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Survey finds food cost increases will beef up menu prices
Fast Casual
A recent survey from SpenDifference found that American chain restaurants plan to increase menu prices as part of a move to offset higher food costs. Last year, 83 percent of the chains surveyed increased prices somewhat, while this year 92 percent are planning hikes, according to a news release from SpenDifference. This year's increases are expected to average 1.8 percent, compared to last year's 1.65 percent.
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Reid sets up Monday farm bill vote
The Hill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has scheduled a vote from Monday on the farm bill. Reid filed cloture on the House-passed amendment to H.R. 2642 — the $956 billion conference committee farm bill — setting up a vote for Monday at 5:30 p.m. If at least 60 senators vote to end debate, the Senate will then proceed to a vote on final passage.

Related:
  • Farm bill would fund test of frozen, canned produce in schools (Politico)
  • US catfish farmers emerge as big winners in 2014 farm bill (Food Safety News)

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    Meat and poultry pros dedicated to 100 percent safety
    Food Production Daily
    The curtain has closed on the International Production and Processing Expo, but its mission to improve the safety of the world's meant and poultry supply lives on. The meat and poultry industry has a reputation in some circles for being a dirty business. Activists and advocated, often speaking with more volume than actual facts, decry chicken farmers and cattlemen for treating their animals poorly, working in less- than- sanitary conditions and running an operation that causes ills ranging from human sickness to environmental destruction.
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    What Henry Waxman's retirement tells us about the 2014 election
    The Washington Post
    Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., announced Thursday that he won't seek reelection to Congress this November. The lesson? Democrats aren't really counting on re-taking the House in 2014. Waxman is the fourth top Democrat on a House committee who has either called it quits or opted to run for another office, and a fifth — House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., — said this week that he's still weighing his options.

    Related:
  • What now for Pelosi? (The Hill)

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    John Boehner blasts Barack Obama on trade
    Politico
    House Speaker John Boehner jabbed at President Barack Obama on trade policy Thursday, accusing the president of doing too little to get his own party to clear the way for a pair of blockbuster deals that Republicans already support. The Ohio Republican highlighted a split between the White House, which is pushing for legislative authority to fast-track the Pacific Rim and European trade deals through Congress without amendments, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who said he doesn’t want that legislation to advance in the Senate.

    Related:
  • Obama’s free-trade plan may face a hurdle in his own party (The Washington Post - Opinion)

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    House Republican leaders back legal status in immigration push
    The Hill
    House Republican leaders are calling for illegal immigrants to be able to “live legally and without fear in the U.S.” after they have met a series of requirements and after “specific enforcement triggers” have been met, according to new principles presented Thursday to lawmakers. The endorsement of a path to legal status for many of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants is a significant step toward comprehensive immigration reform for a party that has long resisted policies that some deride as amnesty.

    Related:
  • Obama: GOP immigration 'progress' (Politico)
  • GOP Sets Goals (Washington Wire)

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    Food safety inspections in NY lagging, staffing below recommended levels: Audit
    WRCA-TV
    New York's food inspections have been lagging, allowing 5,000 manufacturers, supermarkets, wholesale bakeries and other businesses to operate last year without updated inspections, state auditors reported Thursday. The backlog allowed 439 new establishments to open for business without a required initial inspection, the New York Comptroller's Office said in the audit report.
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    FDA adds public meetings for proposed rule on intentional adulteration of food
    Food Safety Magazine
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that it will hold two more public meetings regarding the Proposed Rule for Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration that is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. In addition to the previously announced meeting on Feb. 20, in College Park, Md., the FDA plans to hold public meetings on Feb. 27, in Chicago and on March 13, in Anaheim, Calif.
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    Food-safety agency clears path for pig-virus vaccine after Ontario infections
    The Globe and Mail
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will issue permits allowing veterinarians to import a vaccine for a deadly pig virus that has been found on hog farms in Ontario. Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the manufacturer’s preliminary studies have shown that vaccinated pigs develop antibodies against the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.
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    Super Bowl Sunday, food safety roundup
    The Oregonian
    The Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food Network’s World Extreme Chef winner Terry French and the Ad Council has teamed up with a campaign targeting halftime, reports The Packer.

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    How companies legally add ingredients to food
    Food Safety News
    Do you ever wonder how controversial ingredients end up in your food in the first place? For instance, why are energy drink companies allowed to add novel ingredients such as botanical extracts to their products?

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    Farm bill would fund test of frozen, canned produce in schools
    Politico
    The American Frozen Foods Institute is lauding a provision in the farm bill conference report, passed earlier yesterday by the House, that would allow schools to try serving canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.

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    Tyson foods profit up, despite Chinese chicken concerns
    The Wall Street Journal
    The top executive of Tyson Foods Inc., said Friday the company will slow its pace of expansion in China as food-safety concerns have dampened demand for chicken in the country. Tyson no longer expects its Chinese operations will break even by the end of its fiscal 2014, Chief Executive Donnie Smith told analysts on a conference call, and the company will pull back on building new chicken farms there beyond what is planned for this fiscal year.
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    Flight Plastics opens PET packaging plant
    Food Production Daily
    Flight Plastics has opened a plastic packaging plant which makes food grade PET packaging from recycled PET flake. The business has been producing food grade RPET plastic in the U.K. for five years and is now introducing technology to New Zealand at a site in Lower Hutt, Wellington.
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    Two cases of rare salmonella detected in Oregon
    Food Safety News
    Two Oregonians have tested positive for a rare strain of Salmonella known as Salmonella overschie, according to the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. The first patient was a 28-year-old Coos County woman who fell ill in December. The second case was a minor in Lane County, which is separated from Coos County by Douglas County.
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    Mettler Toledo event sets laser focus on food safety
    Food Production Daily
    Mettler Toledo is backing comprehensive food safety education and strategy at its upcoming Food Safety Exchange. The company specializes in technology for food safety and quality, including checkweighers, X-ray inspection, laboratory instruments and more.
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    Never-ending salmonella: Woman tests positive for nine months
    Food Safety News
    Somewhere last week within the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Mari Haughey imagines that the laboratory technicians might have taken a moment to pop open a bottle of champagne. Haughey, a registered nurse, had plenty of reason herself to celebrate. On Jan. 22, after nine months of testing positive for Salmonella, she finally cleared a check-up.
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    Colby Horton, Executive Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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