After Bridgewater, S.D., officials has to remove 80,000 pounds of rotting meat from a closed locker plant, the former owner of the building says that the meat never constituted a health hazard. Ilan Parente, who operated Bridgewater Quality Foods before closing down the location and moving it to Dawson, Minn., in 2008, said that he feels bad about the smell but denied that he was negligent.

"If someone would have told me I had left the building in disarray, if there had been rats, mice, vermin running around, I would have said, 'You know what? I'm a negligent person,'" Parente said, according to the Associated Press. "I feel bad for the people of Bridgewater who had to live with the smell. But that's really where the extent of my feeling bad goes. It wasn't ever a health hazard to anyone."

The meat, he said, was a collection of organs that were to be sold to a pet food company. When the building's freezer broke in December, he expected the winter weather to keep the meat at the right temperature. When he last checked the meat in May, a broken water pipe had iced it over. The summons to remove the meat came on June 10. Parente said he had workers remove some of the product when word got out that it was infested by maggots and creating a stench throughout the town.

Parente has already been billed several thousand dollars to contain and sanitize the site. He said he is unsure if he will pay the bills or fight it in court.

Source: Associated Press, The (Mitchell) Daily Republic

Arby's adds to Roastburger line

Arby’s is introducing its new BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger, the latest addition to the Roastburger family of sandwiches. The BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger features oven roasted, thinly sliced roast beef, topped with cheddar cheese, pepper bacon, crispy onions, tomato, pickle slices, and BBQ sauce on a specialty roll.

Introduced in March of this year, Arby’s new line of Roastburger sandwiches are available in three varieties: The All-American, Bacon & Bleu Cheese and Bacon and Cheddar. To celebrate the arrival of the taste of summer, Arby’s will give away a free BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger, with purchase of any size drink, on Thursday, July 9. Just text BBQ to 27297 (Arbys). The offer can be redeemed through July 19 at participating Arby’s restaurants. Standard text rates apply. In addition, Arby’s will showcase the sandwich, with a small fry and drink, as a value-priced $5 combo meal throughout the months of July and August.

"We can all relate to the excitement of getting out of school and having the carefree days of summer ahead of us," said Steve Davis, chief marketing officer. "Our BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger is the perfect sandwich for summer and with special pricing through August, it’s hard to resist.”

Source: Arby's Restaurant Group Inc.

Smithfield secures new credit line

Smithfield Foods Inc. announced that it has entered into a new $1 billion asset-based revolving credit facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent. The new credit facility replaces the company's previous U.S. revolving credit facility and it includes an option, subject to certain conditions, to increase available commitments to $1.3 billion in the future. The new credit facility is scheduled to mature, and the commitments thereunder will terminate, on July 2, 2012.

The new credit facility is guaranteed by substantially all of the U.S. subsidiaries of the Company. It is secured by first-priority liens in substantially all of the Company's and its U.S. subsidiaries' cash, intellectual property, equity interests in the subsidiary guarantors, inventory, accounts receivable and other personal property, and by second-priority liens in the assets on which the Company's new senior secured notes have a first-priority lien. The new credit facility contains a minimum fixed charge coverage ratio of 1.1 to 1.0 that is only applicable when availability under the new credit facility is less than the greater of 15percent of the revolving commitments under the facility and $120.0 million.

The company also announced that it has closed its previously announced offering of $625 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due July 2014. The notes accrue interest at a rate of 10% per annum and have been issued at a price equal to 96.201% of their face value. The company intends to use the proceeds from the notes offering to repay borrowings and terminate commitments under its existing U.S. revolving credit facility, repay and/or refinance other indebtedness and for other general corporate purposes. Similar to the new credit facility, the notes are guaranteed by substantially all of the U.S. subsidiaries of the company. The notes and guarantees are secured by first-priority liens in substantially all of the company's and its subsidiary guarantors' fixed assets, including certain real property, fixtures and equipment and tangible personal property, and by second-priority liens on the assets on which the lenders under the new credit facility have a first-priority lien.

Smithfield has also entered into a new $200 million term loan with Rabobank Nederland as administrative agent that will mature on August 29, 2013. The new term loan replaces the company's previous $200 million term loan with Rabobank Nederland as administrative agent that was scheduled to mature in August 2011. The new term loan is guaranteed and secured on the same basis as the new senior secured notes.

C. Larry Pope, president and CEO of the company, stated: "With the transactions we consummated today, we have taken decisive and proactive steps to restructure our balance sheet. The new credit facility, new senior secured notes due 2014 and new Rabobank term loan provide a clear path to repayment of near-term obligations and the extension of certain mid-term maturities, while maintaining more than adequate liquidity. In addition, the new credit facility, in conjunction with our intention to refinance our present European revolver, will begin to significantly reduce our exposure to financial covenant risks. We believe these actions will enable us to weather the current economic environment and the results of our hog production segment, which we expect to begin to improve in the second half of fiscal 2010."

Source: Smithfield Foods Inc.