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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

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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United Natural Foods Cuts Profit Outlook

February 27, 2013 9:45 am

Shares of United Natural Foods Inc. fell Tuesday after the distributor of organic and "natural" foods to grocery stores and other customers cut its outlook for the year. The company's net income in the fiscal second quarter rose 3 percent as revenue increased 12 percent.

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First Lady's 'Let's Move' Campaign Gets Reults

February 27, 2013 9:44 am | by DARLENE SUPERVILLE and MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

Millions of schoolchildren are helping themselves to vegetables from salad bars in their lunchrooms, while kids' meals at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants automatically come with a side of fruit or vegetables and a glass of low-fat milk. The changes put in place by the food industry are in response to the campaign against childhood obesity that Michelle Obama began waging three years ago.

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Phila. School Lunches Lose the Fries in ‘Eatiquette’ Program

February 27, 2013 9:39 am | by KATHY MATHESON,Associated Press

People For People Charter School in Philadelphia is one of four schools participating in the "Eatiquette" program, which was designed by local chef Marc Vetri to provide nutritious, low-cost lunches in a setting that reinforces social niceties and communication skills.

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Suits Accuse Anheuser-Busch of Watering Down Beer

February 27, 2013 9:37 am | by MARYCLAIRE DALE,Associated Press

Beer lovers across the U.S. have accused Anheuser-Busch of watering down its Budweiser, Michelob and other brands, in class-action suits seeking millions in damages. The suits, filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states, claim consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content stated on labels. Budweiser and Michelob each boast of being 5 percent alcohol, while some "light" versions are said to be just over 4 percent.

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Regulators Crack Down on Cantaloupe Farmers

February 27, 2013 9:33 am | by STEVEN K. PAULSON,Associated Press

Federal regulators and state inspectors have issued warnings to cantaloupe farmers and packers that they will be testing melons for pathogens this year after two years of illness and recalls in the industry. A 2011 listeria outbreak traced to Colorado's Jensen Farms killed 33 people. Another outbreak last year was traced to salmonella at an Indiana cantaloupe packer.

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Photo of the Day: Showing Some 'Eatiquette'

February 27, 2013 9:31 am

Teacher Marisa Szynal passes lunch to a student during lunch at the People for People Charter School, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, in Philadelphia. A new lunch program called "Eatiquette" aims to provide nutritious, low-cost lunches in a setting that reinforces social niceties and communication skills.

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Horse a Hidden Ingredient in Many European Foods

February 26, 2013 12:09 pm | by SHAWN POGATCHNIK,Associated Press

So hungry you could eat a horse? Chances are, if you've regularly consumed processed-meat products in Europe, you already have. Since Ireland published surprise DNA results on Jan. 15 showing that a third of frozen "beef" burgers in Ireland contained at least a trace of horse, food scientists in more than a dozen countries have found the animal trotting into products where it was never meant to roam.

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Bloomberg: State Should Follow NYC on Soda Size Rule

February 26, 2013 12:07 pm

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spearheaded a first-of-its-kind crackdown on supersized, sugary drinks — and now he'd like the state to follow the city's example. Starting next month, the city plans to bar restaurants, delis and many other eateries from selling some sugar-laden beverages in more than 16-ounce portions.

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Baby Formula Rule Could Hurt Mead Johnson Sales

February 26, 2013 12:06 pm

Shares of Mead Johnson fell after the maker of infant formula disclosed on Monday that a new regulation in Hong Kong could affect the company's sales there as well as in mainland China. The Glenview, Ill. company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Hong Kong's government will begin restricting the flow of formula milk products out of the territory.

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