Frozen Express
Sept. 22, 2011

Death toll climbs in Listeria outbreak in cantaloupe

USA Today
The death toll has risen to eight in an outbreak of Listeria traced to Colorado-grown cantaloupes, officials said Wednesday.

Related article: CDC: 8 dead, 55 ill as Listeria outbreak seen in 14 states (CDC)

Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute is organizing a series of instructional food safety webinars with leading experts to examine topics and issues related to implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. To register, or for more information, please click here.


Del Monte pushes back in food safety case

The Bulletin
When health investigators identified imported cantaloupes as the source of a Salmonella outbreak early this year, the importer agreed to a recall. But now that company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, is trying to block additional restrictions on melon imports, setting off an unusually public battle between the produce industry and food safety regulators.

Related article:
Oregon rejects Del Monte Produce complaint (FBR)


Senate panel rejects bid to limit NLRB authority

The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Senate Republicans on Wednesday failed in an effort to undercut the National Labor Relations Board's authority to challenge a company decision on where to locate its workforce.More

Blaming Obama

The Washington Post
New polling from Gallup shows a majority of Americans — 53 percent, to be exact — now say President Barack Obama bears at least some blame for the nation's economic problems, the first time that has been true since he took office in 2009 and a sign of the challenge he faces heading into 2012.More

Rivals of Perry, Romney look to gain ground

The Wall Street Journal
Rivals to presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney will use a nationally televised debate tonight — the third in three weeks — to try to find a foothold in what is narrowing into a contest between two front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination.More

Texas Democrat's 'super PAC' targets Perry

The Washington Post
A Democratic consultant in Texas has formed a new "super PAC" to work against Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his Republican bid for the presidency.More

Don't bet the House on Democrats

No one's ready to write off the House yet. But in the wake of two recent special election defeats and President Barack Obama's declining poll ratings, Democrats increasingly are pessimistic about their prospects of winning back control in 2012.More

Opinion editorial: Rove — Handicapping the GOP debate

The Wall Street Journal
As Republicans gather in Florida for Thursday's Fox News-Google presidential debate in Orlando, the contest remains very fluid, raising the stakes (and hopes) for all nine candidates.More

Reid: Senate to clear TAA/GSP bill on Thursday

The Hill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., indicated on Wednesday that after a week of deliberation the Senate will vote on final passage of a bill that would assist workers harmed by free trade agreements and renew an expired program that provides for cheaper American manufacturing inputs.More

Obama plan gets chilly reception from K Street

President Barack Obama isn't finished with K Street. In the administration's latest attempt to keep lobbyists away from government officials, the Office of Government Ethics plans to eliminate an exception to the rule that allows government workers to participate in "widely attended events" hosted by trade groups. More

Poultry industry: Proposed OSHA rules won't help safety

The Meat Site
The poultry industry says proposed rules from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration revising injury-reporting requirements will do little to improve workplace safety.More

'Traffic light' food label could be key to reducing food waste

Packaging Europe
A patented technology set to hit the market in 2012 could provide the answer to the problem of food waste: Oli-Tec™ has developed food packaging that uses a traffic light display to show the freshness of food — and warn consumers when the expiration date arrives.More

Is traceback and record-keeping needed for COOL law?

Ag Weekly
USDA-AMS already is conducting physical surveillance at PACA operations to see that there is clear record-keeping and documentation that the appropriate actions are followed to show the Country of Origin label is correct and records are stored one year to provide a clean, fully accountable traceback and method of production for the COOL law.More

Nutritionist: Deregulation behind rise in obesity

Lethbridge Herald
When almost a billion people don't have enough to eat and another billion are obese, something doesn't add up, according to Marion Nestle, an author and professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.More

IFRC: Time to rethink global hunger fight

Reuters AlertNet
Governments should invest more in agriculture and give poorer farmers better access to finance to help the world's 1 billion malnourished people weather a "perfect storm" facing the global food system, the international Red Cross movement said Thursday.More

Small schools get big help in food purchasing

With recent changes in nutrition guidelines, the rising price of food and tight budgets, many Small School District Association members find food purchasing more challenging than ever. Axis Purchasing is partnering with them to bring low food pricing agreements to schools. More

Stocks, commodities drop on Fed; Treasury yields record low

Bloomberg via The Washington Post
Stocks and commodities tumbled, Treasury 30-year yields dropped to a record low and the Dollar Index climbed to a seven-month high amid concern central banks are running out of tools to prevent another recession.More

Hot trucks problem getting worse

Two months after an Indiana television station exposed "hot trucks" carrying dangerous food to Indiana grocery stores and restaurants, Indiana State Police say the problem is getting worse, and closing a loophole in state and federal law is necessary to protect the nation's food supply.

Related article:
Agencies respond to food temperature violations in delivery trucks (MSNBC)


Wisconsin company recalls cooked chicken
Roundy's Supermarkets Inc., a Milwaukee-based company, is recalling approximately 360 pounds of breaded chicken breast products because they may have been undercooked, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Wednesday.More

Smartphone application pinpoints nutrition, ingredients

Honest Label Foods LLC has launched its new smartphone application, the Honest Label Foods Scanner. The application allows consumers to scan the barcodes of food products and receive clear, concise nutritional information based on customized settings.More

Ingredient expenses crimp profits at General Mills

iStock Analyst
Rising ingredient costs and lax consumer demand continue to buffet General Mills, but the company still beat Wall Street's profit and sales expectations Wednesday, buoyed by a strong performance in foreign markets. More

Fish gelatin films show good packaging potential

Food Production Daily
Cold-water fish gelatin has the potential to be used as an edible, biodegradable food packaging alternative, according to recent research.More

Purac: New preservation solution for refrigerated food

Food Ingredients First
Purac has launched PuraQ Safe RS39, a new preservation product for refrigerated food. PuraQ Safe RS39 is designed to control Listeria monocytogenes and is a great match with mildly acidified food.More

Dairy processors: Foundation for the Future has $1 billion in hidden costs

Dairy Today
A study commissioned by dairy processors of Foundation for the Future has identified more than $1 billion in hidden costs in federal nutrition assistance programs and mandatory inflationary adjustments.More

Kerry Group to acquire Cargill's global flavors business

Kerry Group, a global ingredients, flavors and consumer foods group, has confirmed it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cargill's global flavors business.More

Shoppers choosing healthy foods

Supermarket Guru
To find out how consumers are changing their eating and shopping habits, if at all, Supermarket Guru surveyed consumers. "To our surprise, consumers report making a lot of healthy changes, even for special occasions," the Guru reports.More

Starbucks' ambitious grocery plans

MSN via Prepared Foods
Starbucks is itching to expand into grocery aisles, and its CEO says the global grocery industry will be surprised at what the company is capable of doing.More

Beef Checkoff sets 2012 plan of work

Drovers Cattle Network
The Cattlemen's Beef Board will invest about $39.8 million, from a total budget of about $42.1 million, in programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in the 2012 fiscal year, if the recommendation of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee is approved by the USDA following review by the full Beef Board.More