More than two dozen Mississippi slaughterhouses and poultry meat processing plants have violated sanitation or food safety guidelines over the past decade — and most did both, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. The newspaper analyzed records from the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service database of enforcement action against federally inspected facilities.
A new generation of machines is targeting the last frontier of agricultural mechanization — fruits and vegetables destined for the fresh market, not processing, which have thus far resisted mechanization because they're sensitive to bruising.
In the Salinas Valley, the lettuce capital of the world, entrepreneurs with the Silicon Valley company Blue River Technology are testing the Lettuce Bot, a boxy robotic machine that can thin fields of lettuce, a job that now requires detailed hand work by 20 farm workers.
A new report on the rising trend in global cider consumption forecasts that super-premium and value brands alike will prosper in the future. In the report, the bank says that consumption of cider has increased by 50 percent in the past decade.
The new Kansas Dairy Ingredients plant at Hugoton is just the start of what could be even more expansion in southwest Kansas, where today a few dozen industrial-strength dairies dot the horizon where crops like wheat and corn once grew — operations that stretch across a mile section.
Cereal maker Post Holdings Inc. on Thursday said it expects sales in its fiscal third quarter rose 4 to 7 percent from a year ago, helped by a recent acquisition. The St. Louis company predicts revenue of $252 million to $258 million for the quarter that ran through June, up from $241.9 million in the same months a year ago.
It remains unclear what a food stamp bill will look like, how it will move through the House or how quickly lawmakers can craft a bill. While Democrats have opposed any cuts to the $80 billion-a-year program, designed to give people temporary food assistance when their income falls beneath a certain level, Republicans have proposed many different approaches to trimming it.
The USDA will spend $1 million to fight the coffee berry borer, a pest plaguing coffee farms in the Big Island's Kona district, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono announced Thursday. The pest has affected up to 80 percent of coffee farms, Hirono said, leaving some coffee fields in such bad shape that they've been abandoned, creating havens for the beetle.
Twinkies are making an early comeback at Wal-Mart stores, and they won't be frozen beforehand. The world's largest retailer says it is selling the snack cakes at about 1,600 stores starting Friday and that about 3,000 of its 4,000 U.S. stores should have them by Sunday morning, a day before Hostess had said the spongy yellow cakes would start hitting shelves nationwide.
After lobbying efforts by environmental groups and alarms raised by physician and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, the FDA is taking steps to limit the amount of arsenic allowed in apple juice. The "level of concern" has been lowered from 23 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion.
An Oregon Wheat Commission spokesman says South Korean flour mills will resume buying soft white wheat from the Pacific Northwest and will not restrict purchases of wheat grown in Oregon. Japan, Korea and Taiwan suspended imports of western white wheat from the Pacific Northwest after genetically modified wheat was discovered growing in an eastern Oregon field in May.
Southwestern Indiana's melon growers are facing new federal food-safety regulations following last year's salmonella outbreak that killed three people who ate Indiana-grown cantaloupes. The FDA will be inspecting packing sheds and possibly field conditions as part of that effort.
Republicans pushed a scaled-down farm bill through the House on Thursday, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving GOP leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on the larger bill last month. Republicans faced significant opposition to the plan from Democrats, farm groups and conservative groups that threatened to use the vote against GOP members in future campaigns.
The FDA is setting a new limit on the level of arsenic allowed in apple juice, after more than a year of public pressure from consumer groups worried about the contaminant's effects on children. Nationwide, apple juice is second only to orange juice in popularity, according to industry groups.
The USDA slightly lowered its estimate of the corn crop on Thursday, a reflection of late planting in the Corn Belt due to the wet spring. Farmers are now expected to harvest about 13.95 billion bushels, 55 million fewer bushels than predicted in June.
Warmer, drier weather recently has helped improve crops after a soggy spring in the corn belt. For many farmers in Iowa and surrounding states, the rainy spring left fields soggy for weeks, causing them to delay planting weeks later than normal and, in some cases, re-plant because seeds had rotted.
The winners of the 41st sofi Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year were announced at the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. A sofi is the highest honor in the $86 billion specialty food industry.
American activists urged European trade negotiators on Wednesday not to weaken environmental and food standards as they begin talks in Washington on a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement. About 50 activist groups were allowed to make 10-minute presentations each to trade negotiators and the media, expressing their views on aspects of the agreement.
Mexico has surpassed the United States in levels of adult obesity, a dubious distinction that experts attribute to Mexicans abandoning their traditional diet for processed snack foods and drinks. Almost one-third of adult Mexicans, 32.8 percent, are obese compared to 31.8 percent of Americans, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. said Wednesday it is cutting its infant formula prices in China, as several of its competitors have done, amid a government price-fixing investigation. Mead Johnson said it will cut the prices of its main products by 7 to 15 percent starting Tuesday.