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Food News

Domino's Celebrates Cow Appreciation Week with 50 Percent off Online Pizza Orders

PR Newswire | Posted on July 13, 2017

Domino's Pizza, the recognized world leader in pizza delivery and digital ordering platforms, realizes that Cow Appreciation Week may exist only in the minds of those who truly love cheese as much as we do, and that's OK. Domino's love of cheese runs deep – it takes thousands of cows and dairy farmers to offer the variety of cheeses that Domino's does. And now, Domino's is celebrating its appreciation of cows and all things dairy by offering customers 50 percent off menu-priced pizzas when ordered online, beginning today and running through Sunday, July 16.

EU launches new antimicrobial resistance action plan

Watt Ag Net | Posted on July 10, 2017

Among the key findings revealed was that the overall high level of multi-drug resistance of Salmonella found in Europe could be traced mainly to two serovars, namely S. Typhimurium and monophasic S. Typhimurium. With salmonellosis the second most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU, the high level of resistance in some of the causal bacteria is cause for concern. However, the study also found microbiological resistance to ciprofloxacin – a first-line treatment to invasive salmonellosis infections in humans - was low in Salmonella species in fattening pigs (4.7 percent), pig meat (4.3 percent), and beef (2.5 percent).  For Salmonella, levels of resistance ranged from moderate to extremely high to tetracyclines and sulfonamides in fattening pigs, and generally lower in calves. Salmonella from pigs were less resistant to ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid than those isolated in calves. There was no evidence of resistance to carbapenems in Salmonella from either species.

The dark side of Trump’s much-hyped China trade deal: It could literally make you sick

The Washington Post | Posted on July 8, 2017

The first known shipment of cooked chicken from China reached the United States last week, following a much-touted trade deal between the Trump administration and the Chinese government. But consumer groups and former food-safety officials are warning that the chicken could pose a public health risk, arguing that China has made only minor progress in overhauling a food safety regime that produced melamine-laced infant formula and deadly dog biscuits. Chicken from China will not be labeled, and a representative from Qingdao Nine-Alliance Group, the first exporter, did not specify the name brand it’s being sold under. The privately owned chicken company, one of the largest in China, already supplies markets in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Exports of poultry, largely chicken and duck, are expected to swell under the terms of a May trade deal that would send more U.S. beef to China and expand Chinese poultry sales into the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently proposed a rule allowing China not only to cook, but also raise and slaughter the birds that it ships here as chicken nuggets and flash-steamed duck breasts.

Egg prices are at a record low, and nobody’s buying cage-free

| Posted on July 8, 2017

Well it’s been a long two years, and our egg windfall is leading to the cheapest egg prices in at least a decade, according to a recent USDA report. This news is a sad trombone for cage-free egg producers, who’ve been having a tough time selling their higher-priced wares.  The CEO of Cal-Maine Foods—America’s largest egg producer—bemoaned the cage-free surplus at a conference in early June. According to Buzzfeed, CEO Dolph Baker said, “Right now, there is a much greater demand for commodity eggs at these low prices than there is for cage-free eggs.”  In essence, egg farmers are nervous that they’re making all the elaborate structural changes to abandon battery cages, only to have shoppers turn up their noses. “90% of consumers stand in front of the egg case, and they pick conventional caged eggs because they’re economical,” Chad Gregory, CEO of the egg industry’s lobbying group United Egg Producers, told BuzzFeed News. To further toss water on the cage-free parade, most consumers aren’t totally clear on what the concept really entails (see our in-depth look at this phenomenon from last year). If the average Joe is unwilling to shell out extra cash for what they think cage-free means (ie, idyllic, pastoral bliss), just imagine of how they’d feel if they had the whole picture.

Antibiotic resistance linked to common household disinfectant triclosan

Science Daily | Posted on July 6, 2017

Scientists have discovered a link between a major mechanism of antibiotic resistance and resistance to the disinfectant triclosan which is commonly found in domestic products.

