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Nutrition labels set for major overhaul
Should a regular bag of Chex Mix be labeled as containing eight servings, or just two? Should pasta sauce jars tell how much sugar was added? The Obama administration is expected to take a major step toward addressing questions like these Thursday when it unveils the first update to nutrition labels on food packages in more than two decades.
Related: Michelle Obama to unveil food marketing limits for schools (Politico)
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New AFFI videos spotlight frozen success
American Frozen Food Institute
Greetings from San Diego, site of the 2014 American Frozen Food Convention. More than 1,400 delegates have joined us at AFFI-CON, and you can definitely feel the buzz! "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" is the theme for AFFI-CON 2014, a spirit that shines through in exciting new videos from AFFI and the Frozen Food Foundation that premiered at yesterday's AFFI Annual Meeting and Keynote Breakfast.
Frozen food leaders gather in San Diego for AFFI Frozen Food Convention (American Frozen Food Institute)
Frozen Food Foundation hosts 5K event presented by MorningStar Farms (Business Wire)
American Frozen Food Institute elects new board leadership (American Frozen Food Institute)
Taco Bell takes aim at McDonald's with breakfast
The Associated Press via The San Diego Tribune
Breakfast is becoming a battle zone for some of the largest food chains, with Taco Bell and Starbucks both planning to roll out new or revamped breakfast items in March, in a bid to compete with McDonald's.
Obama administration: ACA rules will increase costs for most small businesses
The Washington Post
Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration.
Supreme Court divided on whether EPA overreached on greenhouse gas rules
The Washington Post
The Supreme Court was divided Monday over whether the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency had gone too far in trying to regulate power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
No space for cultivation
or housing of germs.
• Removable bedplates
• Open and accessible
• Total sidewall opening
20 states considering GMO measures
Just days into the 2014 legislatures, almost 10 states were weighing bills that sought to address GMO labeling and cultivation. Now 20 states are considering measures, with two others — Colorado and New Hampshire — having already rejected legislation. Which bills are worth keeping an eye on?
Senate bill proposes GMO labeling in California (Food Safety News)
Hawaii GMO bill lawsuit defenders include 2 national groups (The Garden Island)
USDA report: GMO crops show mix of benefits, concerns (Reuters)
Michigan farm owner sentenced to prison after E. coli outbreak
Food Quality News
A farm owner has been sentenced to up to four years in prison for selling apple cider that caused an E.coli outbreak linked to four illnesses but no deaths. James Ruster, owner of Mitchell Hill Farm, was sentenced to 14-48 months for one felony violation of Michigan's food law, the first-ever felony conviction.
TPP talks falter on US-Japan frictions
Talks between 12 Pacific Rim countries to create a tariff-free trade zone spanning the U.S., key Asian states and Latin America ended Tuesday without a deal after the two biggest powers — the U.S. and Japan — refused to budge on allowing easier access to each other's markets.
Opinion: TPP not a good deal (AgInfo.net)
US suggests trade pact without Japan (Stuff.co.nz)
US, Canada launch pilot project on meat labeling
The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. and Canada have agreed to harmonize terminology used for wholesale cuts of meat in a pilot project that was set to begin Monday.
Soda debate heats up in California
Politico Pro (subscription required)
The California Beverage Association is reminding consumers that soda is responsible for only a small portion of calories in the American diet after a poll released last week showed a large majority of California voters support a health warning label for sugar-sweetened beverages and taxing the products to fund anti-obesity programs.
Is FSMA sparking concern abroad?
Food Safety News
During a panel discussion for the Food and Drug Law Institute's Food Week earlier this month, attorney Mark Mansour briefly noted that the Food Safety Modernization Act is not held in the highest regard by foreign governments.
Gloves come off in latest round of food industry fight
San Francisco Business Times
In a preliminary victory for California's restaurant and bar workers, Assemblyman Richard Pan could soon overturn a provision in the state's highly controversial new "glove law" that bans bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
WHO sees risk of obesity becoming the new norm in Europe
Being overweight is so common in Europe that it risks becoming "the new norm", with around a third of teenagers now heavier than is recommended for their health, the World Health Organisation said Monday.
India to block US trade probes, ready for fight at WTO
India has decided to block investigations by the United States into its trade policies and patent laws and prepare for a battle at the World Trade Organization, a move that could escalate already-strained tension between the two countries.
Maine wild blueberry industry may benefit from farm bill pilot program
Bangor Daily News
The farm bill signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month includes a provision for a pilot program that potentially could benefit Maine's blueberry industry, which had a hand in seeing the provision included in the federal legislation.
Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute's efforts to create a new frozen fruit USDA school snack pilot program are highlighted in this story.
Frozen food industry calls for greater collaboration to win back consumer trust
The food industry must collaborate more and share information in order to win back consumer trust, according to speakers at the British Frozen Food Federation's annual business conference Feb. 20.
Condé Nast breaks new ground with frozen foods line
In the latest example of editorial intersecting with commerce, Condé Nast's Self magazine is launching a new line of frozen meals with Benevida Foods CEO and chef Calvin Harris. The Self Healthy Kitchen line is rolling out to 2,900 stores across 37 states, including Kroger, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods' Northwest locations.
2-state Listeria outbreak linked to cheese kills 1, sickens 8
Eight people of Hispanic ethnicity in Maryland and California have contracted Listeriosis, possibly from soft cheese, and one has died, the CDC said Friday. Seven of the Listeria monocytogenes cases were in Maryland, and the fatal case was in California.
Wal-Mart's Mexico division to spend $1.1 billion to expand chain
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Mexican and Central American unit plans to spend $1.1 billion to open stores and improve its e-commerce technology, aiming to spur growth in the region as U.S. sales slow.
US households spend least on food; which countries spend most?
A new chart from Renaissance Macro Research plots the share of household income in a given country spent on food against the level of household income in that country. The U.S. ranks last in this category.
New $85 million food manufacturing facility planned in Idaho
Materne North America, the makers of GoGo squeeZ Applesauce, will invest $85 million in a new food processing facility in Nampa, Idaho, which will create a minimum of 230 jobs in the Treasure Valley region.
Euromonitor releases market study of US frozen processed food
Despite long being straddled with the unfortunate label of "junk food", frozen food products are being seen as healthier and healthier with every passing year. Euromonitor International's Frozen Processed Food in USA report offers a comprehensive guide to the size and shape of the market at a national level.
Saudi Arabia looking abroad to secure food for the future
The Wall Street Journal
Lacking in natural resources and dealing with harsh climate conditions, Saudi Arabia is now looking outward in a bid to secure food for its young and growing population.
Sanderson Farms swings to profit on lower feed costs
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Sanderson Farms Inc. said it swung to a fiscal first-quarter profit and beat consensus estimates as lower feed prices offset the effect of mixed poultry market prices.
Meeting the demands for all-natural foods and beverages
Food Quality News
Consumers have long held a desire for fresh, all-natural foods and beverages. Quality and safety are among the most important factors for the modern-day shopper.
Research: Disinfectants unable to kill Salmonella in food processing plants
European Cleaning Journal
Once Salmonella has found its way into a food processing plant the bacteria can be extremely hard to eliminate, according to a new study.
Cleanliness key as safety regs loom, expert says
A food safety expert advised prune producers to stress cleanliness and good record-keeping as new federal produce safety rules loom.
Study: Consumer-based approach to food and well-being could aid industry
Measuring consumers' perceived well-being can be an interesting approach for industry to better investigate how products and food choices shape eating patterns and could aid the development of new communication and marketing strategies, say researchers.
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