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Restaurants fear clout of a new food giant
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Bobby Williams used to rely on US Foods Inc. to supply most of the ingredients for Lizard's Thicket, the chain of Southern home-cooking restaurants his family owns in South Carolina. But years ago, after learning that the government had accused US Foods of padding its invoices — allegations the company denied — he switched to rival Sysco Corp. "Luckily I had that option," he said.
State legislative season begins anew with some familiar proposals
Food Safety News
After going 0 for 11 in the states last year and losing again on a state initiative ballot last fall, animal agriculture and GMO labeling campaigners are back with their same old bills because it's the start of a new legislative season in most states.
Foods likely to cost more in 2014: Chocolate, beef, cereal and more
Los Angeles Times
Eating well in 2014 could get more expensive. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, all food prices are expected to increase by 1.25 percent to 1.75 percent, and food-at-home prices are predicted to increase by .75 percent to 1.25 percent.
Republicans really could win it all this year
For the past decade, Larry J. Sabato has been forecasting elections and analyzing the results — correctly predicting 98 percent of Senate, House and governor winners in, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. Get his insights on how the 2014 midterm races are shaping up — and the factors that really matter.
McConnell emphasizes Tea Party ties in filing for re-election (The Hill)
Dean Heller: I'm still a conservative (The Washington Post)
Income gap takes shape as central issue for both parties ahead of 2014 midterms
The Washington Post
On Tuesday morning, Senate Republicans are expected to block an emergency measure to extend unemployment insurance. Soon after, President Barack Obama will stand before a handful of the 1.3 million Americans who have begun to lose their benefits and try to shame Republicans for failing to help the nation's neediest. A similar political dynamic is likely to play out in the weeks and months to come.
GOP's Jim Gerlach not running in 2014
The wave of House GOP retirements continued Monday, with Rep. Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania announcing he will not seek re-election in 2014 — a decision that opens the door for Democrats to compete for the swing seat. It's the third retirement in less than a month that has imperiled a Republican-held seat and one of several that will diminish the ranks of GOP moderates.
Trade deficit smallest in four years; imports weak
The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in four years in November as exports hit a record high and weak oil prices restrained import growth, the latest evidence of strengthening economic fundamentals.
Labeling food with 'stop' or 'go' colors might spur healthier diet
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Hospitals might be able to coax cafeteria customers to buy healthier food by adjusting item displays to have traffic light-style green, yellow and red labels based on their level of nutrition, new research suggests.
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USDA, Commerce issue regulatory agenda preview
In a semiannual report, the Commerce Department and USDA have prepared a summary of the regulations being developed within the two groups' agencies. The agenda details plans related to food safety, nutrition guidelines and more.
Related: Introduction to the unified agenda of federal regulatory, deregulatory actions (Federal Register)
NLRB gives up on union-poster fight
Law360 (subscription required)
The National Labor Relations Board announced Monday that it wouldn't seek U.S. Supreme Court review of a pair of appeals court decisions striking down its rule requiring businesses to hang posters informing workers of their right to unionize.
FSIS issues compliance guide for Salmonella control in pork production
The Food Safety and Inspection Service is announcing the availability of a compliance guideline for official establishments to control and reduce the spread of Salmonella in hog slaughter facilities. The guidance provides information on best practices that may be applied at a hog slaughter facility to prevent, eliminate or reduce levels of Salmonella on hogs at all stages of slaughter and dressing. This guideline will help hog slaughter establishments better comply with the relevant regulatory requirements.
OSHA extends comment period for workplace injury tracking rule
OSHA is extending the comment period on the proposed rule, "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," which would amend the recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness records employers are already required to keep under OSHA's regulations for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. The new deadline is March 8.
UK frozen food sales are to rise
The outlook for frozen food in 2014 is positive across foodservice and retail sectors, according to the British Frozen Food Federation, as the U.K. economy starts to show signs of real recovery.
Biocides used in food industry at sublethal doses may endanger public health
Biocides used in the food industry at sublethal doses may be endangering, rather than protecting, public health by increasing antibiotic resistance in bacteria and enhancing their ability to form harmful biofilms, according to a study published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Food packaging company adding 63 new jobs in North Carolina
InterFlex Acquisition Company LLC plans to add to its operations, hiring workers for 63 new jobs and investing more than $10.2 million over the next three years in Wilkesboro, N.C.
More than 350 sick in Japan due to contaminated food
More than 350 people across Japan have fallen ill after eating pesticide-contaminated frozen food produced by the nation's largest seafood firm, national broadcaster NHK said Tuesday.
Diagnosing foodborne illness outbreaks
Food Safety News
While food can be contaminated with a chemical or physical agent, the vast majority of foodborne illness outbreaks are due to contamination by microbes.
UF survey: Food safety among the biggest concerns for most Floridians
The Gainesville Sun
Food safety is a big concern for most Floridians, a recent survey conducted by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences shows — third behind the economy and health care.
GMO labeling push will propel organic market, Organic Monitor says
The struggle over GMO labeling will push the growth of certified organic products in the U.S. in 2014, according to market research firm Organic Monitor. And at least one major discount grocery retailer is looking to cash in with the launch of a new organic house brand.
Pizza: Make it thinner! Cook it faster! Fatten profits!
With the birth of a new pizza restaurant in Denver, called Pizzeria Locale, the pizza industry is quickly embracing a basic food science principle — Make It Thinner! Cook It Faster! And Fatten Profits!
Chaucer Foods: Orchard of possibilities with freeze-dried fruit in chocolate
Freeze drying could unlock the potential of red berries and citrus fruits as decorations and inclusions in chocolate while preserving the color and nutrients of the fruit, says supplier Chaucer Foods.
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