Five Star Custom Foods, a Ft. Worth, Texas-based processor of meat products, sauces and non-meat ingredients for food manufacturers and the foodservice industry, announced plans to open an manufacturing facility in Nashville. It would employ 70 to 100 people at the onset, eventually expanding to 250 employees, according to The Tennesean.

"We felt like the potential work force was attractive and geographically the location is efficiently located close to raw material sources and our customers," said Jeff Bledsoe, president. The company acquired a facility in Nashville that most recently was a commissary for Shoney’s. It ceased operations last year and has moved to sell assets.

"The company's decision to locate to Nashville is a testament to the region's geographic advantage and economic strength," said Ralph Schulz, president of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. The company is expected to receive incentives for training, tax credits, low-interest loans and energy credits as a result of expanding here.

Source: The Tennesean

Oregon company fined for Clean Water Act violation

California Shellfish Company Inc., doing business as Point Adams Packing Co. (PAPCO), was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Garr M. King in Portland, Ore., to pay $75,000 for a felony violation of the Clean Water Act for unpermitted discharges of wastewater into the Columbia River, the Justice Department announced.

As part of the criminal fine, $26,250 will be placed in the congressionally-established National Fish and Wildlife Fund in order to fund various environmental projects in the state through the Oregon Governor's Fund for the Environment. Projects funded by these grants serve to reduce pollution and otherwise cleanup Oregon rivers, streams, and coastal areas and restore and preserve fish, wildlife, and plant resources critical to those rivers, streams and coastal areas.

PAPCO pleaded guilty on March 27, 2008 and admitted to violating the Clean Water Act, which makes it a crime to knowingly discharge pollutants in violation of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit by discharging unpermitted chicken processing wastewater from its Hammond, Ore., facility. The former manager of the facility, Thomas Libby, was previously sentenced for a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act. Modesto Tallow Co., doing business as California Spray Dry (CSD), which operated PAPCO's plant, has also pleaded guilty and been sentenced for a felony Clean Water Act violation.

According to documents filed with the court, PAPCO had obtained a NPDES permit to discharge fish processing wastewater from its facility and in June 2003 leased a portion of its facility to CSD. CSD intended to process chicken carcasses at the PAPCO facility for the production of various by-products including flavoring for pet foods. Neither CSD nor PAPCO obtained a modification to the NPDES permit to allow the discharge of chicken processing wastewater into the Columbia River. As a result there were unpermitted discharges beginning in December 2003 and lasting until approximately June 2003. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was prompted to investigate the matter as a result of complaints from several neighbors about odors from the discharges.

"PAPCO knowingly discharged pollutants into the Columbia River without regard for the law or the environment," said John C. Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "This case underscores the Justice Department's commitment to enforce the nation's laws that protect the public and the environment from pollution."

Karin Immergut, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, stated, "Corporations that don't play by the rules will be held accountable. We are pleased that the corporation, as part of its criminal penalty, will contribute to protecting the environment here in Oregon."

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

K-State study shows that marinating meat reduces cancer risk

Research done by Kansas State University Processor of Food Chemistry J. Scott Smith shows that marinating meat before cooking reduces 85 to 90 percent of its cancer-causing agents. Smith and a graduate student did the research, which began when Smith was cooking supper one evening.

His graduate student tested to see if marinating meat, fish, and poultry blocked the cancer-causing agents. "She came back and said 'Dr. Smith, there’s almost nothing there.'" Smith said, according to

The marinade blocks the compounds that cause cancer from forming in the meat. Three separate tests showed the same results. The marinade can be store-bought or homemade but should contain spices from the mint family. "Those would be sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano," Smith said. Barbecue sauce also showed similar results.


Uno's adding spicy items for JazzFest

Inspired both by the music and culinary heritage of New Orleans and the greater Mississippi Delta, Uno Chicago Grill will celebrate its New Orleans Jazz Festival of Flavors from April 14th through June 7th.

Uno restaurants will be decked out to celebrate the fun and festive elements of the French Quarter and will feature the historic musical sounds associated with it. This special musical mix runs the gamut from Dixieland, blues, jazz, ragtime, swing and more. The food is equally infused with jazz rhythms and is a wonderful improvisational flow of flavors from Spanish, French, and Native American traditions to Cajun and Creole cuisine.

For example, the menu features a Shrimp 'Po-boy' Sandwich with Cajun Remoulade Sauce, it's a long hoagie roll filled to the brim with fried shrimp, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce, liberally drizzled with a Cajun remoulade sauce.

Since Uno is known for its deep dish pizza, there is also a Jambalaya Deep Dish. An alternative to the deep dish can be found in the Chicken & Andouille Sausage Flatbread Pizza. Uno starts with an all-natural-flatbread crust, layered with sliced grilled chicken and andouille sausage, sauteed peppers, onions and plum tomatoes, a spicy garlic red sauce, mozzarella, Cheddar and just a sprinkle of Cajun cayenne spice mixture.

Uno is also serving Chicken Sausage Gumbo, a thick soup filled with chunks of chicken and andouille sausage that originates from Louisiana. Its flavor is the product of many cultures: French, Spanish, West African and Native American, and includes a vegetable quartet of okra, bell pepper, celery and onion. Served with rice, gumbo actually means okra.

The Ragin' Pasta is a mix of fettuccine tossed with chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage and a fabulous Creole red sauce filled with plum tomatoes, then given that 'little bit o' Hades' with cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and a garlic spice mix.

Source: Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp.