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Food manufacturers not ready for FSMA data requirements
Many food and beverages manufacturers are poorly prepared to comply with the record keeping requirements mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act, according to a new survey by iRely. The study found 76 percent of respondents don't plan to add more staff to meet compliance needs, and 45 percent said they were keeping records manually to manage traceability, quality and inventory.
FDA adds up costs of new food safety regulations (Capital Press)
The FSMA kicks into high gear (Manufacturing.net)
Food stamp usage swells, even as economy improves
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
One of the government's biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn't shrinking. Use of food stamps is swelling, despite the recovering economy.
Alchemy Systems awarded US patent for interactive training system
American Frozen Food Institute
Alchemy Systems LP, the global leader in food and workplace safety training — and the first AFFI Advantage Partner — has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the company's "Multimedia Training System and Apparatus." Alchemy filed the patent application in 2010.
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Senate Democrats launch first attack of cycle against McConnell
A DSCC ad, launched a day after actress Ashley Judd decided against challenging McConnell, charges that he sides with "Washington special interests" against Kentuckians.
Mitch McConnell's scorched-earth strategy (Politico)
Ashley Judd: I'm not running for Senate (The Wall Street Journal)
Obama orders up another GOP dinner
The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama is organizing a second dinner with GOP senators, a continuation of his recent efforts to reach across the aisle for Republicans who might be willing to work with him on a bipartisan deficit reduction deal.
John Boehner: GOP's had a few good months
House Speaker John Boehner congratulated himself and fellow Republicans on a few good months in a memo sent to his conference Thursday. But the speaker didn't outline a road map for what could be a rocky few months ahead.
Cantor: Comprehensive bill on immigration reform will be 'tall order'
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Thursday he believed lawmakers could strike a deal on immigration reform, although he cautioned the comprehensive bill that President Barack Obama is advocating could be "tough to come by."
Study: Two-thirds of pesticides got flawed EPA approval
How dangerous are the pesticides used in consumer products? An investigation by the Natural Resources Defense Council says the answer is unclear, because the EPA used a loophole to approve many of them.
World Bank: Global food prices falling — but still volatile
Global food prices have declined in recent months because of lower demand for cereals and improved supplies, the World Bank said Wednesday, warning that prices were still near record peaks and volatile.
High food prices increase obesity, World Bank warns (Agra-Net)
US consumers paying less for meat, more for vegetables (24/7 Wall St.)
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West Virginia plan would give every student free lunch
The Associated Press via Logan Banner
West Virginia would be the first state in the nation to give free school breakfast and lunch to every elementary school student under the provisions of an ambitious bill advanced by the state Senate Wednesday.
Related: Study: 68 percent of US students qualify for free lunch (Big Picture Agriculture)
Opinion: Profitability and food safety
Food Safety News
As operators of food establishments look toward controlling costs, sometimes the decisions they make directly impact food safety. When sales go south, so does health and sanitation.
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Better route planning cuts fuel use in freight sector
U.S. distributors and freight haulers have held down diesel consumption even as their business recovers from recession by making thousands of small changes to their operations, such as improved driver training, restrictions on idling and careful route planning.
Consumer spending sees cautious optimism
Consumer spending has rebounded following a positive, albeit slower than anticipated holiday season, according to analysts with Great American Group Inc. Post-holiday results in January were hampered by lower paychecks resulting from certain tax breaks expiring. The current outlook, however, is cautiously optimistic.
Satiety, satiation trump calories in weight control
In seeking solutions to counter the obesity crisis, many experts from the scientific community and the food industry have shifted their attention to satiety.
CSPI: Most restaurant kids' meals packed with calories
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, most kids' meals at the nation's top chain restaurants are still failing to make the grade when it comes to good nutrition, with some kids meals containing more than 1,000 calories and high levels of sodium and fat.
Birds Eye maker Pinnacle Foods raises $580 million in IPO
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek
Pinnacle Foods Inc., the maker of Birds Eye frozen foods, has raised $580 million in an initial public offering of stock. The company's IPO of 20 million shares priced at $20 per share late Wednesday, the high end of its expected range.
Food industry hungry for deals
Since the shock deal involving Heinz materialized in February, analysts have been discussing the possibility of a new mergers and acquisitions boom in the food sector. Warren Buffett himself has fueled further speculation that the sector may see a fresh round of consolidation.
Hillshire Brands CEO: 'Heroic' meat is the new new bulk meat
The Wall Street Journal
As Hillshire Brands settles in as part of the Big Meat establishment, the company is shifting its approach again. CEO Sean Connolly said they are focused on "recognizing meat as the 'hero ingredient' in food products.'"
General Mills turns attention to veggie snacks
General Mills has thrown its weight behind mainstream veggie snacking with two new snack lines under its Green Giant brand. Roasted vegetable tortilla chips and multigrain sweet potato chips are the new additions to a brand better know for frozen and canned vegetables.
The Food Inc. challenge: Make soup cool again
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Food companies are betting more portable packaging and trendier flavors will do something for soup that mom can't: make it cool to 20-somethings.
Secret to success in the fast food sector
Business 2 Community
Like many fast food stocks, McDonald's has been feeling the pinch globally, seeing some pulling back in spending, especially in China and domestically. Or perhaps, consumers are becoming more health-conscious and want to avoid fast foods, which is something McDonald's has acknowledged, as it's working to deliver a healthier menu.
Translating safety research into everyday applications
A new report is helping industry translate produce safety research into everyday applications. Released by the Produce Marketing Association and Western Growers, the report aims to help produce industry members understand the latest food safety research and how to apply key findings to their day-to-day operations.
Study: Protein-rich breakfast prevents 'unhealthy snacking'
A protein-rich breakfast can significantly improve appetite control and help to reduce unhealthy snacking in the evening, according to new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Industry deems Food Vision a success; organizers plan for 2014
Following a highly successful inaugural summit last week, organizers have confirmed that Food Vision will become an annual event, returning to Cannes, France, in March 2014.
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