The initial class has been elected to the newly formed Meat Industry Hall of Fame, according to Hall officials. The 21 new members were chosen in voting by the Hall’s Board of Trustees from among more than 70 executives, researchers, innovators and association leaders across all sectors of the industry.

“We are thrilled to include in our first class a group of truly outstanding leaders,” said Dan Murphy, executive director and co-founder of the Hall. “These are men and women credited with fostering much of the profound change, remarkable progress and substantive success of the industry. We’re proud to celebrate their legacies.”

Members were elected by a Board of Trustees chosen for its expertise and industry service. The induction ceremony for the new Members (see list below) will be on Oct. 27, 2009, at Chicago’s Hard Rock Hotel.

“That will be a night to honor a virtual ‘who’s who’ of the industry,” said Chuck Jolley, Meat Industry Hall of Fame president and co-founder. “This elite group truly represents the best of the best.”

Here is the 2009 Inaugural Class of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame:

     • Dell Allen, Ph.D., former Professor, Kansas State University and Vice President of Technical   Services & Food Safety, Cargill Meat Solutions
     • Donald L. Houston, former administrator of FSIS, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
     • Donald Tyson, former Senior Chairman, Tyson Foods
     • Earl Olsen, former Chairman, Jennie-O Turkey Co.
     • Frank Perdue, former Chairman of the Board, Perdue Farms
     • Gary C. Smith, Ph.D., Professor, Colorado State University
     • Jimmy Dean, Founder, Jimmy Dean Sausage Co.
     • Joseph Luter III, former Chairman and CEO, Smithfield Foods
     • Kenneth W. Monfort, former Chairman and CEO, Monfort Inc.
     • Lawrence Starr, former CEO, Koch Equipment Co.
     • Louis “Mick” Colvin, Founder and former Executive Director, Certified Angus Beef
     • Mel Coleman, Sr., Founder, Coleman Natural Meats
     • Paul Engler, Founder, Cactus Feeders
     • Phillip M. Seng, President and CEO, U.S. Meat Export Federation
     • Ray Townsend, Founder and former Chairman, Townsend Engineering
     • Richard L. Knowlton, former Chairman, President and CEO, Hormel Foods
     • Richard E. Lyng, former USDA Secretary and Chairman, American Meat Institute
     • Rosemary Mucklow, former Executive Director, National Meat Association
     • Robert Peterson, former Chairman, IBP Inc.
     • Russell Cross, Ph.D., Professor and Administrator, Texas A&M University
     • Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Author and Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University

For more information about the Hall of Fame and its inductees, go to

Source: Meat Industry Hall of Fame

BPI recalls 825,000 pounds of ground beef

Beef Packers Inc., a Fresno, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 825,769 pounds of ground beef products that may be linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The products being recalled are 40-, 60- and 80-pound boxes of ground beef, with a variety of identifying case codes and use/freeze-by dates. For more information about the exact products recalled, go to

The ground beef products were produced on various dates ranging from June 5, 2009 through June 23, 2009 and bear the establishment number "EST. 31913" printed on the case code labels. The ground beef products were distributed to retail distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah. Because these products were repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names, consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall.

As a result of an ongoing investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella Newport associated with ground beef products, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) notified FSIS of the situation. Epidemiological and traceback investigations conducted by FSIS and CDPHE determined that there is an association between the fresh ground beef products and illnesses reported in Colorado. The illnesses were also linked through the epidemiological investigation by their uncommon pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern found in PulseNet, a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: FSIS

National Chicken Council president given career achievement award

George Watts, president of the National Chicken Council, has been honored with the Poultry Science Association’s Merial Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award for his leadership spanning nearly four decades in which chicken became America’s favorite meat and the industry became an agribusiness power.

“Over the past 37, years there has been no industry representative who has done more to make a positive difference for the betterment and benefit of the U.S. chicken industry than George Watts,” said Michael Roberts, president of the Food Products Business of Perdue Farms Inc. and chairman of the NCC, in nominating Watts for the award. “Throughout the highs and lows, George has maintained a steady, unwavering, confident management style that has preserved the strength and future of our poultry industry,” he said.

The Merial Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award includes an engraved, hand-crafted mantel clock and an award of $2,000 donated by Merial Select Inc., to the Poultry Science Association Foundation on behalf of the recipient. The award was established in 2007 to recognize distinctive, outstanding contributions by an industry leader or leaders based on a broad contribution to the poultry industry.

