NEW YORK (AP) — Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is seeking bankruptcy protection, blaming its pension and medical benefits obligations, increased competition and tough economic conditions. The filing on Wednesday comes just two years after a predecessor company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pepsi Beverages Co. has agreed to pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges of race discrimination for using criminal background checks to screen out job applicants. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the company's policy of not hiring workers with arrest records disproportionately excluded more than 300 black applicants.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Male crabs have their pick of mates in the Chesapeake Bay this year. Strict harvest restrictions designed to protect the bay's crab population have pushed the ratio of females to males, also known as Jimmies, to nearly 3-to-1, said Tuck Hines of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
Orange juice futures shot 10.7 percent higher Tuesday after the government said it will increase testing for a fungicide that was found in low levels in orange juice. Investors snapped up contracts because of the uncertainty about whether orange supplies will be affected by the testing program.
FLEURUS, Belgium (AP) — When Eric Pierart takes in the chaotic wiggling of thousands of hens caged in his renovated barn, he's reminded of how tough it is for Europe to unite on anything. And how much time it takes. A dozen years after the European Union set Jan. 1, 2012 as the date to eliminate the most cramped cages to improve the living standards of egg laying hens, half of the 27 European Union nations have failed to fully comply — a flop seen as a metaphor for Europe's current state of disarray.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional investigators looking into an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe linked to 30 deaths last year found that third-party auditors who gave Colorado's Jensen Farms a "superior" rating just before the outbreak largely ignored government guidance on food safety.
FRESNO, California (AP) — Authorities in California are looking into animal rights activists' claims that they caused the fire that destroyed 14 big-rig tractors and several trailers at the state's biggest beef processor. Activists claimed responsibility for the fire at Harris Farms in an email released by the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.
(AP) — In this photo taken Monday, Jan. 6, 2012, hens are seen at a chicken farm in Fleurus, Belgium. A dozen years after the European Union set Jan. 1, 2012 as the date to eliminate the most cramped cages to improve the living standards of egg laying hens, half of the 27 European Union nations have failed to fully comply.
YONKERS, N.Y. (PRNewswire) — Let's face it, many of the most healthful foods – bitter vegetables, long-cooking beans, and squishy tofu – can be a tough sell. The March 2012 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, gives your grocery list a makeover with 12 healthy foods that help you get nutrients in unexpected ways from foods like chips, pasta, and even dips.
SCRANTON, Pa. (PRNewswire) — A new study by University of Scranton Chemistry Professor Joe Vinson, Ph.D., published in The Royal Society of Chemistry's journal Food and Function online on Dec. 21, 2011, shows nuts pack a healthy punch and ranks walnuts at the top for having both more healthful antioxidants, called polyphenols, and a higher antioxidant potency than the other nuts analyzed.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (PRNewswire) — Cargill today reported $100 million in earnings from continuing operations in the fiscal 2012 second quarter ended Nov. 30, 2011, an 88 percent decrease from $832 million in the same period a year ago. In the first six months, earnings from continuing operations were $336 million, compared with $1.
CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are welcoming a new flagship Walgreens to the city. The pair spoke Monday at a private reception and ribbon cutting at the new store on State Street. Quinn commented that the Walgreens he remembers from his childhood "did not have a sushi bar.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jerseyans could have wine shipped to their homes from small out-of-state wineries and Garden State growers could ship their product directly to customers under legislation that has cleared the state Legislature. The Assembly and state Senate both voted late Monday night to advance a bill that revises the law governing direct wine sales.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — The Sara Lee bakery in Rock Island, Ill. is slated to close by the end of the year, putting about 100 people out of work. The plant is operated by Bimbo Bakeries USA. A company spokesman says the Rock Island plant is getting old and the company has more efficient plants that can handle the baking now done in Rock Island.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says it will step up testing for a fungicide that has been found in low levels in orange juice. FDA officials said they aren't concerned about the safety of the juice but will increase testing to make sure the contamination isn't a problem.
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (PRNewswire) — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced today that the FDA's order prohibiting certain uses of cephalosporins in food animals appears consistent with the current AVMA position on the limited prohibition on extra-label drug use, but warned against further restrictions not backed by science.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian customs ship was steaming full speed toward a Japanese whaling vessel to pick up three activists after Tokyo decided Tuesday to release them without charges over their surprise boarding off southwest Australia. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the customs ship would likely take several days of traveling at top speed to rendezvous with the security ship the Shonan Maru No.
SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks Coffee Co. said Tuesday it will begin serving Starbucks Blonde Roast, a lighter roast than its regular dark and medium roasts, in an effort to attract more customers. The coffee will be available beginning immediately at Starbucks stores and grocery stores nationwide.
Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Wonder Bread and Twinkies, is preparing to refile for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just two years after emerging, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. A spokesman for the privately held Irving, Texas, bakery company declined to comment on the report.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Agriculture Department announced Monday it will close nearly 260 offices nationwide, a move that won praise for cutting costs but raised concerns about the possible effect on food safety. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the goal was to save $150 million a year in the agency's $145 billion budget.