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In observance of Presidents Day, Frozen Express will not be published Monday, Feb. 18. Regular publication will resume Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Food safety remains on GAO's 'high-risk' list
Food Safety News
Food safety remains on the Government Accountability Office's "high-risk" list, according to an update put out by the agency Thursday. As GAO noted in its report, the U.S. government is the "world's largest and most complex entity" that runs an incredibly diverse range of programs, so the agency uses its high-risk list to draw attention to the areas that need the most work.
FDA extends comment period for FSMA proposals
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is giving the public and industry until May 16 — rather than the original deadline of today — to submit comments on two proposed FSMA rules: "Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food" and "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption."
Analyst: Buffett deal could help Heinz offload frozen food business
The move to private ownership could make it easier for Heinz to do some spring cleaning, notably selling off its "troubled" U.S. frozen food business, said analysts as Heinz announced plans to sell to Berkshire Hathaway and 3G.
Related: Heinz CEO hints he might stay (Bloomberg via San Francisco Chronicle)
PACs increase donations to House freshmen
Political action committee donations to new House members spiked immediately after Election Day, as industries and special-interest groups moved quickly to ingratiate themselves with the new crop of lawmakers, a USA Today analysis shows.
Related: Rove's seed money sparks ire of grass-roots GOP (USA Today)
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Senate Democrats reach sequester deal
Senate Democrats said Thursday they will move ahead with a roughly $110 billion budget package — evenly divided between new tax revenues and spending cuts — to forestall the across-the-board sequester cuts due to take effect March 1.
Related: White House backs Senate sequester plan, urges House GOP action (The Hill)
Boehner challenges Senate Democrats to take lead, pass Obama second-term agenda
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Thursday challenged Senate Democrats to pass the agenda President Barack Obama laid out in his State of the Union address, suggesting the president's progressive proposals lack support even within his own party.
New Jersey's Lautenberg to retire from Senate
Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey has decided not to run for re-election next year, sparking what could be a contentious battle among Democrats for the open seat. Lautenberg, 89, is the Senate's oldest member and the last World War II veteran serving in that chamber. He will make a formal announcement Friday in his hometown of Paterson.
Debate on GMO labeling begins in Washington senate
The Seattle Times
Anyone wanting to get to the bottom of the debate about genetically modified foods will have a long wait. Parties on both sides squared off in Olympia, Wash., Thursday, arguing their cases for more than two hours in a hearing before the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development. The legislature is considering Initiative 522, which would require companies to label foods with GMO ingredients.
Senate Democrats offer to cut farm subsidies instead of meat inspectors
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said a Senate Democratic leadership proposal to eliminate direct payment subsidies to farmers would save $27.5 billion, constituting the entire non-defense discretionary cuts needed as part of a larger sequestration package intended to avoid across-the-board spending cuts March 1.
Meat industry warns of sequester-caused shortage (The Huffington Post)
Sequestration could sideline USDA food safety inspectors (Supermarket News)
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New USDA equivalency approach relies on PHIS, evaluation system
Food Chemical News (subscription required)
Not only can USDA's Food Safety and Inspection System collect and streamline data from domestic inspections and pathogen test results in the Public Health Information System, but also it can track international regulations, export certifications and foreign pathogen information — potentially saving time and money, according to a new FSIS report.
Arrests made in UK horse meat scandal as EU investigation heats up
Food Ingredients First
Police in Wales have made arrests at both meat processing plants inspected by the U.D. Food Standards Agency this week. At Farmbox Meats, two men were arrested, while in a simultaneous operation police arrested one man at the Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse.
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Kraft Foods expects 4Q adjusted profit to top expectations
The Associated Press via Sun Herald
Kraft Foods expects fourth-quarter adjusted earnings above analysts' current estimates but foresees lower revenue than a year ago. The company, whose brands include Oscar Mayer and Miracle Whip, also raised its 2013 earnings forecast Friday.
Dean Foods to close up to 15 percent of its plants
Food Business News
Following the spinoff of WhiteWave Foods and the sale of Morningstar Foods, Dean Foods is emerging as a much different company, one that is focused on leveraging its scale and driving greater efficiencies to gain more share of the branded and private label fluid milk market.
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Driving the market for healthy snacks
Parents worried about the obesity epidemic are starting to realize snacking options must be nutritionally balanced, easy to eat on the go and appealing to kids.
Heinz agrees to buyout
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.
Salmonella outbreak spreads to 12 states
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In an update Thursday evening, the CDC increased the case count of an ongoing Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken. This outbreak began June 4, 2012, and now includes 124 cases of illness, with 32 percent of victims hospitalized but no deaths.
Chicken processor expanding plant in Texas
Tyler Morning Telegraph
The country's third-largest poultry producer revealed plans Thursday to build a poultry processing complex in Texas' Anderson and Freestone counties at a total cost of approximately $124 million, creating about 1,100 jobs. Sanderson Farms, based in Laurel, Miss., made the announcement during its annual stockholders meeting.
Ready-to-eat roast beef recalled on Listeria worries
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Perfect Pasta Inc. is recalling a small batch of ready-to-eat roast beef that may have been cross-contaminated by processing equipment that had been part of a positive Listeria test on other products. The Illinois firm believes 315 pounds of potentially contaminated beef entered the market.
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.
Kemin facility in Iowa gains FSSC 22000 status
Food Product Design
Kemin announced its Des Moines, Iowa, manufacturing facility has achieved Food Safety System Certification 22000 certification as recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative.
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