperial Sugar or its executives years after explosions tore through its sugar refinery and killed 14 workers, a federal prosecutor in Georgia said Tuesday. 

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Consumer Trends: U.S. Wine Exports Reach Revenue High of $1.4 Billion

February 27, 2013 12:00 pm

Setting a new record, U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $1.43 billion in winery revenues in 2012, up 2.6% compared to the previous year, a gain for the third consecutive year.  Volume shipments reached 424.6 million liters or 112.2 million cases.

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