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Food labeling should inform, not scare consumers
American Frozen Food Institute President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz
Food shoppers are more keenly focused than ever on how products are made, what ingredients they contain and where they come from. This provides food makers with an opportunity to educate consumers about the facts, but it also gives extremists the chance to purposely misinform.
Changes to Nutrition Facts panel may have little impact on perceptions (Food Navigator-USA)
Front-of-pack labels nourish food consumers (Food Production Daily)
Low-fat choices likelier with traffic light labels (Food Navigator)
Confident Chipotle raising prices
The Associated Press via WPEC-TV
The Mexican food chain said Thursday it will raise prices for the first time in three years as its popularity continues to soar. Menu boards with the new prices should start rolling out in coming weeks and be in place at all restaurants by this summer.
USDA to test adding canned, frozen produce in federal school snack program
The Produce News
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is moving ahead with a new pilot program to test the impact of opening up the popular school fruit and vegetable program to canned, frozen or dried fruits and vegetables.
Editor's Note: This story cites the American Frozen Food Institute's leading role advocating for the expansion of this program.
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Democrats' midterm strategy: Triage
House Democrats, battered by Koch brothers ads and facing a grim outlook for the midterms, are providing the clearest indication yet of how they plan to respond: By shoring up imperiled incumbents and only the most promising challengers, but most likely leaving some of the party's upstart hopefuls to fend for themselves.
Related: Obama tells Democrats: Defend my law (Politico)
Senate Democrats' best hope may be Georgia GOP primary
A lengthy and divisive Republican Senate primary playing out in Georgia is fueling Democratic optimism for a victory that could fend off a GOP takeover of the U.S. Senate.
Related: Georgia Senate poll: Perdue, Kingston lead tight GOP field (The Hill)
Obama: Immigration will 'haunt' Congress
President Barack Obama warned that failure to act on comprehensive immigration reform would "haunt" members of Congress, and accused Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, of being unwilling to "spend the political capital" necessary to move legislation through the House.
CDC: Salmonella down, food poisoning up in US
HealthDay News via Philadelphia Inquirer
While the United States has seen a decline in the number of Salmonella illnesses in recent years, there's been little progress overall in reducing food poisoning outbreaks, health officials said in this week's CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Related: Trends in Foodborne Illness in the U.S., 2006-2013 (CDC FoodNet)
Minimum wage increase could cost businesses $15 billion, CBO says
Law360 (subscription required)
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday that a bill introduced by Senate Democrats aimed at raising the minimum wage, would require private employers to pay an extra $15 billion in 2017 to workers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
New frontiers of food safety
Over the past few decades, food safety has been marked by profound social, economic and political evolutions and technological breakthroughs such as 3-D printing of food and the adoption of laboratory testing for pathogens. However, there is always more to do.
US expert: World to face acute food shortage by 2050
The Indian Republic
In a shocking report, a top scientist from the U.S. Agency for International Development has warned that the world is less than 40 years away from a food shortage that would have serious implications for people and governments.
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Auditor liability changing as courts, companies speak up
The responsibilities of food safety auditors, brought into the spotlight by the deadly cantaloupe-related Listeria outbreak of 2011, are increasing as their customers and the courts review who is liable in foodborne illness outbreaks.
US to decide whether to probe Mexico for dumping sugar
The U.S. will announce this week whether it will investigate allegations that Mexico unfairly subsidized its sugar exports, a step that may lead to penalties on trade that was valued at $1.1 billion last year.
China's arsenic-laced soil harming food, health
China's soil is laced with pollutants including mercury and arsenic, according to a nine-year government survey, posing a threat to agriculture and human health and raising new concern about the environmental costs of China's three decades of economic growth.
Will calorie counts on restaurant menus help tackle obesity?
Health Minister James Reilly last week performed the official launch of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland's new online calorie calculator to help businesses in the food industry to calculate the calorie contents of their menus. The tool, MenuCal, is the first of its kind in Europe.
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Abstracts sought for Consumer Food Safety Education Conference
Team Food safety
Abstracts are now being accepted for the Consumer Food Safety Education Conference 2014 to be held Dec. 4-5 in Arlington, Va. Sponsored by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, the conference focuses on consumer behavior change, reaching target audiences and other topics related to helping consumers reduce their risk of foodborne illness at home. The abstract deadline is June 2. Access the simple online submission form online.
Barbecues grow pricier as beef, pork reach record highs
With the Chicago weather finally getting a little nicer, Chris Anderssen wanted to grill some burgers outside for a group of family and friends. When she got to the meat aisle at her local Jewel-Osco supermarket, a case of sticker shock made her change the menu: Extra lean ground beef was $4.99 a pound.
Pepsi, Coke look to food as soda demand fizzles
Bloomberg's Ken Shea reports on how soft drink companies are trying to expand their food offerings as demand for soda wanes.
Burger King crowns a winner with Chicken Big King
Burger King has given Ronald another one-two punch with their newest invention, the Chicken Big King. Burger King tested the chicken version of the famous Big King in select stores and found the response to be to their liking.
Sonoco invests $5 million in packaging center
Food Production Daily
Sonoco is plunking down $5 million to transform one of its facilities into a center dedicated to packaging consultation and creation.
Goya: From ingredient to prepared foods company in 10 years
Historically a mainstay brand in ethnic grocery stores and the international aisle of supermarkets, Goya has grown into much more than an ingredient company — with a portfolio of more than 2,000 SKUs ranging from beans and olive oil to coconut milk and prepared meals and a goal of making a notable impact on consumer nutrition education.
Record freight volume drives record March rates
In a year of record freight on the spot market, March 2014 was no exception. Freight availability rose 56 percent in March on the DAT North American Index, including Canada, compared with the same month in 2013.
Ohio entrepreneur brings gluten-free pizza to freezer cases
Akron Beacon Journal
Steve Neid, longtime maker of frozen fat-free pizzas, touts his new gluten-free version as "super organic," hitting big healthful-diet bases.
Salami recalled on misbranding with USDA mark of inspection
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Bolzano Artisan Meats LLC, a Milwaukee, Wis. establishment, is recalling approximately 5,723 pounds of salami products for misbranding and because they were produced without the benefit of federal inspection, although they carry the USDA mark of inspection.
Also recalled: Mislabeled Price Chopper white bean hummus (FDA)
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.
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