Land O'Frost announced David Van Eekeren will become chief executive officer and president effective immediately. Donna Van Eekeren will continue to serve Land O'Frost in the role of executive chairman and shift her focus from day-to-day operations to long-term strategic planning for the company.

As CEO, David is the family's third generation to lead the 52-year-old business. He has served as the company's president since 2008 and started working for Land O'Frost full-time in 1991 as a supervisor in the Searcy, Ark., manufacturing plant. Since then, he went on to work in practically every part of the company before assuming the role of executive vice president in 2005.

"Our management team has developed a comprehensive vision for the future and a strategy for the long-term growth of Land O'Frost. I strongly believe that the time has arrived for David to have the full authority to implement this vision for our future," said Donna Van Eekeren, executive chairman of Land O'Frost. "The knowledge and experience David has gained from years of working at Land O'Frost coupled with his proven talents as a leader, make him eminently qualified to fill the role of chief executive officer and president. This is a huge step toward keeping the Land O'Frost business in the family for the long-term."

Land O'Frost was founded by Antoon Van Eekeren, David's grandfather. David's father Paul Van Eekeren then ran the company until his death in 2001, when his wife Donna assumed her role as the company's CEO.

"It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather, father and mother by leading Land O'Frost," said David Van Eekeren. "I look forward to continuing the long tradition of growth and innovation first established by my grandfather and built upon by my parents. I also feel very fortunate to be supported by the best management team in the industry and I greatly look forward to continuing to build and differentiate our brand for many years to come."

Source: Land O'Frost

Meyer Natural Foods acquires Dakota Beef

Meyer Natural Foods has announced the acquisition of Dakota Beef, one of the largest and oldest certified organic beef brands in North America. As part of the transaction, Meyer Natural Foods has secured a long-term supply of organic Angus calves born on Dakota Beef’s historic, 150,000-acre, open-range organic ranch in Oregon. This acquisition further strengthens Meyer Natural Foods’ industry leadership among natural and premium beef offerings.

“We are pleased to offer our retail and foodservice customers a gourmet line of USDA-certified organic beef with the Dakota Beef brand. This complements our existing portfolio of natural, premium and heart-healthy products under the Meyer Natural Angus and Laura’s Lean Beef brands,” says Chris Boudinet, co-president of Meyer Natural Foods.

Source: Meyer Natural Foods

Recall Roundup: Ground beef, chicken wings, beef jerky

* First Class Foods Inc., a Hawthorne, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 34,373 pounds of organic ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced on Dec. 30.

Products subject to recall include 16-ounce packages of organic ground beef under the Nature's Harvest and Organic Harvest brands. Each package label bears the establishment number "EST. 18895." These ground beef products were produced on Dec. 7, 2010, and Dec. 16, 2010, and were shipped to retail establishments in Calif., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Wis., and Wash. The problem was discovered through company microbiological sampling which confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7.

* Pilgrim's Pride, a Boaz, Ala., establishment, is recalling approximately 180,000 pounds of breaded chicken wing products because they contain an undeclared allergen, egg. Egg is a known allergen, which is not declared on the label.

The products subject to recall include 20-pound boxes of "Pierce Chicken Uncooked Hot & Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings Drummettes And Wing Portions" and 10-pound boxes of "Sweet Georgia Brand Uncooked Hot & Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings 1st and 2nd Sections." Each product bears the establishment number "P-413" ink-jetted adjacent to the Julian Code date, as well as Julian Code dates of "0001," "0007," "0029," "0044," "0056," "0058," "0063," "0075," "0098," "0109," "0119," "0135," "0188," "0215," "0230," "0244," or "0279." The products subject to recall were produced on various dates between January 1, 2010, and October 6, 2010, and were distributed to food service distribution centers nationwide for further distribution to restaurants. The problem was discovered by the company through a labeling review as part of its quality assurance program.

* Bach Cúc Beef Jerky, Inc., a South El Monte, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 3,874 pounds of teriyaki beef jerky products because they contain an undeclared allergen, wheat. Wheat is a known allergen, which is not declared on the label.

The products subject to recall include 8-ounce packages and 10-pound cases of "Bach Cúc Teriyaki Beef Jerky."

Each product bears the establishment number "EST. 18995A" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products subject to recall were produced between Jan. 2010 and Dec. 29, 2010. These products were distributed to retail establishments nationwide. The problem was discovered by FSIS during a labeling review at the establishment.

Source: FSIS

Meat, poultry packages to include nutritional facts labeling

The Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that it will be making important nutritional information readily available to consumers on 40 of the most popular cuts of meat and poultry products. Under a new rule, packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry will feature nutrition facts panels on their labels. Additionally, whole, raw cuts of meat and poultry will also have nutrition facts panels either on their package labels or available for consumers at the point-of-purchase.

"More and more, busy American families want nutrition information that they can quickly and easily understand," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We need to do all we can to provide nutrition labels that will help consumers make informed decisions. The USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services work hard to provide the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years, and now consumers will have another tool to help them follow these guidelines."

