Jerky Snack Brands, based in Minong, Wis., has sued its former CEO, Jay Earl Link, of breaching his duty to run the business properly because he was trying to get revenge on his father and his father’s business, Link Snacks Inc.

Link Snacks, maker of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, is a family-run business that Jack Link had planned to leave to his two sons, Jay and Troy, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. A family disagreement led to Jay being ousted from the business after a four-year legal battle. In 2007, Jay started a joint venture with Jerky Snack Brands and became CEO of the company. One of his first moves was to move the company’s headquarters across the street from Link Snacks’ Minong, Wis., headquarters.

The lawsuit against Jay Link alleges that he misused his position to “further a long-standing and vindictive campaign against his father ... (and) brother ... and Link Snacks Inc.” It lists a series of poor decisions that helped Jerky Snack Brands lose $25 million in less than two years, including buying an oversupply of jerky from Brazil, overpaying to acquire a small competitor and billing the company for legal services unrelated to the company.

For more information about the suit, go to

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press

AAMP announces winners of cured meats competition, Hall of Fame inductees

The American Cured Meat Championships were held at the American Association of Meat Processor’s 70th annual convention, held July 16-18 in Omaha, Neb. There were more than 730 entries to this year’s competition, a near record for the event. The Grand Champion for each category in the competition is as follows:
Andouille Sausage: Frohling Meats, Hecla, S.D.
Bacon - Heavyweight: Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, Galesburg, Ill.
Bacon - Lightweight: Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats
Braunschweiger: Bardine’s Country Smokehouse Inc., Crabtree, Pa.
Country Bacon: Pat’s Country Market LLC, Arcadia, Wis.
Cured Specialty Meat Products: Stonie’s Sausage Shop, Perryville, Mo.
Dried Beef: Sailer’s Food Market & Meat Processing, Elmwood, Wis.
Frankfurters/Wieners - Coarse Grind: Ralph’s Packing Co., Perkins, Okla.
Frankfurters/Wieners - Emulsified: Sailer’s Food Market & Meat Processing
Ham - Bone-In (Heavyweight): Davis Meat Processing, Jonesburg, Mo.
Ham - Bone-In (Lightweight): Maplewood Packing Inc., Green Bay, Wis.
Ham - Boneless (Commercial): Frohling Meats Inc.
Ham - Boneless (Traditional): Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats
Ham - Semi-Boneless: Pat’s Country Market
Jerky - Restructured: Morgan’s Meat Market, New Richland, Minn.
Jerky - Whole Muscle: Haen Meat Packing, Kaukauna, Wisc.
Large Diameter Luncheon Meat: Fisher Packing Co., Portland, Ind.
Meat Snack Sticks: RJ’s Meats & Groceries, Hudson, Wisc.
Ring Bologna - Cooked: Haen Meat Packing
Semi-Dried Sausage: Weber Meats of Geneseo Inc., Geneseo, Ill.
Small Diameter Cooked and Smoked Sausage: Maplewood Packing Inc.
Smoked Turkey: Frohling Meats Inc.
Specialty Flavored Small Diameter Cooked and Smoked Sausage: Stonie’s Sausage Shop Inc.
Specialty Game Meats: Leidings Meats, Danville, Ill.
Summer Sausage - Cooked: Louie’s Finer Meats Inc., Cumberland, Wisc.

The Clarence Knebel Best of Show Memorial Award went to Seiler’s Food Market & Meat Processing for its dried beef . The product scored 993 points out of a maximum of 1,000 possible points.

AAMP also inducted two members into the Cured Meats Hall of Fame. James Hankes, owner of Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, has won nearly 150 awards in state and local cured meats competitions. He opened Thrushwood Farms in 1978 and offers a variety of smoked products, as well as fresh pork and beef. The company was featured in the July issue of the Independent Processor for its commitment to energy savings, using a recent retail store expansion to actually reduce its energy usage.

Michael Eickman of Eickman’s Processing Co. grew up in the family business and helped produce an award-winning country ham, which the Seward, Ill.-based company continues to produce, along with an extensive canning operation. He has won more than 100 state and national awards for his company’s products and has served as a Meat product Show Judge for many state shows. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by his father, Merlyn Eickman, a Hall of Famer himself.

Source: AAMP

U.S. blocks China at WTO

The United States blocked the creation of a panel of judges at the World Trade Organization which would have examined a U.S. ban on Chinese poultry imports. China had sought the creation of the panel to look at what the country says is an illegal ban. According to WTO procedures, the defendant in a trade dispute is allowed to block a panel once.

China has called for an extra meeting of the dispute settlement body on July 31 to approve the panel, which will be set up after that session, Reuters reports.

"While violating various WTO rules, the measure has severely undermined the stable development of Sino-U.S. trade on poultry products, and damaged the lawful rights and interests of China's poultry industry," China's WTO delegation said in a statement to the dispute body.

"The United States places great importance on ensuring that its measures relating to food safety are based on science and in compliance with U.S. obligations under the WTO Agreement," The U.S. delegation responded. It added that the U.S. allows poultry imports from all countries that respect the U.S. health and safety standards.

Source: Reuters

McDonald's worker may have exposed 10,000 to hepatitis A

A worker in a McDonald’s restaurant in Milan, Ill., was diagnosed with the hepatitis A virus and may have unknowingly exposed up to 10,000 diners to the virus. The worker was diagnosed on June 17, though state health officials weren’t aware of the diagnosis until July 13, reports Fox News.

Kevin Murphy, who operates the Milan franchise, said that the company has taken immediate action to address concerns. An estimated 10,000 people who ate at the restaurant are being urged to get preventative shots. "No one ill knowingly worked in our restaurant once we were notified. The Rock Island County Health Department has repeatedly said that they have not confirmed the source of the outbreak. In fact, they believe, based on the number of confirmed cases, that it's most likely there are multiple sources," Murphy said.

Sources: Fox News, Associated Press

Tyson falls 9 percent after chicken decline predictions

Tyson Foods Inc. declined $1.17, or 9.3 percent yesterday, to drop to $11.47 per share. This drop comes after analysts at BMO Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank predicted that the demand for chicken may decline, Bloomberg reports.

“Our case for aggressively investing in Tyson is less persuasive given the rebound in Tyson’s stock, the potential for weakening chicken demand, and poor pork packer margins,” Kenneth Zaslow, a New York-based BMO analyst, said today in a note to investors. Tyson had gained 31 percent this year.

Source: Bloomberg