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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

NY Chocolate Festival Makes Manhattan Debut

December 13, 2012 10:30 am

With choices ranging from healthy and nutritious to decadent and delicious, attendees will get to sample, purchase and otherwise indulge in gourmet chocolates, baked goods, fudge, gelato, specialty foods, cheeses, wines, beers and much more from over 60 local and regional vendors.

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Weekly Unemployment Aid Applications Drop

December 13, 2012 10:28 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for a fourth straight week, a sign that the job market may be improving. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the lowest in two months. It is the second-lowest total this year.

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Canadian Company Recalls Burgers For E. Coli

December 13, 2012 10:26 am

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Loblaw Companies Ltd. are warning the public to avoid certain Butcher's Choice Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers because of possible E. coli contamination. The affected product is sold frozen in 1.13 kilogram packages with a best-before date of March 3.

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Food Prices Rise By Most In 2 Years

December 13, 2012 10:24 am | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer

Food prices rose by the most in nearly two years, pushed higher by costlier beef and vegetables. Beef prices jumped 8.2 percent, the biggest gain in four and a half years. Vegetable prices rose nearly 12 percent. Grocery stores may mark up the prices of those products in the coming months, but probably not by as much.

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Consumer Trends: Catering Trends

December 13, 2012 10:19 am

Recent research on consumers' use of restaurants and retailers for social catering found three-year compound annual growth rates projected at 5 percent or better for several market segments. But fast-casual restaurants are poised to outperform all other players, with projected growth at 12 percent, followed by quick-service sandwich restaurants (8 percent) and club stores (7 percent).

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Snack Company Issues Allergy Alert For Raisins

December 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Mister Snacks, Inc. of Amherst, New York, is recalling its 5 oz. packages of Sunbird Snacks Yogurt Raisins because they may contain undeclared peanuts. People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

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Cheese First Made At Least 7,500 Years Ago

December 12, 2012 5:41 pm | by MARIA CHENG,Associated Press

Little Miss Muffet could have been separating her curds and whey 7,500 years ago, according to a new study that finds the earliest solid evidence of cheese-making. Scientists performed a chemical analysis on fragments from 34 pottery sieves discovered in Poland to determine their purpose. Until now, experts weren't sure whether such sieves were used to make cheese, beer or honey.

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Thirsty West Ponders Water Solutions

December 12, 2012 5:36 pm | by KEN RITTER,Associated Press

Rising demand and falling supply are spurring talk in the arid West of outside-the-box ideas including piping in water from the nation's heartland and towing Arctic icebergs south to help such thirsty U.S. cities as Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

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USDA Calls On Russia To Suspend Testing Rules For U.S. Beef

December 12, 2012 5:33 pm

United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today issued the following statement in response to Russia's new requirements that U.S. beef and pork exports to Russia be tested and certified free of the feed additive ractopamine.

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BPI Worker Sues ABC, Jamie Oliver Over 'Pink Slime'

December 12, 2012 5:30 pm | by KRISTI EATON,Associated Press

A former worker at a South Dakota beef processor is suing ABC News, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and a food blogger, saying their use of the phrase "pink slime" to describe one of the company's products led to him losing his job. Bruce Smith, 58, is among about 750 people who were laid off at Beef Products Inc. in the wake of news reports about the product: lean, finely textured beef.

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Photo Of The Day: Worrying Over Water

December 12, 2012 5:27 pm

Rising demand and falling supply is spurring talk in the arid West of outside-the-box solutions like piping water from the nation's heartland and towing Arctic icebergs south to help thirsty U.S. cities like Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix that are currently dependent on the Colorado River.

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Meat Conference Announces Education Offerings

December 12, 2012 1:03 pm

A full slate of education sessions and workshops has been announced for the Annual Meat Conference, to be held February 24-26, 2013, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Attendees will become better prepared to tackle the most pertinent issues facing the meat industry today through sessions that focus on hot topics.

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Global Corporate Deals Nearly Halved In 5 Years

December 12, 2012 1:00 pm | by PAN PYLAS,Associated Press

The value of mergers and acquisitions deals around the world in 2012 was nearly half the amount made five years ago, when the financial crisis first bared its teeth, a leading accounting and consulting firm said Wednesday. There were a little under 37,000 deals worldwide, around 9,000 less than in 2007, when many companies took part in a feverish bout of deal-making, many of which proved to be too costly for the companies to bear.

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USDA Announces Hold And Test Implementation

December 12, 2012 12:57 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that, beginning in 60 days, the Agency will require producers to hold shipments of non-intact raw beef and all ready-to-eat products containing meat and poultry until they pass Agency testing for foodborne adulterants.

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Economy Could Withstand Brief Fall Off 'Cliff'

December 12, 2012 12:53 pm | by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER,AP Economics Writer

It's the scenario that's been spooking employers and investors and slowing the U.S. economy: Congress and the White House fail to strike a budget deal by New Year's Day. Their stalemate triggers sharp tax increases and spending cuts. Those measures shrink consumer spending, stifle job growth, topple stock prices and push the economy off a "fiscal cliff" and into recession. The reality may be a lot less bleak.

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United Natural Foods Workers Strike In Wash.

December 12, 2012 12:47 pm

A strike by United Natural Foods workers in Washington will likely lead to higher costs for the food distributor for replacement workers, an analyst said Wednesday. Employees at United Natural Foods' distribution plant in Auburn, Wash., went on strike Monday, in part because of wage issues. The workers are represented by the Teamsters Union.

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Consumer Trends: Consumers Have Healthy Appetite For Breakfast

December 12, 2012 12:18 pm

According to latest research from Mintel on the breakfast food market in the US, the majority (69%) of respondents who eat any breakfast foods during the week consider Low Cholesterol or Heart Healthy claims important when selecting food they typically eat for breakfast.

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California Chefs Encourage Fresh Dining In Cuba

December 12, 2012 9:42 am | by PETER ORSI,Associated Press

A delegation of chefs from Alice Waters' celebrated Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California, is in Havana on a mission to encourage change in the Cuban diet by exposing islanders to healthier dishes with more fruits and vegetables, preferably grown organically and sustainably by local food cooperatives.

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Drinks Take To The Skies

December 12, 2012 9:41 am | by SCOTT MAYEROWITZ,AP Airlines Writer

Airlines have found a way to take the edge off the stress of flying and make a few extra bucks along the way: fancy new cocktails, craft beers and elegant wines. The drinks advertised in the back of in-flight magazines — or on sleek seatback touchscreens — are starting to resemble those at the hottest nightclubs.

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New Orleans Restaurants Revive Creole Custom

December 12, 2012 9:36 am | by STACEY PLAISANCE,Associated Press

In the weeks surrounding Christmas, some 50 restaurants offer four- to five-course meals of pan-roasted oysters, braised pork belly, duck confit, foie gras beignets and other holiday delicacies. The recipes have roots that date back to the beginning of the French city's nearly 300-year history.

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