The nutrition facts panels will include the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat a product contains. Additionally, any product that lists a lean percentage statement, such as "76% lean," on its label also will list its fat percentage, making it easier for consumers to understand the amounts of lean protein and fat in their purchase. The panels should provide consumers with sufficient information at the store to assess the nutrient content of the major cuts, enabling them to select meat and poultry products that fit into a healthy diet that meets their family's or their individual needs.

Examples of the major cuts of raw, single-ingredient meat and poultry products include, but are not limited to, whole or boneless chicken breasts and other pieces, or beef whole cuts such as brisket or tenderloin steak. Examples of ground or chopped meat and poultry products include, but are not limited to, hamburger and ground turkey. This rule is effective on Jan. 1, 2012. The Federal Register notice announcing this rule can be found at

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association released a statement applauding the move.

“NCBA supports nutrition labeling on beef products and is pleased to see USDA moving forward with this effort,” said Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts. “According to comments submitted by NCBA, cattle producers support the inclusion of all nutrients found in beef being included on the label. We believe this information is helpful in educating the public on the important contribution beef makes to a healthy diet. While NCBA believes consumers have the right to know what nutrients are found in meat, we also realize retailers and others in the food-production chain will face significant new costs associated with this final rule. We wish USDA would have granted our request for an 18-24 month implementation period, and will continue our longstanding history of working with retailers, consumers and USDA on the implementation of the rule. Additionally, we are hopeful USDA will work with industry to find the least disruptive and most cost effective way to implement the rule.

“U.S. cattlemen and women are committed to meeting consumer demand for nutritious, affordable, high-quality and safe beef products. It has taken nearly 20 years to reach this point, but we are pleased USDA is moving forward with this rule to provide consumers with beef nutrition information. NCBA will continue efforts to educate consumers about the nutritional profile of beef products to help them make educated purchasing decisions. For more than 20 years, cattle producers have supported informing and educating consumers of the nutritional profile of beef and NCBA has become a trusted leader on this issue. In fact, in the 1980s, the beef industry joined with other stakeholders in the meat industry to form the Nutrition Labeling Coalition for Meat and Poultry to support transparent nutrition labeling and developed the original Nutri Facts program long before nutrition labeling was required even on a voluntary basis. We look forward to working with all stakeholders on the implementation of this rule.”

Source: FSIS, NCBA

Tyson introduces Any'tizers QuesaDippers snacks

Tyson Foods has added Tyson Any'tizers QuesaDippers varieties – featuring two salsa dipping sauces – to its popular Tyson Any'tizers snack line. New Tyson Any'tizers QuesaDippers snacks combine flour tortillas, all-white chicken with taco or fajita seasoning and Monterey Jack cheese, all packaged with Zesty Garden or Cilantro Lime salsa packets.

"Our new Any'tizers QuesaDippers snack varieties with salsa dipping sauces are packed with tasty flavor in every bite to help moms quickly prepare a warm and delicious snack," said Sabrina Bewley, group product manager for Tyson Foods Inc. "Ready to eat in minutes, Tyson Any'tizers QuesaDippers snacks are a great solution to have on-hand to satisfy the kids after school or to please holiday party guests."

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.

Opposition to Sanderson Farms slaughterhouse gets organized

Residents in Nash and Wilson counties have formed a new coalition, the Nash County Landowners Association, aimed to stop Sanderson Farms from locating a chicken slaughterhouse in their community. The group is also announcing a new campaign effort targeting the Sanderson Farms executive team, its Board of Directors and shareholders.

"Sanderson Farms quietly invaded our neighborhoods just ahead of the holiday season with a secret plan to locate a chicken slaughterhouse in our midst. The slaughterhouse and surrounding unregulated chicken houses will change the character of our community and its precious water resources tremendously. It's only right that we go into their neighborhood and tell them openly why these are inappropriate locations for their facilities -- it's wrong for the future of our community and their company. Sanderson's timing and steamroll approach with this project are borderline unethical," said Con Ward, chairman of the Nash County Landowners Association.

"Sanderson Farms is a large, publicly-traded company and pushed our county officials to move according to a timetable that suited their shareholders. This week a number of our residents will be purchasing stock in the company. We plan to use our new position as shareholders to petition the Board of Directors for time at their next meeting to address our concerns about this proposal," said Ward.

In addition to petitioning the Board of Directors the group will ask to review the files from the company regarding their site selection process.

"Let's be very clear about this, there must be sites in North Carolina that can accommodate this facility without threatening watersheds and drinking water supplies. The Pamlico-Tar and Neuse watersheds and Buckhorn and Tar River reservoirs are important natural and economic resources that need protection now and for future generations," said Ward.

Vice Chairman Bert Daniels said the group has retained legal counsel and will be coordinating opposition efforts with the City of Wilson and Wilson County.

"We are going to make sure that people involved in this decision process from this point forward are forthright, honest and above board -- that's a starting point for us," said Ward.

Source: Nash County Landowners Association