ConAgra Foods will lay off 300 people who worked at the Garner, N.C., plant that was damaged in June from an explosion and fire. Three people were killed and dozens injured in the blast, and a company spokesman said that production at the plant was down 50 percent due to damage in the facility, theTriangle Business Journalreports.

The plant had been the only facility to manufacture Slim Jims at the time of the explosion, but some of the production has been shifted to another facility in Ohio, which has hired 50 people to accommodate the extra work. The packaging, which was the part of the Garner plant that was damaged, is being done by a third party. The layoffs are due to take affect in mid-November. The plant employs 750 people. The company will also stop paying workers there guaranteed 40-hour paychecks, paying them instead based on actual hours worked.

Source: Triangle Business Journal

JBS SA stock rises after Pilgrim's acquisition announcement

JBS SA rose to a 14-month high after the company announced it was buying a majority stake in Pilgrim's Pride earlier this week, as well as Bertin SA. Citigroup Inc. raised the company's stock to “buy” on prospects that the takeovers will benefit shareholders, Bloomberg reports.

JBS stock rose 8.8 percent to 9.31 reais. “We believe that these transactions are accretive to JBS’s minority shareholders,” Carlos Albano, a Sao Paulo-based Citigroup analyst, wrote in a note to clients. “Even beyond the numbers, we believe that these acquisitions are a milestone in JBS’s investment case as they are strategically very important.”

Source: Bloomberg

KFC targeted in California lawsuit

The Physicians Committee for Responsible medicine, a vegan group that last tried to have warning labels put on packages of hot dogs, has turned its attention to KFC and its new grilled chicken. The vegan-oriented group is claiming that independent tests show that KFC's grilled chicken contains PhIP, a chemical that it says can increase a person's risk of developing cancer even if consumed in small amounts.

Failure to disclose that chemical is a violation of California's Proposition 65 public health law, and the group plans to file a lawsuit next week in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco.

Source: L.A. Times