Salmonella for humans and canines

Two recalls within three days apart have affected products for humans and canines. Metz Fresh (Salinas, CA) announced a voluntary recall on August 28 for bagged spinach in 10- and 16-oz. bags as well as 2.5- and 4-lb. bags shipped in cartons. Routine company testing found one sample containing Salmonella from many taken from three packaging lines.

Through its track-and-trace system, Metz Fresh has isolated the problem spinach to a particular field lot and has recalled all the spinach from the lot packaged that day on all three lines. None of the spinach will reach the retail market.

Three days earlier, Mars Petcare US (Franklin, TN) recalled two dry dog food products because of potential contamination from Salmonella Schwarzengrund. Products affected include five-pound bags of Krasdale Gravy dog food sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and 50-pound bags of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry food sold in Pennsylvania.

FDA conducted tests on ten samples, representing seven product brands from the company. Each sample consisted of 15 subsamples, for a total of 150 subsamples. Tests of the 150 subsamples revealed two positive samples-one from the Krasdale and one from the Red Flannel food.

USDA to contribute $5.5 million to E. coli study

The USDA will mark $5.5 million for collaborative research in California for the origins of E. coli 0157:H7, a bacterium that can cause sickness and death to humans and adds to vulnerabilities in produce agriculture and the food supply chain.

According to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johnson, “This research will help producers identify the sources of E. coli 0157:H7 and ways to avoid contamination.”

Three people died and hundreds more were sickened in the past year by E coli outbreaks related to bagged spinach. The outbreaks also affected Taco Bell and other restaurants.

Subway to sell Dannon

According to DowJones Newswires, Groupe Danone is selling Dannon yogurt in Subway’s more than 20,000 US sandwich shops. The introduction, which features the yogurt brand as part of Subway’s Fresh Fit low-fat sandwich menu, marks Dannon’s first massive nationwide expansion into US restaurants. The strong potential for yogurt sales in the US, where sales trails behind other European markets, is seen by Danone management as one of its “frontier countries,” compared with Russia and China.

Is China ready for prime time?

Can China get its food safety issues settled before next year’s Olympics?


Globalization: Where in the world is your supply chain?

Globalization offers opportunities and risks for US food manufacturers striving to optimize their supply chains.

Packaging trends survey: The year of living sustainably

The sustainable packaging bandwagon is gathering momentum, and most food and beverage companies are on board.

A higher sanitary bar

Hygiene demands are ratcheting up in facility and equipment design.

Tech Update: MES for the little guy

Processors with fewer than 100 employees get a boost from MES.

Tech Update: Non-thermal processing

Put the heat on some cool techniques to kill nasty “bugs."

People, Plant and Industry News

After completion of all regulatory processes, Nestlé completed its acquisition of Gerber, the US baby food brand. The acquisition took effect on September 1, 2007. The acquisition comes on the heels of the purchases of Jenny Craig and Novartis Medical Nutrition.


Jerry Schemm has been appointed engineering project manager for The Malish Corporation, a supplier of floor machine and surface cleaning brushes, and The Malish Plastics Division, a provider of custom thermoplastic extrusion of both tube and profile shapes.


DSM Food Specialties, Frito-Lay and Procter & Gamble have reached an agreement on intellectual property rights to apply asparaginase in food products to reduce acrylamide levels. DSM will license on a non-exclusivity basis the use of its proprietary enzyme, PreventASe, to Frito-Lay and Procter & Gamble.


Danisco USA spearheaded the effort in obtaining FDA approval (21 CFR 172.841) for the use of Litesse polydextrose as a bulking agent and texturizer in all foods with the exceptions of meat, poultry, baby foods and infant formula.


Whole Foods Market Inc. has successfully bought smaller rival Wild Oats Markets Inc., following months of delays as US antitrust authorities sought to block the $565 million deal.


DSM Venturing (Netherlands) has made an investment in US-based Food Quality Sensor International Inc., which develops and commercializes new technologies to detect the freshness level of perishable foods. FQSI has a stick-on sensor applied to the inside of meat and poultry packages to detect the gaseous by-products of food-borne bacteria growing inside the package.


Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc., a manufacturer of egg and breakfast products and a subsidiary of Cargill, has changed its name to Cargill Kitchen Solutions, Inc.


CPM, supplier of process equipment and technology for the animal feed, oilseed, biofuels and human food processing industries, has acquired Crown Iron Works (Minneapolis, MN). Crown Iron Works produces thermal, mechanical and chemical process equipment for oilseed extraction, edible oil refining, oleochemical and biodiesel industries.


PepsiAmericas, Inc. and PepsiCo have completed the joint purchase of 80% of Sandora LLC, a major juice company in Ukraine. The joint venture expects to acquire the remaining 20% interest in Sandora in November of this year.


According to Reuters News Service, Lindt & Spruengli is considering buying Campbell’s Godiva Chocolatier brand. Campbell has been considering selling Godiva since the beginning of August. According to Lindt CEO, Ernst Tanner, “It is a question of whether an acquisition would bring Lindt closer to its aim of becoming an even bigger global producer of premium chocolate.”


According to FLEXNEWS, a federal bankruptcy court judge has revoked the sale of LeNature's Inc. bottling plant in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to supermarket chain Giant Eagle, and has awarded it instead to Cadbury Schweppes for $19 million. LeNature’s filed for bankruptcy in December, 2006.


Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH has been chosen by Emerson Process Management as their “Supplier of the Year” for 2006, in recognition of its performance and dedicated service throughout the period of the award.


Heat and Control, Inc. has started construction of a new facility in Flower Mound, Texas for sales, development and demonstrations of conveyors and seasoning application systems.


Sioux Corporation has acquired three product lines from Walters Manufacturing of Watsonville, CA. The product lines are the Walters SteamGun, Walters SafeSteam, and Walters SteamPro. Sioux will be the exclusive manufacturer for each line.