WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A former underage worker cried Monday while testifying she was exposed to harsh chemicals at an Iowa slaughterhouse where she and other teens worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. Yesenia Cordero Mendoza, now 18, was one of two former underage workers to testify against former manager Sholom Rubashkin, who faces 83 child labor violation charges stemming from a May 2008 raid at the plant in which 389 illegal immigrants, including 31 children, were detained.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Agriculture is setting new standards for the levels of salmonella and another pathogen in young chickens and turkeys as part of an effort to strengthen food safety. The new standards would hold poultry slaughterhouses more accountable by decreasing the number of samples allowed to test positive for the pathogens.
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Jay Manning remembers Dan Newhouse's first Cabinet meeting a little over a year ago. Newhouse, the newly named state Director of Agriculture and a lifelong Republican, was seated at a table of Democrats and liberal lawyers like then-Ecology Director Manning and Gov.
WINNIPEG (CP) — More than 1,000 cattle farmers in Manitoba have yet to repay nearly $33 million of government loans they took out after the discovery of mad cow disease closed markets to Canadian beef and cattle. An official with Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. says 288 of the loans, worth $4.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz., may be the source of a widespread E. coli outbreak that has sickened students in three states. Federal investigators are looking at a farm in Yuma as a possible source for the outbreak, according to the distributor who sold the lettuce.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A company that makes baked goods plans to build a 135,000-square-food production plant in Topeka, bringing about 52 jobs to start. Officials of Allen Foods announced the project Friday. Regional vice president Dick Bay says prep work on the site is expected to begin soon, and the plant could be open by May 2011.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal statistics show that Wisconsin is still the nation's big cheese. Wisconsin produced 2.65 billion pounds of cheese last year. That accounted for a nation-best 26 percent of the U.S. cheese output in 2009. Wisconsin also produced 477 million pounds of specialty cheese last year.
TAIJI, Japan (AP) — Residents of the dolphin-hunting village depicted in Oscar documentary "The Cove" have dangerously high mercury levels, likely because of their fondness for dolphin and whale meat, a government lab said Sunday. The levels of mercury detected in Taiji residents were above the national average, but follow-up tests have found no ill effects, according to the National Institute for Minamata Disease.
WASHINGTON (PRNewswire) — The Produce Safety Project today issued a report that examines the steps taken by select European Union (EU) countries to reform their food safety data collection and analysis systems since the 1990s. Authored by Michael Batz, head of Food Safety Programs, Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, and J.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A moth with a devastating appetite for grapes is causing worries in California's San Joaquin Valley, the country's top grape growing region. The European grapevine moth, unknown to this country until late last year, has found its way to the region's heart of Fresno County, where grapes are a $725 million-a-year industry and the valley's top crop.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal agency says a Texas company cheated its mentally disabled workers who worked at a turkey-processing plant in Iowa. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Henry's Turkey Service shortchanged the workers by at least $1 million and committed numerous major violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Midwest is known more for growing corn than cauliflower, but if its farmers raised the fruit and vegetables eaten in the Heartland, they could create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in income, according to a recent study. The study from Iowa State University looked at what would happen if farmers in six Midwestern states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin — raised 28 crops in quantities large enough to meet local demand.
DOUGLAS, Ga. (AP) — Pilgrim's Pride Corp. says it will reopen an idled south Georgia poultry plant, putting more than 1,000 people back to work. Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride Corp. on Thursday reported plans to re-open its chicken processing plant in Douglas by January 2011. The company will reopen two other idled facilities, one by mid-2011 and the other by spring 2012.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has ordered the immediate closure of shrimp harvesting in an area that may be vulnerable to an ever-widening oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. Secretary Robert Barham issued an emergency closure, effective at 6 p.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A food company is recalling lettuce sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 19 people, three of them with life-threatening symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that 12 people had been hospitalized and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was looking at 10 other cases probably linked to the outbreak.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Prospects for legislation to crack down on slaughterhouse abuses dimmed Tuesday even as new allegations emerged that a Grand Isle slaughterhouse accused of mistreating calves also had numerous food safety violations. "There may be some people out there who don't give a hoot about the welfare of animals, but they care about what their kids eat," said Dr.
WASHINGTON (USDA) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications to increase the production and use of renewable energy sources. Funding is available from four USDA Rural Development renewable energy programs authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A beef slaughterhouse in central Washington has agreed to pay a $750,000 penalty and install an estimated $3 million in equipment to resolve allegations that it violated the Clean Water Act, under a settlement agreement announced Tuesday by the Justice Department.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The former California food company executive at the center of a massive tomato price-fixing investigation has pleaded not guilty to new federal charges in the case. Frederick Scott Salyer entered the plea Tuesday to violating antitrust laws. Prosecutors allege he fixed prices and rigged bids for the sale of tomato products to McCain Foods USA Inc.