Members of Congress who are negotiating an agriculture spending bill have signaled that they will back off of a ban on imports of Chinese chicken, potentially easing trade relations between the two countryes. Rep Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that instead of a ban, the bill will call for U.S. safety inspections at Chinese facilities, AP reports.

There are two different versions of the bill circulating in the House and the Senate, and the bill will only become official when signed into law. The ban had only been included in the House bill.

Source: Associated Press

Monogram Food Solutions named one of fastest-growing companies

Inc.magazine honored executives from Memphis-based Monogram Food Solutions on its annualInc.5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy, America's independent-minded entrepreneurs. Monogram ranked 856 on the 2009 list, with a three-year sales growth rate of more than 350 percent.

"Savvy trend spotters and those who invest in private companies know that the Inc. 5000 is the best place to find out about young companies that are achieving success through a wide variety of unprecedented business models, as well as older private companies that are still expanding at an impressive rate," said Inc. 5000 project manager Jim Melloan. "That's why our list is so eagerly anticipated every year."

Founded in 2004, when a group of Memphis investors bought King Cotton and Circle B Brand foods from Sara Lee Corporation, Monogram Food Solutions is dedicated to providing innovative and top-quality food products that consumers love to eat. Monogram's meat products, all made in the USA, include King Cotton, Circle B, Jeff Foxworthy Jerky, Bass Pro Uncle Buck's Licensed Products, Trail's Best Meat Snacks, Pete's Pride Meats, Bull's, Hannah's, O'Brien's and Dakota and the Intimidator/NASCAR Jerky and Steak Strips. In addition, the purchase of the Wild Bill's brand is scheduled to be completed on October 23. Monogram Food Solutions also uses its production capabilities for meat snacks, smoked meats, corn dogs and fritters to manufacture private label brands for strategic partners across the country.

Monogram is based in Memphis, Tennessee and operates facilities in Chandler, Minnesota; Muncie, Indiana; and Martinsville, Virginia.

"This recognition is a testament to all of the hard work and dedication of our Monogram team over the last several years," said Karl Schledwitz, Chairman and CEO of Monogram. "Even more remarkable, Monogram has announced three acquisitions during the summer of 2009, meaning we are poised for more success and growth, and perhaps even more recognition of this kind."

Source: Monogram Food Solutions

Burger King Corp. offers $1 1/4-pound cheeseburger

Burger King Corp. today announced the launch of a highly competitive value proposition with the nationwide promotion of its 1/4-pound Double Cheeseburger for only $1 beginning Oct. 19.

The $1 1/4-pound Double Cheeseburger offers Burger King restaurant guests two flame-broiled burger patties of flame-fresh beef, pickles, ketchup, mustard and two slices of American cheese on a sesame seed bun. With more beef and cheese, the $1 1/4-pound Double Cheeseburger beats out similar competitors’ sandwiches such as McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger and Wendy’s Double Stack.

“We’ve conducted extensive tests on this offer in local markets over the past 18 months,” said Mike Kappitt, senior vice president, global business intelligence and strategy, Burger King Corp. “Positive sales results and strong consumer demand for our $1 1/4-pound Double Cheeseburger prove this strategy delivers a superior sandwich at an exceptional value.”

Source: Burger King Corp.

Incorrect label leads to sausage recall

Pampanga Food Corporation, an Anaheim, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 28,470 pounds of a frozen skinless sausage cooked cured pork longanisa product because it was inadvertently packaged with an incorrect label and may contain undeclared allergens, anchovies and/or sardines, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. Anchovies and sardines are known potential allergens that are not declared on the label.

The following product subject to recall is 10-ounce frozen packages of "Pampanga Skinless Sausage Cooked Cured Pork Longanisa." The front of each label bears a package code ranging from "03043" to "03790," as well as the establishment number "EST. 405" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The sausage products were produced on various dates ranging from January 7, 2009 to September 22, 2009, and were distributed to retail stores nationwide. The problem was discovered by FSIS during a routine product check. FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products.

Source: FSIS

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Accepting Applications for Clean Water Award

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is accepting applications for the 2010 Clean Water Awards. The award recognizes outstanding water treatment plant performance in the poultry industry. Winners will be announced at the Association’s Environmental Management Seminar in New Orleans, March 17-18, 2010.

“There are many outstanding water treatment operations in our industry with very dedicated staff,” said Monty Henderson, George’s Inc., Springdale, AR, USPOULTRY chairman. “They reclaim over 90 percent of the water used to process poultry, and return it to the environment in a condition others can use and enjoy. We always look forward to showcasing these fine facilities that exemplify the poultry industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” Henderson added.

There are two categories for the award: one for full treatment facilities - those that fully reclaim their wastewater prior to discharge into receiving water or final land application system, and one for pretreatment facilities - those that discharge pretreated effluent to publicly-owned full treatment facilities. Any USPOULTRY member company is eligible to submit one nominee in each category. Facilities which have previously won the award may not be re-nominated for five years. The deadline for submitting applications is December 31, 2009.

An evaluation committee will review the application package and select two semifinalist facilities in each category. The review committee will then visit the semifinalist facilities to select the award recipients. The committee includes university personnel, industry engineers and managers, and state regulatory officials.

Award recipients will receive a trophy, be profiled on the USPOULTRY web site, and receive assistance from the association in publicizing the award on a local, regional, and national level. The winners of the 2009 Clean Water Awards were Sanderson Farms, Moultrie, Ga., for full treatment; and Tyson Foods, Monett, Mo., for pretreatment. Tyson Foods, Noel, MO, received honorable mention in the full treatment category. Wayne Farms, Decatur, Ala., received honorable mention for pretreatment.

For more information on the Clean Water Award, contact: Paul Bredwell; vice president environmental programs, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, 1530 Cooledge Road, Tucker, GA 30084-7303; (770) 493-9401; Fax: (770) 493-9257; or E-mail

Source: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association

Electrolux design competition names meat maker winner

Rickard Hederstierna from Lund University in Sweden is the winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2009 competition for inventing Cocoon. The winner was announced at finals in London on September 24, at 100% Design London, the UK’s leading architecture and design event.

“Cocoon” is a sustainable response to the world’s growing population and its desire to consume meat and fish. Similar to heating popcorn in a microwave, Cocoon prepares pre-packaged meat and fish dishes by heating muscle cells identified by radio frequency identification (RFID) signals. The signals detect the specific dish and then suggest the required cooking time. This process uses science to create food, lifting a burden on the planet by reducing the need for further intensive farming and fishing.

The jury concluded that, “Cocoon addresses a controversial issue that is very real: humankind’s continued desire to eat meat and fish. A great design concept polarizes opinion, and this is exactly what Cocoon achieves by exploring this issue. An inviting, tactile design, the Cocoon resembles a gemstone with a metal accent reflecting the heritage of the Swedish art-glass industry. Cocoon meets all of the brief’s criteria: it is daring, cutting edge and truly innovative in its focus on social and environmental issues.”
“My concept is to help future generations maintain a sustainable way of living in the face of an increasing world population,” said Hederstierna in an interview. “This population increase will have huge consequences on water and the climate. It will also enormously impact the meat and fish industries, which are already feeling the strain of overpopulation.”

The Electrolux Design Lab 2009 award is a prize of € 5000 and a six-month paid internship at one of Electrolux global design centers.

Source: Electrolux