Tyson Foods has teamed up with Food Network host Robin Miller to announce the launch of Tyson Skillet Creations meal kits, a new line of convenient, sensible-sodium frozen entrees.

"These days, couples are increasingly health conscious because they know things like lowering their intake of sodium can help reduce high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Robin Miller, chef and host of Food Network's Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller. "The new line of Skillet Creations meal kits is a great solution since they give busy couples an easy way to maintain sensible sodium levels without sacrificing the flavors of their favorite foods."

This month, Tyson Foods introduced Skillet Creations meal kits featuring five varieties: Grilled Chicken Fajitas, Grilled Steak Fajitas, Grilled Chicken Tuscany & Penne, Asian Style Orange Chicken and Stroganoff. From bag to skillet to delicious in 10 minutes, Skillet Creations meal kits contain 45 percent less sodium than previous Tyson meal kits.

"With more than 70 perccent of Americans exceeding the daily recommended amount of sodium consumption, Tyson Foods understands the importance of providing home-cooked meal solutions that feature sensible sodium levels without sacrificing great taste," said Rachel Marler, director of marketing for Tyson Foods. "Our exciting new line of Skillet Creations meal kits allows busy couples to easily prepare classically gourmet, high quality meals at home without high sodium levels.

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.

Meat scientist Ann Hollingsworth dies

Award-winning meat scientist and industry veteran Ann Hollingsworth died on Sunday, May 17. She was 52 years old.

“Ann was a loyal friend and colleague to all of us in the American Meat Science Association. In addition to hours of volunteer work in numerous committees, she served terms as director, president and treasurer of the association. Her passion for this industry was eclipsed only by the passion she had for the many people she served with,” said Thomas Powell, executive director of the AMSA.

Dr. Hollingsworth began her career as a research scientist for Armour Food Co. and was the technical leader for the early work in pre-packaged branded meats and the use of sodium lactate as an antimicrobial agent. She moved to Bil Mar Foods in 1992 and led a team that developed the highly profitable Sara Lee Deli Meats lines. She also led a basic research team that developed methodology for carbon dioxide stunning of turkeys and a multidisciplinary team that studied the biochemical phenomena responsible for causing pale, soft, and exudative breast meat in turkeys.

In 1995, she went to work for Keystone Foods as vice president for food safety. Dr. Hollingsworth provided leadership in the area of food safety and quality assurance, both within Keystone Foods and the McDonald’s system. She was responsible for all facets of food safety in the company’s 16 plants and 25 distribution centers. She and her team developed and implemented a comprehensive food safety system for manufacturing, distribution, and food service operations at locations throughout the world. During this time, she was recognized for her leadership, vision and expertise by being chosen to serve as a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for Food Safety for the McDonald’s Corp.

In 2001, Dr. Hollingsworth started her own consulting firm, Better Built Foods. She developed numerous in-house educational courses to train existing employees in the areas of food safety, HACCP, and basic meat science. These courses have been designed for various audiences including senior executives, operations employees, and food safety and quality assurance employees.

Dr. Hollingsworth won the AMSA’s Signal Service Award in 2007. The citation for the award stated, “Her devotion and service to the American Meat Science Association will have far reaching benefits for this and future generations of meat scientists.”

Source: American Meat Science Association

Brazilian merger creates $10 billion meat-processing company

Brazilian food companies Perdigao and Sadia have merged into Brasil Foods, turning the country’s biggest pork and poultry processors into a massive company with annual sales of more than 22 billion reais ($10.59 billion). Reuters reports that the new company will have a combined market share of around 25 percent, and the cost savings will allow the company to expand its presence in the global chicken market.

According to the USDA, Brazil exported 3.6 million tons of chicken in 2008, and the two companies accounted for nearly half of that. "The company is going to take off in poultry," said Rafael Cintra, from the Sao Paulo-based brokerage Link Corretora. "Brazil is the country which exports the most poultry. (The company) will be first in Brazil and everything indicates it will be biggest in the world," he added. In the pork sector, the two companies exported 200,000 tons of the 530,000 total tons of pork exported last year.

Source: Reuters

NAMP Meat Buyer's Guide available on CD-ROM

The North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) recently released its new CD-ROM version of the Meat Buyer’s Guide. Meat, retail and restaurant industries have responded well to the new electronic version of the book, which can be downloaded to a PC for easy access. It features a convenient and comprehensive search function by NAMP/IMPS number and name of cut.

An industry standard for over 40 years, the Meat Buyer’s Guide is recognized by the foodservice industry as the premier publication for education and information on the subject of meat cuts. The specifications in the book serve as the basis for meat sales and purchases across North America and in many other parts of the world. It’s also the main source book for NAMP’s Center of the Plate Training programs. The U.S. government, culinary schools, restaurants, institutions, independent foodservice workers and industry food organizations use the data as well. Copies, customizable with a company logo printed in four colors on the CD case, are available at NAMP’s online bookstore at http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-292375.html.  NAMP members can receive a 35 percent discount. For more information, contact NAMP at (703) 758-1900 ext 101 or smoore@namp.com.

Source: North American Meat Processors Association