“I am very honored to be recognized for my service to the industry, which has grown and changed in ways we could hardly imagine when I came aboard,” Watts said. “It has been a long and eventful ride and a collaborative effort with all whom I have been privileged to work with over the years.”

Watts was presented with the award by Jerry Chapman, marketing manager of Merial Select, at a recent meeting of the Poultry Science Association in Raleigh, N.C. Chapman said that since being named president of what was then called the National Broiler Council in 1972, Watts has “represented, defended and promoted our poultry industry throughout the world.” NCC is the trade association representing integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens.

“Over the years, George has clearly risen to be an unequaled industry leader in dealing with a vast array of difficult issues,” added Dr. Kenneth May, the retired industry executive who was the first recipient of the Merial award. “He brings people together and solves the problems that could not have been resolved without having a united, cohesive group.”

Source: National Chicken Council

China bans meat from five plants without explanation

China has banned exports of pork from three pork plants and two poultry plants this week without offering any explanations for the bans, according to a USDA document. The three pork plants affected are Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, N.C., John Morrell & Co. in Sioux City, Iowa, and Seaboard Foods  in Guymon, Okla. The two poultry plants are the Equity Group-KY Division in Albany, Ky., and Mountaire Farms in Selbyville, Del.

Source: Reuters

Jack in the Box adds chorizo sausage to breakfast menu

Jack in the Box restaurants becomes the first major hamburger chain to offer chorizo with the introduction of its Chorizo Sausage Breakfast Burrito. Jack’s new Chorizo Sausage Breakfast Burrito features hash brown sticks, scrambled eggs, crumbled chorizo sausage and cheddar cheese sauce stuffed in a flour tortilla and served with a side of fire-roasted salsa.

“Chorizo has been a popular breakfast choice for years, but it’s hard to find on the menus of our major competitors,” said Teka O’Rourke, director of menu marketing and promotions for Jack in the Box Inc. “With Latin flavors gaining in popularity and breakfast such an important daypart for our business, we thought this was the perfect time to add more south-of-the-border flavor to our menu. As with our full menu, our new Chorizo Sausage Breakfast Burrito is available all day, every day.”

The Chorizo Sausage Breakfast Burrito is available now for the suggested price, excluding tax, of $2.99 at all participating Jack in the Box restaurants.

Source: Jack in the Box Inc.

ConAgra adds Smart Choice Program logo to 200+ products

ConAgra Foods will feature the Smart Choice Program logo on many of its products. The Smart Choices Program symbol, which is displayed on the front of qualifying food packages, aims to help shoppers make smarter food and beverage choices within 19 product categories that fit within their daily calorie needs, at-a-glance, throughout the supermarket. Nearly 200 ConAgra Foods products, including Healthy Choice meals, Orville Redenbacher’s SmartPop! microwave popcorn and Egg Beaters liquid eggs, meet the Smart Choices Program’s stringent nutrition criteria and will feature the symbol on their packaging.

“We’re pleased to have so many products qualify for the Smart Choices Program symbol because we think the symbol is the easiest way for consumers to understand more about the nutrition of the food they buy,” said Mark Andon, Ph.D., ConAgra Foods vice president of nutrition. “There’s a significant amount of research, including our own, that shows the strong linkage between good nutrition and healthful, satisfying lives. But it’s not always easy to identify smarter food and beverage choices. The Smart Choices Program symbol can help; its stringent standards, plus the fact that it eliminates the need for multiple, often confusing symbols across the food industry, are unprecedented.”

The Smart Choices Program uses a single, green check mark on the front of food and beverage packages to quickly identify products that meet science-based nutrition criteria based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other sources of nutrition science and authoritative guidance. Products that meet these nutrition criteria will also display calories per serving and servings per container on the front of the packaging.

The American Society for Nutrition (ASN), a professional research society dedicated to nutrition science, and NSF International, a not-for-profit public health organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods, jointly administer the Smart Choices Program and are responsible for evaluating products and ensuring they meet the nutrition criteria before receiving the Smart Choices Program symbol. The Smart Choices Program was developed by a coalition of the nation's leading authorities on food, nutrition and health, including a diverse coalition of scientists, academicians, health and research organizations, food and beverage manufacturers and retailers.

Source: ConAgra Foods Inc.