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New studies find challenges ahead for restaurants of all stripes
The nation's restaurants are showing signs of life in at least one segment, but a "new normal" lies ahead in terms of growth, according to two separate studies by industry researchers.
Driving the market for healthy snacks for children
According to a USDA survey of nearly 10,000 children, twice as many kids today eat snack foods than did 20 years ago. But parents worried about the obesity epidemic are starting to realize snacking options must be delicious, nutritionally balanced, easy to eat on the go and appealing to children.
Effort to change immigration law sparks internal battle within GOP
The Washington Post
A new battle has flared inside the Republican Party in recent days as supporters of more-liberal immigration laws wage a behind-the-scenes campaign to discredit the influential advocacy groups that have long powered the GOP's hard-line stance on the issue.
Related: Labor-Chamber immigration talks stall (POLITICO)
Congress has no clear path to avoid broad budget cuts
A divided Congress will take next week off and then return to a familiar conflict: a looming, self-inflicted budget deadline that threatens economic stability, with no resolution in sight on how to resolve it.
Obama hits the road to sell his agenda
President Barack Obama took his State of the Union proposals on the road Wednesday, beginning a three-day tour in Asheville, N.C., by positioning himself as the champion of a U.S. manufacturing revival.
Boehner challenges Senate Democrats to pass Obama's agenda (The Hill)
Obama's agenda: Easier said than done (POLITICO)
House Republicans tell the Senate: You must stop sequester
House Republican leaders on Wednesday put the onus on the Senate to prevent $85 billion in automatic spending cuts even as they quietly began preparing to prevent a bigger government shutdown crisis coming at the end of March. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters the House will not act to stop the cuts set to hit March 1 unless the Senate acts first.
Health officials urge FDA to limit sweeteners in soda
The New York Times
A group of health advocates and public health officials from major cities around the country are asking the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of caloric sweeteners in sodas and other beverages, arguing that the scientific consensus is that the level of added sugars in those products is unsafe.
Thune: Sequestration would not automatically cut meat inspections
The looming budget sequestration, automatic across-the-board spending cuts, would not force USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to reduce meat inspections, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Wednesday. "I don't know where that's coming from," Thune, a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said. "USDA will have latitude on cuts."
Vilsack: USDA would have 'no choice' under sequestration (Food Safety News)
Danger on our dinner tables (The Huffington Post)
Why schools won't change students' taste for junk food
Given the epidemic of obesity among youngsters, it is a noble effort to get children to appreciate the value of eating more fruits and vegetables. But kids are not getting fat because they eat pizza and fries at school. It is happening elsewhere — mostly at home.
Related: School hopes second helpings will offset unhealthy snacks, lunches (Aberdeen News)
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Texas Democrats advance bills to exempt junk food from food stamps
San Antonio Express-News
Two bills filed by South Texas Democrats would prohibit individuals from using the state's food stamp program to purchase energy drinks and junk food such as candy, chips and cookies.
Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning in France
A French court on Monday declared U.S. biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.
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Berkshire joins 3G Capital to buy Heinz in $23 billion deal
Bloomberg via The Washington Post
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jorge Paulo Lemann's 3G Capital agreed to buy H.J. Heinz Co. in a deal for about $23 billion as the billionaires increased their bets on consumer products.
Related: Heinz agrees to buyout by Berkshire Hathaway, 3G (USA Today)
Food business drives PepsiCo profits
PepsiCo reported a stronger than expected rise in fourth-quarter profits Thursday, thanks to strong sales in its food business. Net income rose 19 percent year-over-year, despite a slip in revenues.
Nestlé reports slower growth, challenging year ahead
Nestlé's share price fell 2.3 percent Thursday as the company announced its slowest growth in three years, with developing markets hit by natural disasters and continued market weakness in Europe and the Americas.
Stocks fall on worries about fast food slowdown
The Associated Press via The Columbus Dispatch
The Dow was held back by a slump in McDonald's stock — along with other fast food companies — yesterday as investors worried that Americans will spend less on eating out after a rise in Social Security taxes at the beginning of the year.
Accenture gets $2 million to help FSIS tracking, reporting program
Business Wire via Enhanced News Online
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded Accenture Federal Services a $2 million, one-year contract to help the Food Safety Inspection Service continue improving the system that tracks data critical to the nation's meat and poultry food supply. The work will focus on case management tracking and increased reporting efficiency to further streamline the FSIS investigation, review and approval processes.
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The five-letter word taking over fast food
The hottest word in fast food marketing right now is "fresh." But with no set definition, companies can claim to serve fresh fast food without meeting any standard.
Five takeaways from the State of the Union
The Washington Post
President Barack Obama's fourth State of the Union address laid out both the blueprint and the underlying justification for his vision of his next four years.
CDC: Salmonella outbreak claims additional victims
A total of 18 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from five states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increase of two illnesses from its last update on Jan. 25. Ground beef produced by Jouni Meats Inc. and Gab Halal Foods are likely sources of this outbreak.
Kontos expands to meet demand for crepes, phyllo dough
Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer
Kontos Foods Inc. has opened a new 45,000-square-foot facility in Paterson, N.J., to address the growing demand from retail stores and restaurants for its crepes and phyllo dough products.
Food colors: Why do they matter?
Experts have long known that color plays a crucial role in the taste and perception of food. Alongside flavor and texture, color is considered by food scientists to be a major quality factor of food.
Melamine poison in China: Why did most children survive food scandal?
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
Scientists wondering why some children and not others survived one of China's worst food safety scandals have uncovered a suspect: germs that live in the gut. In findings released Wednesday, they reported that certain intestinal bacteria play a crucial role in how the body handles melamine.
UK: Waitrose to set up frozen food capability
Waitrose, an upmarket retailer in the U.K., has confirmed plans to build its own U.K. frozen food facility to produce a range of frozen meat products. The unit is planned to be operational within the next three months.
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