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Top Stories of 2013
As 2013 comes to a close, the American Frozen Food Institute would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we prepare for the year ahead, we would like to provide our readers with a look at Frozen Express's most-read articles of 2013.
Our regular publication will resume next Thursday, Jan. 2.
Lawyers see food as the next 'deep pocket'
From Nov. 12: A new report, "The New Lawsuit Ecosystem," from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, cites "an unprecedented surge in consumer class actions against food and beverage manufacturers… alleging trivial violations of federal regulations and … [seeking] millions of dollars where no reasonable consumer was deceived."
Related: Who's to blame for food class action lawsuits? (Eat Drink Better)
McDonald's dropping Heinz after CEO change
From Oct. 28: McDonald's Corp on Friday said it plans to end its 40-year relationship with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co, since that company is now led by Bernardo Hees, the former chief executive of hamburger rival Burger King Worldwide Inc.
Prop 65 lawsuit filed against Trader Joe's, Whole Foods
Food Product Design
From May 3: Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's and other food retailers, manufacturers and distributors face a Proposition 65 lawsuit from California Attorney General Kamala Harris, according to a news report.
FDA names Mexican produce supplier in Cyclospora outbreak
From Aug. 5: The outbreak of a diarrheal disease has been linked, at least in Iowa and Nebraska, to a salad mix provided to restaurants by the Mexican subsidiary of an American food service company.
From freezer to microwave to table: Top 150 food processors
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods (free registration required)
From March 8: Refrigerated & Frozen Foods provides an overview of the top 25 frozen food processors in each of six sectors. This year's "Top 150 Frozen Food Processors" report garnered an overall update rate of 71 percent across all categories.
Heinz plans $28 million flagship in Ohio
Pittsburgh Business Journal
From Nov. 20: H.J. Heinz Co. is planning a $28 million expansion at the company's Masillon, Ohio, frozen food production facility that company officials say will become the flagship "Heinz Frozen Food Center of Excellence."
Cyclospora outbreak hits 20 states; 600 infected with parasite
Food Safety News
From Aug. 20: In the 52 days since the CDC first announced an outbreak of the single-celled parasite known as Cyclospora cayetanesis, the confirmed cases have nearly tripled while the number of states involved have quadrupled. But it's unclear whether health officials are dealing with a single-source outbreak or several smaller ones.
McDonald's cutting menu items
CNN via WTVR-TV
From March 1: McDonald's is clearing some space on its menu, perhaps to make room for new items. The company says it will stop offering its fruit and walnut salad and Chicken Selects. It's also considering getting rid of the Angus Third Pounder.
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Top 10 supermarket trends coming in 2014
From Dec. 10: With growing selections of healthy snacks, store brands, recipe apps and international flavors, supermarkets will evolve in 2014 to better meet consumers' desires for affordability and convenience.
Did Diane Sawyer smear pink slime?
From March 5: A year ago, Beef Products Inc. had four state-of-the art plants, more than 1,300 employees and was expanding aggressively. Then ABC News aired a story the company alleges was defamatory.
Report: The New Lawsuit Ecosystem
Institute for Legal Reform
From Nov. 12: There is an unprecedented surge in consumer class actions against food and beverage manufacturers… [seeking] millions of dollars where no reasonable consumer was deceived.
Dole Food receives unsolicited takeover offer from CEO
The New York Times
From June 11: The chief executive of Dole Food, David H. Murdock, made an unsolicited offer Tuesday to buy the company in a deal that values Dole at almost $1.1 billion.
Dr. Oz: The hidden chemicals you're feeding your family
The Dr. Oz Show
From Jan. 30: What's in America's food and drinks? Dr. Oz's episode Wednesday examined chemicals being used by the food industry.
USDA plans to revise frozen vegetable grading system
From Jan. 15: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to revise eight standards for grades of frozen vegetables, bringing them in line with other grading standards that have been updated recently. The plan would simplify the grades to single letter grades (i.e. U.S. Grade A). Comments on the proposal are due by March 18.
McDonald's GMO dilemma: Why fries are causing such a fuss
From Dec. 4: Plenty of GMO food probably already makes it on to your plate, and the scientific consensus is that it's safe to eat. So why are activists so opposed to genetically modified potatoes?
Idaho company seeks to introduce genetically engineered potato
Boise State Public Radio
From May 6: One of the country's leading suppliers of french fries is asking the federal government to approve genetically modified potatoes. The USDA announced the move Friday by the J.R. Simplot Company of Idaho. It would be the only genetically engineered potato on the market.
Related: GE crop risk assessment challenges: an overview (Food Safety News)
Campbell seen as next Buffett target, post-Heinz
From Dec. 17: Campbell Soup Co., the maker of Goldfish crackers and chicken noodle soup, may be next on acquirers' grocery lists after the $29 billion takeover of H.J. Heinz Co. this year.
Birds Eye maker Pinnacle Foods raises $580 million in IPO
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek
From March 28: 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.
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