The furloughs that began in June for about 400 Premium Protein Products workers will be extended for at least two more weeks. The company's plants in Hastings and Lincoln, Neb., will remain closed until at least Nov. 3, according to AP reports.

The workers found out about the extension of the furloughs via recorded message on Tuesday. The company is headquartered in Lincoln and has its processing plant there and a slaughterhouse in Hastings. The majority owner of the company is the private equity firm Matlin Patterson in New York.

Source: Associated Press

Former rotting meat owner to pay cleanup costs

Ilan Parente, the former owner of Bridgewater Quality Meats who left 44 tons of kosher buffalo meat to rot when the business closed, will pay part of the cost of cleaning up the meat. The town of Bridgewater was forced to clean up the meat in June when the smell became too overpowering, to the cost of $11,151. Parente's lawyer, Mike Unke, said that he will pay some of the costs. The city had filed a motion to collect $3,900 from him, but the upcoming hearing the matter will likely be canceled.

Parente still owes $14,085 in back taxes for the plant property and his former home, and he could be subject to a pending lawsuit over environmental violations that date from October 2001 to October 2003, when the company was accused of dumping blood and other refuse into the sewer system, stopping up the system for the town. That lawsuit could result in as much as a $7 million fine if Parente is convicted and made to pay the maximum daily fine for that time period.

Source: Associated Press

FSIS to hold public meetings for interstate shipment of meat and poultry products

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is holding two public meetings on proposed regulations to implement a new program under which state-inspected establishments with 25 or fewer employees will be eligible to ship meat and poultry products in interstate commerce. The announcement will implement a directive of the 2008 Farm Bill and is one component of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity.

"Restoring the link between consumers and local producers will not only open new income opportunities for small farmers and generate wealth that will stay in rural communities, it will also expand access to healthy, fresh, and locally produced food.," said Merrigan. "These meetings will help ensure that the proposed regulations successfully open doors for small meat and poultry establishments to provide safe products to their communities."

The meetings will be held by teleconference and will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule published on September 15, 2009. The first teleconference will be held on October 27, 2009, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT and the second will be held on November 5, 2009, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

Pre-registration is required to participate in these meetings. Information about the meetings, including how to register and the agenda will be made available for viewing on the FSIS web site at: Call-in information will be provided via e-mail to pre-registered participants.

Comments on this voluntary cooperative program may also be submitted on or before November 16, 2009, using either the Federal eRulemaking Portal,, or by mail. Send any mail to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 2-2127 Goerge Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, MAILSTOP 5272. All comments must identify FSIS and the docket number FSIS-2008-0027. Comments will be available for viewing online at
For further information contact Philip Derfler, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development, at (202) 720-2709, or by fax at (202) 720-2025.

Source: FSIS

Carl's Jr. adds Parmesan chicken sandwich to menu

Carl’s Jr. restaurants has launched its newest creation: the Parmesan Chicken Sandwich. Featuring a crispy breaded chicken fillet topped with melted cheese, smothered in authentic marinara sauce all on a sesame seed bun, wise guys everywhere are lining up at the drive-thru to chow down.

“Many people love the taste of a breaded chicken breast fillet covered with cheese and a zesty marinara sauce,” said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Carl’s Jr. “The new Parmesan Chicken Sandwich from Carl’s Jr. is a big sandwich that will fill those cravings in a big way. End of story. Capiche?”

The sandwich, available for $3.99 or $6.49 as a combo, is being promoted through ads created by Los Angeles-based advertising agency Mendelsohn|Zien. The campaign depicts a guy who outwits two burley hitmen types assisted by conspicuous marinara stains on his shirt from eating his Parmesan Chicken Sandwich. The ads can be viewed on the Carl’s Jr. YouTube channel at
In addition, Carl’s Jr. will launch a Facebook quiz next week that allows consumers to answer mob-related questions to determine which infamous “made guy” they are most like at heart. Visit Carl’s Jr. Facebook page at to play.

Source: CKE Restaurants Inc.