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Food News

New Jersey orders Udder Milk to stop illegally selling raw milk

Food Safety News | Posted on November 15, 2017

Public health officials have ordered a New Jersey company to cease and desist its illegal sales of unpasteurized, raw milk following confirmation that a woman who drank it was infected with antibiotic-resistant brucellosis. The New Jersey Department of Health issued cease-and-desist orders to Udder Milk on Friday, but did not post the news on is website until Monday. Neither the state health department nor the Udder Milk website indicated where the delivery business is located. No business entities named Udder Milk are listed with the New Jersey or New York secretaries of state offices.

Dairy Farmers of America breaks ground on new plant in Kansas

Dairy Farmers of America | Posted on November 15, 2017

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) officially announced plans to build a dairy ingredients plant in Garden City, Kansas. In a ceremony at its 156-acre site in Garden City, representatives from the Cooperative were joined by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, city and state officials and the area’s dairy farmers to break ground on the facility. The state-of-the-art plant will produce whole, skim and nonfat dry milk powder, as well as cream, and is a partnership between DFA and 12 of its member farms in Southwest Kansas.

Minnesota farm capitalizes on growing demand for local, free-range poultry products

The Country Today | Posted on November 14, 2017

There doesn’t seem to be much of a slow season at Ferndale Market, but there’s most certainly a busy season. As Thanksgiving approaches, the feathers really fly. “It’s our time to make things happen,” said John Peterson, 37, who represents the third generation to raise turkeys his the family’s farm near Cannon Falls, Minn. John estimates they will sell about 30,000 fresh and frozen Thanksgiving turkeys this season, both straight off the farm and through retailers and restaurants across the Upper Midwest.The Peterson family has carved out a distinct niche for themselves among consumers seeking an alternative poultry product, raised on grass and without antibiotics and growth promotants.“They’re grateful that we’re doing it different,” John said. “Most consumers don’t really know where the frozen turkey in the grocery store came from and how it was raised.”People — hundreds of them a day in the weeks just before Thanksgiving — flock to the Petersons’ on-farm retail store, along U.S. Highway 52 between the Twin Cities and Rochester, Minn. They enjoy seeing exactly where their turkey was raised.

IPC questions WHO stance on antibiotics

Watt Ag Net | Posted on November 14, 2017

The International Poultry Council (IPC) disagrees with the recently approved World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that recommend that the meat and poultry industries stop the routine use of antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention, the IPC said in a statement. The WHO on November 7 stated that over-use and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance, as it released its WHO guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals:However, IPC says that the WHO guidelines “inappropriately tie the hands of producers and limit their options" for antibiotics to prevent, control and treat diseases.

Consumers may not recognize costs, consequences of demand for ‘clean’ food

Iowa State University | Posted on November 14, 2017

 Eating “clean” is all about avoiding foods with additives, preservatives or other chemicals on the label. Considering the numerous studies linking certain foods with health ailments, clean eating makes sense, right? While it may seem well intentioned, Ruth MacDonald and Ruth Litchfield, professors of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, warn of the consequences in terms of food waste, safety and cost. Clean food advocates suggest avoiding foods with ingredients you cannot pronounce. MacDonald says several food manufacturers, restaurants and grocery stores have responded by removing additives to fit the definition of clean.  The ISU professors say just because an ingredient or additive has an unfamiliar name does not automatically make it bad for you. The decision to remove additives appears to be driven more by market demand than consideration of the benefits these additives provide and the potential food safety risk, they said. Removing nitrates from deli meats and hot dogs is just one example.

Saputo closing Fond du Lac cheese plant with 126 jobs

WBAY | Posted on November 10, 2017

A Fond du Lac cheese plant with 126 employees will be closed in seven months. Saputo, based on Montreal, announced Thursday it's closing the cheese manufacturing facility on East Scott Street next May.Saputo says it will save more than $5.5 million a year by moving the operations to a newly-built blue cheese factory in Almena in western Wisconsin, about 265 miles away.Employees will receive severance. Some will be offered a chance to work at other Saputo facilities, the company said.