Plant-based and meat-based proteins face off

Meat + Poultry | Posted on July 6, 2017

Steven Walton said he thought his daughter was a vegetarian, but she corrected him. She does not consider herself a vegetarian because she eats her mother’s meatballs whenever she visits.His daughter’s stance reflects a general attitude that people have, said Walton, general manager of HealthFocus International. People, especially those in the United States, do not wish to be labeled, which means a broader market may exist for plant-based protein beyond people who claim to be vegetarian, vegan or “flexitarian” (those who eat meat sparingly, such as once per week). “We love diets, but we do not claim that we are on a diet,” Walton said June 28 in Las Vegas during a presentation at IFT17, the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition. “We love to dabble, but we are not a vegetarian.” Walton pointed to a 2016 U.S. study from HealthFocus International, St. Petersburg, Florida, showing 13 percent of respondents said they considered themselves vegetarians and 1 percent said they considered themselves vegan. He said while only 17 percent of Americans said they were eating a plant-based diet either exclusively or predominantly, another 60 percent said they were cutting back on meat-based products.So despite the low percentages for people claiming to be vegetarian or vegan, “plant-based eating is a game-changing trend,” he said.Instead of marketing heavily to vegetarians and vegans, food companies could promote plant-based protein products for the five reasons consumers in the Health Focus International study gave for eating protein: healthy diet, weight management, building muscle, increased energy and protein keeps them full for a longer time.

Upstate Niagara to buy Southern Tier cheese plant

Buffalo News | Posted on July 6, 2017

Buffalo-based Upstate Niagara Cooperative has agreed to buy Kraft Heinz's cheese plant in the Southern Tier, staving off the threat of a shutdown and saving a portion of its jobs.The deal for the plant in Campbell, in Steuben County, is expected to be completed within the next 30 to 60 days. The two companies said the deal guarantees at least 125 jobs will be kept at the Campbell plant, with that total expected to rise by 50 jobs within a year. The current headcount could not be obtained from a Kraft Heinz spokesman, but a notice the company filed with the state Labor Department in late May indicated the plant had 380 employees.The plant produces Polly-O string cheese, mozzarella cheese and other Italian cheese varieties, according to the notice filed with the state.

Maine’s new food sovereignty law puts local control over local foods

Bangor Daily News | Posted on July 5, 2017

Proponents of food sovereignty in Maine hope a new law, based on exchanging locally produced and grown food, will bring back some of that community-based commerce. On June 16 Gov. Paul LePage signed LD 725, An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, June 16, legitimizing the authority of towns and communities to enact ordinances regulating local food distribution free from state regulatory control.“This is huge,” said Heather Retberg, who has helped craft ordinance language. “Historically this is how many people have always exchanged food, especially in rural areas.”Under the new law, any town or municipality in Maine may now adopt an ordinance allowing food producers to sell their products directly to consumers free from state regulations or licenses.“This law and the ordinance are not intended to create a retail market that simply circumvents the rules of food safety,” Richard Loring King, Maine food sovereignty advocate, said. “It’s to rejuvenate traditional local foodways where communities provided for themselves in an atmosphere of trust, not unlike having friends over to share a meal.”For a great many of Maine’s rural small farmers and poultry producers who operate out of roadside stand or directly from their farms, the new law does not change how they do business, as they are already free from state inspections.The real changes involve those who sell meat or dairy products, Retberg said, which are highly regulated by the state.

Let Amazon devour Whole Foods

USA Today | Posted on July 5, 2017

In just 20 years as a publicly traded company, Amazon has become a retailing colossus, decimating traditional brick-and-mortar stores on its way to a market valuation of nearly half a trillion dollars.So since Amazon announced plans this month to buy high-end grocer Whole Foods, consumer groups have lined up against the deal.Their concern is understandable. The $13.7 billion purchase has the feel of something big, something that could mark the beginning of a downward spiral for grocery stores, not unlike what has happened to department stores. But for federal authorities to block the deal would be a huge mistake. To do so would require a novel interpretation of antitrust laws going back to the late 19th century.Whole Foods controls less than 2% of the grocery business, Amazon less than 1%. Those are hardly the types of market shares that should raise regulatory red flags.

Bigger Flocks Send Egg Price to Decade-Low

Bloomberg | Posted on July 5, 2017

It doesn’t matter if you like them hard-boiled, scrambled or soaked in heart-clogging hollandaise sauce: when eggs are this cheap, it’s a good time to get cracking.Supplies in the U.S. have surged so much in recent months that prices are the lowest for this time of year in at least a decade. It will probably take awhile for consumers to eat through the surplus inventory, so the government is predicting egg costs will drop more than any other food group in 2017.