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FDA's changing culture: What every food company needs to know
Food Safety Magazine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is undergoing a major culture change, and nowhere is that impact being felt more than in the food industry. While visibly preparing new regulations to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, the agency is quietly becoming much more inspection-oriented and enforcement-minded, even before FSMA is fully implemented.
Related: Opinion: Determining 'high-risk' foods – a different analysis (Food Safety News)
Internal emails reveal FSIS was divided on pink slime
Food Safety News
Several thousand internal emails from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service reveal vastly different opinions on the safety and quality of lean finely textured beef (a.k.a. pink slime) — from employees who called it "GROSS" to those who called media skepticism of LFTB "a bunch of bull."
Why pizza, tacos and Pop-Tarts have gone 'crazy'
Food companies are launching campaigns for products they call crazy. Instead of grossing out consumers, it's creating a nation of 'loco'-vores.
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Obama running short of time to burnish legacy in second term
The next 10 weeks are a make-or-break period for President Barack Obama's second-term agenda. He needs quick victories in the Senate on gun control and immigration if he is to build momentum for a fight in the Republican-controlled House — the chief obstacle to his agenda.
Democrats tap Obama donor network for OFA, Senate races
Julianna Smoot was there from the very beginning of Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, giving the Illinois senator a simple, yet daunting assignment: Call a list of donors and convince them to pitch in as much as they could to a campaign expected to eventually lose to Hillary Clinton. Now, Smoot hopes to tap that Obama donor network for two separate causes.
Opinion: Despite 'autopsy,' GOP could have revival in 2014
When the Republican National Committee released its so-called autopsy of the 2012 presidential campaign last month, it candidly predicted that Republicans "will lose future elections" if they are unable to attract more women and minority voters.
Related: Opinion: The GOP's generational shift (Politico)
California school district tweaks menus to entice more lunch buyers
Ventura County Star
The Conejo Valley, Calif., Unified School District is changing its school menus this month to encourage more students to buy lunch. The number of students paying for lunches has dropped by 600 meals a day this school year, according to Linda Bekeny, assistant superintendent, Business Services.
Immigration proposal could be delayed
The Washington Post
A bipartisan Senate group on immigration legislation is attempting to craft an agreement so secure that the eight members will oppose amendments to its core provisions, an arrangement that could delay the introduction of a bill, people familiar with the negotiations said.
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Top tax writers insist reform 'very much alive'
The two top tax writers in Congress said Monday that the prospects for tax reform are alive and well. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., wrote in an op-ed that overhauling America's "broken" tax code is long overdue, but they acknowledge the serious political challenges that come with tax reform.
Bill Gates: Food industry innovation crucial for health, food security
Our approach to food is ripe for reinvention — and the food industry is just at the beginning of what it can achieve through innovation, according to Microsoft mogul and humanitarian Bill Gates.
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Wave of strikes hits fast food industry
The fast food industry has been largely immune to workplace organizing, mainly because of the high turnover rate for workers there. Of course, that high turnover rate is largely due to the low wages these jobs pay.
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Study: Specialty food sales reach record highs
U.S. sales of specialty food and beverages rose 14.3 percent to $86 billion in 2012 — more than double the 6.8 percent increase recorded the previous year — according to the Specialty Food Association's annual State of the Specialty Food Industry report.
Coupon use still prevalent among American consumers
Ninety-five percent of Americans use coupons when shopping, while 73 percent admit to using coupons at least a couple times per month, according to a recent survey conducted by Boston, Mass.-based Linkable Networks.
Four baby food makers are sued over lead warning
The Associated Press via USA Today
The nation's largest baby food makers face a lawsuit by an environmental group aimed at forcing them to alert consumers that some products contains low amounts of lead.
Maximizing insurance coverage for food contamination claims
Food Safety Magazine
Foodborne illness claims are among the greatest financial risks facing the food industry. After a contamination event, all companies in the food supply chain — from farm to supermarket — may unexpectedly find themselves in the crosshairs of aggressive plaintiffs' lawyers, regardless of the ultimate source of the contamination.
Finding healthy food
Two years ago USDA's Economic Research Service released the "Food Desert Locator," an online mapping tool that identifies low-income census tracts where large numbers of residents face challenges in accessing the nearest grocery store. So, what areas are defined as a "food desert"?
Littlejohn considering sale of prepared-foods maker CTI
CTI Foods Holding Co.'s owner, private-equity firm Littlejohn & Co., is exploring a sale of the prepared-foods supplier that may fetch about $500 million, two people familiar with the matter said.
Dish size, meal frequency may affect children's weight
Shrinking the size of kids' plates and bowls and encouraging them to eat more frequently throughout the day might help them eat less and keep off extra weight, new research suggests.
Fast food chains left with multiple hurdles
It's safe to say consumers flock to fast food restaurants for two reasons: quick service and low costs — with the low costs often being the main motivator. But offers such as the value meal may soon be a thing of the past.
Related: Mark Bittman on the reality of 'healthful' fast food (The New York Times)
Study links carnitine in red meat, energy drinks to heart disease
A compound abundant in red meat and added as a supplement to popular energy drinks has been found to promote atherosclerosis — the hardening or clogging of the arteries — according to Cleveland Clinic research published online this week in the journal Nature Medicine.
UK food companies pledge total traceability for pork products
The Pig Site
A total of 100 leading U.K. food brands have made total traceability for the imported pork and pork products they sell a part of the National Pig Association Wall of Fame campaign.
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