Chobani grows in ‘Silicon Valley of food’ despite turmoil

AP | Posted on November 10, 2017

The founder and CEO of Chobani has no regrets about moving his Greek yogurt company to south-central Idaho, a region embroiled in the national debate over refugee resettlement that spread to company boycotts by far-right bloggers and conspiracy theorists. “I hear the conversations here and there, but it’s a peaceful community that we all love,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant. “It’s the home of Chobani.”Ulukaya spoke to The Associated Press before a Thursday announcement of a $20 million expansion of the company’s facility in the city of Twin Falls — the world’s largest yogurt plant — to serve as its global research and development center tackling how yogurt is made and consumed.It’s a project Ulukaya says he’s been planning for several years. As to what innovations the company plans for the 70,000-square-foot facility, Ulukaya isn’t sharing yet. He said the focus will be on offering natural and non-synthetic products.The project follows a series of expansion efforts by Chobani since opening its Idaho plant in 2012. The $450 million, 1 million-square-foot plant is the company’s second after Ulukaya started Chobani in New York. The company employs 2,000 workers, including 300 refugees.However, Chobani’s time in Idaho also has taken a darker turn as anti-immigrant advocates have seized on the company’s open stance on refugees. Fringe websites have falsely claimed that Ulukaya wanted to “drown the United States in Muslims.” Other websites, like Breitbart News, falsely attempted to link Chobani’s hiring of refugees to an uptick in tuberculosis cases in Idaho. To counteract the hateful rhetoric, Chobani sued right-wing radio host Alex Jones earlier this year, saying that Jones and his InfoWars website posted fabricated stories linking Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children in Twin Falls. Jones originally promised to never back down in his fight against the yogurt giant but eventually retracted his statements in a settlement.Ulukaya declined to comment on the Jones lawsuit but said the rise in anti-refugee sentiment has never delayed a project he wanted to pursue. And he says he is committed to being a welcoming company.“Don’t leave anyone out,” he said. “At Chobani, we believe in second chances.”During Thursday’s expansion launch, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter praised Chobani’s impact on the community.“This new investment in Twin Falls reflects Chobani’s commitment to Idaho and to the people who have responded so positively to its corporate citizenship,” Otter said in a prepared statement. “Congratulations to all those who are contributing to Chobani’s growth, just as Chobani is contributing to ours.”

Nestlé’s Switch to Cage-Fee Eggs Demonstrates Why Companies Can’t Ignore Millennials

Triple Pundit | Posted on November 9, 2017

Nestlé announced that it will commit to sourcing only cage-free eggs across its entire global supply chain by 2025. This pledge comes almost two years after its U.S. division said it would switch to cage-free eggs for its food brands by 2020.It’s a big commitment. The Humane Society of the United States has noted that cage-free hens have a relatively better life than those condemned to painful confinement in a battery cage. Nevertheless, to many animal rights activists, cage-free is still a pretty dire existence. Nevertheless, the announcement coming out of Nestlé’s Switzerland headquarters demonstrates a growing trend: Food companies that ignore millennials do so at their own peril. “The wrath of millennials and other concerned consumers comes down especially hard on companies stuck behind the trend of improved animal welfare,” wrote Brett Cox for Entrepreneur earlier this year.Cox cited a 2015 study by the NGO World Animal Protection stating that 83 percent of millennials surveyed say they consider a company’s animal welfare policies when considering food purchases.

China’s details pork, beef buy from Smithfield, Cross Four Ranch

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on November 9, 2017

Chinese e-commerce firm announced it has signed a deal to import over $1.2 billion of U.S. beef and pork over three years. In a big win for Montana beef producers, the agreement includes a minimum commitment of $200 million in beef to be imported by JD from Cross Four Ranch and Montana Stockgkrowers Association members at fair market value over three years. It is estimated that JD’s purchase of Cross Four Ranch and MSGA beef will increase Montana beef export sales by as much as 40 percent in 2018.

The first non-browning, genetically modified apple is shipping to US groceries

Quartz | Posted on November 9, 2017

A new biotech apple is about to hit grocery stores across the US as the country’s first harvest of the genetically modified (GM) fruit ships from orchards in Washington state. Unlike regular apples, this new variation on the fruit, commonly called the “Arctic apple,” does not brown when cut and exposed to oxygen. It will be sold as a sliced apple product in 10-ounce bags, available at 400 Midwest grocery stores early this month, according to Bloomberg.The Arctic apple, owned by Canada-based Okanagan Specialty Fruits, isn’t a new invention. Scientists have been tinkering with it for more than two decades, leading up to the 2015 deregulation (pdf) of the product by the USDA. And it’s not actually a type of apple variety—the Arctic apple comes in at least three varieties, including Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Fuji.