Foster Farms said that it would eventually restore all 1,300 jobs at the Farmerville, La., plant it recently acquired from Pilgrim's Pride, even though the company's formal agreement with the state of Louisiana only calls for 1,100 jobs. "Thirteen hundred is our goal for full plant utilization at some point in the future," the company said in an e-mail to the Monroe News-Star.

The company did not specify when it would achieve those employment numbers. Under the agreement with the state, the company has to employ 650 workers within two months, ramped up to 1,100 employees by the end of the third year of ownership. Foster Farms said that it hopes to open the facility, which was closed by Pilgrim's on May 8, by mid-July. A hearing in bankruptcy court to approve the sale is scheduled for today.

Source: Monroe News-Star

Court rejects Oklahoma's poultry litter ban attempt

The 10th Circuit court has rejected Oklahoma's bid to block farmers from scattering poultry litter on land in the Illinois River Watershed. The court ruled that the state had failed to pin the blame for bacterial contamination on large-scale poultry processors such as Tyson Foods and Cargill Turkey, according to the Courthouse News Service.

Oklahoma had filed suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to prohibit companies or their feeders from applying waste in the wastershed, arguing that the litter contains E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobactor bacteria. Tyson had argued that the bacteria comes from humans, cattle and other sources and that its methods for storing and using the litter killed any bacteria.

The district court concluded that the state had failed to establish poultry litter as the cause of the bacteria, as opposed to any other potential sources. A federal appeals court supported the vote, 2-1.

Source: Courthouse News Service

Denny's adds 16 new menu items

Denny's is introducing 16 new items to its breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, marking the largest introduction in decades, according to the company. Now available in Denny’s restaurants across the country are new Breakfast Burritos, including Bacon Avocado and Grand Slam Burritos; fresh half or whole salads including Cranberry Pecan Chicken and Prime Rib & Bleu Salad; sandwiches including Chicken Melt, Fried Egg and Prime Rib Philly Melt; and Skillet dinners including Monterey Sirloin and Tilapia Ranchero.

“Denny’s has a long history of menu variety, with items offered at affordable prices no matter what time of day or night. From our new Real Breakfast burritos to our fresh new salads and sandwiches to our dinner skillets, we’re looking for ways to offer our guests even more truly cravable items they can’t get anywhere else,” said John Dillon, vice president of marketing and product development.

“It’s about the purse,” says Mark Chmiel, chief marketing officer. “We work hard to make it worth it for our loyal customers to dine with us. Bold and strategic products lure folks in and these additions to our menu allows customers to enjoy an affordable restaurant experience in a new way and keep the pleasure/price ratio in balance.”

Additionally, Denny’s will launch “Better For You” menu choices including delicious items with reduced fat or sodium such as turkey bacon, chicken sausage, wheat pancakes, egg whites, fresh fruit, granola and yogurt. They will also add terrific choices for kids: dippable vegetable sticks (carrots, celery and cucumber), apple slices, spaghetti, Jell-O and yogurt. The dippable vegetable sticks will also be part of the general menu.

Source: Denny's

Hormel Foods names assistant controller

Hormel Foods Corp. announced the advancement of James T. Anderson to assistant controller, effective immediately. “Jim has an exceptional understanding of our company’s financial operations gained through more than 30 years of experience with the company,” said Jody H. Feragen, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Hormel Foods.

Anderson will continue his responsibilities leading financial reporting, financial shared services, financial consolidation, payroll, fixed asset accounting and budgeting. He will continue to report to James N. Sheehan, vice president and controller at Hormel Foods. Anderson started his career with Hormel Foods in 1977.

Source: Hormel Foods Corp.