Taco Bell and Hardee's have brought back popular items to their menus. The Volcano Taco and the Six Dollar Thickburger have both returned to the companies' menus after an absence.

Hardee's is reintroducing the Six Dollar Thickburger after retiring it last year. The burger, so named because six dollars is about the price consumers would expect to pay for a similar product at leading casual-dining restaurants, consists of an almost half-pound, charbroiled, 100% Black Angus Beef patty, topped with two slices of American cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, red onion, pickles, tomato, and crisp lettuce on a large toasted sesame seed bun for $3.99.

"This is the burger that really started it all because its success led us to create the entire menu of sit-down restaurant quality Thickburgers available at Hardee’s today," said Brad Haley, Hardee's executive vice president of marketing. "Since we deleted it last year, we have continued to receive guest requests to bring it back, so we are happy to do so now. In fact, when we first introduced the Six Dollar Thickburger back in 2002, it received rave reviews from customers and critics alike. So, it’s not surprising that so many of our competitors are still trying to copy this awesome burger, but none have come close yet.”

Last year, Taco Bell introduced the Volcano Taco, a spicier addition to its menu. This year, the restaurant is offering a Volcano Menu, featuring the Volcano Taco and a Volcano Double Beef Burrito. The taco has a signature red shell and filled with seasoned ground beef, crisp, shredded lettuce and Lava Sauce. The burrito has twice the amount of seasoned ground beef as compared to the company's Burrito Supreme, as well as Lava Sauce, a scoop of Mexican Rice, crunchy red strips, reduced-fat sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.

“People are searching for more heat, flavor and spice in their meals, and we heard them loud and clear as the Volcano Taco became an instant hit,” said David Ovens, chief marketing officer, Taco Bell Corp. “Our customers loved the taste of our cheesy hot Lava Sauce and our new Volcano Menu is sure to satisfy the spicy thrill seeker’s desire for heat.”

Sources: Hardee's, Taco Bell Corp.

Wisconsin governor proposes animal slaughter tax

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle wants to charge Wisconsin slaughterhouses 1 to 14 cents on each animal slaughtered in order to pay for more animal-health and meat inspectors. The state currently has fewer state inspectors than other states, said Randy Romanski, Wisconsin's deputy secretary for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. He also noted that it is cheaper for the meat industry to prevent an outbreak of disease rather than recover from it, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Two Republican state representatives, Al Ott and Karl Van Roy, are fighting the proposal, noting that no other Midwestern state charges a slaughter fee to pay for inspection. They fear that the fee would place Wisconsin companies at a competitive disadvantage and might drive companies out of the state.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Tyson bacon line teams up with Food network personality

To help Americans bring their bacon love affair to the great outdoors just in time for grilling season, Wright Brand Bacon has teamed up with Food Network host Aaron McCargo Jr. to serve up tantalizing tips for adding Bigger, Better Bacon™ sizzle to favorite summer foods.

"Whenever I fire up the grill, I actually have neighbors who seem to magically appear when they smell my food, and you should see what happens when I add bacon to the mix," said McCargo. "Cooking with Wright Brand Bacon is my secret weapon to add excitement, bold flavor and crispy texture to summer dishes, and it keeps my guests coming back for more."

"Sharing favorite dishes with families and friends is often what makes summer gatherings memorable, so it's important to many home cooks that ingredients are the best they can be," said Harold Heinze, director of marketing for Wright Brand products. "With Wright Brand Bacon, we're committed to giving bacon lovers more of what they love about bacon by delivering a full-flavored, Bigger, Better Bacon experience each and every time."

McCargo Jr. suggests ways to buddy-up bacon with all kinds of food categories, including Bacon and Beef: (Aaron's Bacon Burger-Style Hot Dog), Bacon and Veggies (Topping summer-fresh salads with pieces of bacon kernels of roasted corn or chopped homegrown tomatoes dressed with a light vinaigrette) and Bacon and Cheese: (Aaron's Chicken Roulade Stuffed with Wright® Brand Smoked Bacon, Spinach and Gouda Cheese).
For additional bacon tips and recipes from McCargo Jr., visit www.wrightbrand.com.

Source: Tyson Foods

Venezuela seizes Cargill food plant

The Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez has seized temporary control is a pasta plant owned by Cargill Inc., claiming that the company broke regulations on food items subject to price controls. According to the Associated Press, the country stated that the plant broke a law meant to control inflation by requiring companies to ensure than 70 percent to 95 percent of their products fall under government-imposed price controls.

The government will take control of the plant for 90 days and will review the operations to make sure it's producing at least 70 percent of its pasta products at government-imposed prices. Cargill currently has 12 food-processing plants in Venezuela. It was forced to turn over one of its rice-processing plants last month by government decree.

Source: Associated Press