Frozen Express
Dec. 13, 2012

FDA updates food facility registration guidelines
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
As food facility registration requirements take effect this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested additional information from each facility that qualifies as a small entity. In addition, FDA has updated its FAQs on food facility registration, issuing a fifth edition that replaces the previous guidances.More

Study: Junk food taxes pay off
HealthDay News
Taxing soft drinks and foods high in saturated fats and providing subsidies for fruits and vegetables might encourage people to change their eating habits and possibly improve their health, according to a new study in the journal PLoS One.More

The biggest food safety disasters of 2012
The Huffington Post
From widespread Salmonella outbreaks involving peanuts and cantaloupe to the discovery of mad cow disease in a California dairy cow, it has been quite a year for food safety.More

GOP, Democrats dig in on fiscal cliff talks
The Washington Post
Republicans and Democrats stuck to their entrenched positions Thursday as Washington edged closer to the fiscal cliff and groups backing each side warned against compromise on key issues.More

GOP pits small business vs. corporate CEOs in tax fight
The Hill
Top Republican lawmakers are pitting small businesses against big corporations in their push to keep individual tax rate increases out of any fiscal cliff deal. Republican tax-writers lashed out in recent days at both the White House, for pushing corporate tax reform in a deal, and at chief executives, for saying they could get on board with tax rate hikes.More

2012 re-election rate: 90 percent
Despite rock-bottom congressional approval ratings, voters re-elected their incumbents at near-banana-republic levels in 2012. Bloomberg reports that 9 in 10 members of the U.S. House and Senate who sought new terms this year were successful.More

Lucas appoints GOP members to House Ag Committee
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas recently announced the new Republican members who will be serving on the committee during the 113th Congress.More

Vilsack warns Congress on farm bill
In some of his strongest language to date, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned Congress Thursday that it must pick up the pace of farm bill talks and can't expect a fallback to prevent milk prices from spiking after New Year's when the current dairy provisions expire. More

Peanut butter, garlic bread back on school plates
In a battle over healthier school lunches that pitted the Obama administration against school children, chalk up a point for the students. Last week, the administration reversed some of the new school lunch rules, and the kids are happy again, says Dave Porter, superintendent of Wallace County, Kan., schools.More

Risk assessment to focus on allergens in food
Office of the Federal Register
The Food and Drug Administration is establishing a docket to obtain comments relevant to conducting a risk assessment to establish regulatory thresholds for major food allergens.More

FDA names New Zealand food safety as comparable to US
Food Safety News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday signed a "systems recognition" agreement with New Zealand — the agency's first formal acknowledgement that a foreign country has a food safety system comparable to the U.S.More

Stricter food safety guidelines coming to Florida
Florida is changing the way it inspects restaurants and warns consumers about possible allergens in their meals. The new guidelines come after changes to the National Food Safety Codes that were mandated by Congress and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.More

FDA reviews new guidance levels for arsenic in juice
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
You may not have heard much from FDA regarding arsenic in fruit juice from FDA in recent months, but the agency is in the final stages of clearing a guidance that may include new recommended tolerance levels.More

New cold storage facility planned for Port of Long Beach
Lineage Logistics
Lineage Logistics, a warehousing and logistics company sponsored by Bay Grove Capital, plans to open and operate a new 196,000-square-foot cold storage facility on the Port of Long Beach by mid-2014. Baker Cold Storage, a division of Baker Commodities Inc. of Vernon, Calif., has acquired the property and will own the new facility and business.More

The Twinkie tale: Hostess set to survive overseas?
Food Navigator-USA
Up-for-sale Hostess Brands has had strong interest from international firms looking to snap up its iconic brands, the company has said.More

Commentary: The logistics story for 2012 and beyond
Logistics Viewpoints
The lasting image of the supply chain in 2012 is one of a consumer with a smartphone engrossed in making an online purchase. Let's take a deeper look at the evolution of the "connected consumer" and some key things to watch for in 2013.More

Drought starting to show up in food prices
The Wall Street Journal
A visit to the grocery store is likely to make shoppers skeptical about news of falling inflation. The drought last summer in the nation's breadbasket is starting to reflect in food costs even as falling prices at the pump are pushing down overall inflation.More

America's disappearing restaurant chains
24/7 Wall St. via USA Today
In the past 10 years, some of America's biggest food chains have lost more than 50 percent of their sales as they closed hundreds of locations nationwide.More

University of Illinois study to focus on food crop production
The Associated Press via Capital Press
Researchers at the University of Illinois will use a $25 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study plant photosynthesis to see if food crop production can be increased. More

Pizza segment's 2012 highlighted by expansion, mobile
Pizza Marketplace
This year, the pizza segment seemed to throw years' worth of recessionary caution to the wind and get back on a track toward growth — both domestically and internationally. That growth, coupled with the staggering increase in online/mobile ordering, trumped high gas and commodity prices as the (non-food) stories of 2012.More

New food safety law causes concern among Hawaii producers
Honolulu Civil Beat
There's growing concern in Hawaii over the impacts of a new federal law aimed at improving food safety and security at everything from roadside stands to big-chain supermarkets. The Food Safety Modernization Act has created considerable confusion in the community, Hawaii Department of Agriculture Chair Russell Kokubun told state lawmakers Wednesday.More

E. coli fears prompt additional beef recall in Canada
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Following several reports of illness, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working with Loblaw Companies Ltd. to recall certain Butcher's Choice garlic peppercorn beef burgers that may be contaminated with E. coli. More

Pizza, calzone products recalled on undeclared allergens
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Canadian Trade House are warning people with allergies to mustard not to consume certain Hot Stuff Food Xpress brand pizza and calzone products that contain undeclared mustard.

Editor's note: Members of the American Frozen Food Institute have access to AFFI's unique Product Recall Insurance Program. Ensure you're protected during a food safety crisis using AFFI's one-of-a-kind program. For more information, please click here. More

Performance Food Group to acquire Fox River Foods
Pizza Marketplace
Performance Food Group Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Fox River Foods Inc., an independently owned broadline foodservice distribution company serving customers in seven states throughout the Upper Midwest. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.More

Mobile device enables easier food allergen testing
Food Production Daily
A simpler way to detect allergens in food samples has been devised with the launch of a new device for mobile phones developed by the University of California, Los Angeles.More

New sensors focus on FSMA compliance in food manufacturing
EIN News
Banner Engineering has introduced two photoelectric sensors designed specifically for food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Influenced by the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, Banner wanted to ensure the sensors provide reliable performance in manufacturing and packaging zones, including contact zones, splash zones and non-contact zones.More