Arkansas officials are working with a group of private investors to purchase the Pilgrim’s Pride facility in El Dorado, in an attempt to keep the facility open. The poultry processor has reached an agreement in federal bankruptcy court in Texas to solicit bids to sell the company’s plants in El Dorado and Douglas, Ga., which is also slated to close this year.

According to the Associated Press, the state of Arkansas is offering both money and incentives in the deal. "The odds have been stacked up against us," Beebe told reporters. "First of all, Pilgrim's doesn't want to sell it. They want to mothball it, or take it out of circulation because they say there's an oversupply of chickens and they're trying to reduce the amount of poultry in the pipeline.” He added that the investors are experienced in the poultry industry.

Pilgrim’s spokesman Ray Atkinson denied that claim, stating, “The reason we are doing that is to reduce our production of low-value commodity meat that’s a financial drain on our company.”

Last month, Pilgrim’s agreed to sell its Farmerville, La., facility to Foster Farms for $80 million. Half of that amount was paid by the state of Louisiana.

Source: Associated Press, Arkansas News Bureau

KFC adds KGC to menu

KFC has introduced Kentucky Grilled Chicken in stores nationwide. The chicken is marinated and seasoned with a blend of six herbs and spices -- the company’s second secret recipe -- and slow-grilled. The cooking process utilizes custom-designed, patented ovens to prepare the chicken.

“The introduction of Kentucky Grilled Chicken is a defining moment in our brand’s storied history,” said KFC President Roger Eaton. “KGC is the latest menu innovation that showcases our commitment to meeting our customers’ ever-changing needs while staying true to the standards of high quality and great taste pioneered by Colonel Sanders. This product will transform the industry.”

KFC’s second secret recipe, Kentucky Grilled Chicken, is a combination of six herbs and spices that KFC has developed over several years working with one of the world's most well-known spice companies. Only a few KFC executives know the second secret recipe and they have all signed confidentiality agreements to keep the recipe as secret as the Colonel’s Original Recipe. The high-tech, customized oven used to grill the chicken is proprietary to KFC and is patented. The original copy of the second secret recipe, kept on an encrypted computer flash drive, will join Colonel Harland Sanders’ handwritten Original Recipe in KFC’s recently renovated high-security vault.

“For years, KFC has worked tirelessly to perfect a grilled option that has the great flavor and taste America associates with Colonel Sanders’ Original Recipe,” said Doug Hasselo, chief food innovation officer for KFC. “We’re confident KFC’s second secret recipe, Kentucky Grilled Chicken, is one that the Colonel would have approved of.”

KFC has declared April 27 “UNFry Day” and will be giving away grilled chicken to consumers throughout the day.

Source: KFC

JBS to sell $400 million in bonds

Brazilian beef processor said that its subsidiaries, JBS USA LLC and JBS USA Finance Inc. will issue $400 million in bonds maturing in 2014. The offering was only for qualified investors and was expected to be concluded in April, depending on market conditions, Reuters reports.

"Through this offering, the company intends to balance geographically its debt with its revenue generation," the company said in a statement. "(It) will also reinforce its cash position at this moment of limited liquidity."

Source: Reuters

South Korea once again the #3 market for U.S. beef

After a ban of U.S. beef following an instance of mad cow disease, South Korea has reclaimed its position as the number three market for American beef. "It's moving back towards business as usual regarding Korea," said Jim Robb, analyst at the Livestock and Meat Information Center.

While the top two markets for U.S. beef, Mexico and Canada, slowed their purchases, South Korea increased its imports 2 percent, totaling 13,100 tons of beef, including organs like the heart and kidney, Reuters reports. "If we didn't have access to the Korean market right now, our exports would be below year-ago levels," said U.S. Meat Export Federation economist Erin Daley.

Australia remains the top importer of beef into South Korea, though the country expected to lose some of that market to U.S. beef.

Source: Reuters

Study shows many consumers ignore recalls

Many Americans fail to check their homes for recalled food products, a new study by Rutgers University’s Food Policy Institute has found. The study was based on a survey of 1,101 Americans interviewed by telephone from Aug. 4 to Sept. 24, 2008.

According to the study, only about 60 percent of the studied sample reported ever having looked for recalled food in their homes, and only 10 percent said they had ever found a recalled food product.

Approximately 12 percent reported eating a food they thought had been recalled. At the other extreme, some consumers take a “better safe than sorry” attitude. More than 25 percent reported that they had simply discarded food products after hearing about a recall, potentially wasting safe, nutritious food. Many consumers also avoid purchasing products not included in the recall but which are similar, or are from the same manufacturer.

Most respondents said they pay a great deal of attention to food recalls and, when they learn about them, they tell many other people. But 40 percent of these consumers think the foods they purchase are less likely to be recalled than those purchased by others, appearing to believe that food recalls just do not apply to them.

Nearly 75 percent of those surveyed said they would like to receive personalized information about recalls on their receipt at the grocery store, and more than 60 percent said they also would also like to receive such information through a letter or an e-mail.

To view this study, go to:

Source: American Meat Institute