An employee in a meat-processing plant in Nebraska City, Neb., plant died on Saturday after a fall. According to AP reports, police and rescue crews were called to a Excel Specialty Products plant at 4:00 in the morning on Saturday after a hydraulic lift holding Timothy Wilson, 49, toppled over.

Wilson was mending a cooler at the time of the accident. He suffered internal injuries in the accident and later died at the hospital, reports the Otoe County Attorney's Office.

Excel is a subsidiary of Cargill Inc. A spokesman for the company said it was still trying to determine what happened.

Source: Associated Press

Daniele expands recall

Daniele International Inc., an establishment with operations in Pascoag and Mapleville, R.I., is expanding its January 23 recall to include approximately 17,235 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) varieties of Italian sausage products, including salami/salame, that may be contaminated withSalmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The recall is being expanded as a result of a confirmed finding of Salmonella in an unopened salami product reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The product was sampled during the course of an ongoing investigation of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella serotype Montevideo illnesses. The product tested was not included in the previous recall (FSIS Recall 006-2010) issued January 23, but is similar to products bought by customers who later became sick in the Montevideo investigation. Product subject to the expanded recall may have been cross-contaminated with black pepper before it was packed. The company believes that black pepper is a possible source of Salmonella contamination.

Further testing is ongoing at a state health partner laboratory, and may determine if the product contained the Salmonella Montevideo strain associated with the multi-state outbreak.

Source: FSIS

Agri Star to hire 150 more workers

Postville, Iowa's Agri Star Meat and Poultry, formerly known as Agriprocessors, is hiring 150 workers as the company expands its poultry line and restarts its beef production. According to the Des Moines register, the plant, which had been shut down in the wake of an immigration raid, now employs 400 people.

The new workers will be paid $8.50 to start, rising to $9.50 and $12.50 after a probationary period. The JTA news service reports that the company laid off a number of higher-paid workers in late December.

Source: JTA

Margaritaville launches chicken wings

Margaritaville Foods recently announced the launch of the newest addition to the portfolio of island-inspired food and beverage products, Margaritaville chicken wings.

The Margaritaville Chicken line of products includes four flavors of fully cooked, frozen and easy to prepare chicken wings. Each wing flavor is sold in a 28-oz. bag and includes a sauce packet with flavors and spices inspired by Island cuisine. The flavors include Island Buffalo, Mango Chutney, Orange Peel and Caribbean BBQ.

“We’re really excited about our wings and hope consumers will use the big game as a taste test opportunity,” says Joe Ferraro, vice president marketing and sales. “If you like chicken wings, you’ll love these new Caribbean twists on classic flavors. We believe the Margaritaville Chicken line is an excellent complement to our frozen seafood, chips and salsa, salt rimmers and mixers, Paradise Key Teas and Landshark Lager.”

Margaritaville Chicken wings are currently available at Safeway, Genuardi’s, Von’s, Dominick’s, Randall’s, Tom Thumb, Carr’s, Hy-Vee, Bi-Lo, Shoppers, and Johnnie’s Foodmaster in the frozen food section.

Source: Margaritaville Foods

Cattle supply decline to continue in 2010, CattleFax reports

Cattle supplies in 2010 should decline another 1 to 1.5 percent in 2010, Randy Blach, CEO for Cattle-Fax, told attendees of the 2010 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Tex., today. At the same time, beef demand will continue to be impacted by a weak economy and high unemployment.

Nevertheless, 2010 overall “should be a better year for the beef industry,” said Blach, with beef exports expected to rise and fed cattle slaughter totals expected to decrease. “Demand remains the biggest challenge for the beef industry in 2010,” said Blach. “Though the supply situation is very bullish, demand must stabilize in order for prices to turn significantly higher.”

Fed cattle slaughter totals are expected to be down 2 percent in 2010, and cow slaughter totals should decline by nearly 9 percent. Average carcass weights are forecast to increase slightly and beef production is projected to be down 2.8 percent. Per capita net beef supplies are expected to be down 4 percent due to an expected increase in beef exports and smaller beef production.

In 2010 U.S. beef exports are forecast to increase to South Korea, and to a lesser extent Japan and Vietnam. U.S. beef exports in 2010 are expected to rise by about 8 percent over 2009.

In terms of feedgrains, total U.S. corn production could decrease, as U.S. corn supplies are record large at an estimated 14.83 billion bushels for the 2009/10 marketing year. U.S. soybean supplies are up over 10 percent compared to last year – the second highest level on record – while soybean acreage is expected to be near 79 million acres.

Spot corn futures prices are forecast to average near $3.75/bu in 2010, near steady with 2009, and the combination of bumper corn and soybean crops, as well as the sharp decline in winter wheat acreage, has lessened the need for an acreage battle this spring.

Source: CattleFax

NCBA elects new officers, approves new organizational concept

The annual Cattle Industry Convention concluded today with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) board of directors meeting and annual membership meeting. During the meetings, members voted on leadership and policies to ensure the organization’s success in 2010. More than 6,000 people attended this year’s convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Steve Foglesong, owner of Black Gold Ranch in Illinois, was officially elected to succeed Gary Voogt as NCBA’s new president. Foglesong encouraged NCBA members to join him in leading this great industry—and the association—to an even stronger future, by getting engaged in the issues and telling their story to the public, as well as lawmakers in Washington, DC.

“Our industry has a great story to tell,” said Foglesong. “Our numbers may be small, but when each of us engages and makes our voice heard, we are a force to be reckoned with.”

In a landmark vote, the board approved a new organization structure, as presented today by the Governance Task Force. The board also demonstrated confidence in NCBA by voting unanimously to approve a dues increase to help ensure the organization is on sound financial footing. Dues now start at $100 for cow-calf members. Feeder assessments increased from 10 cents to 12.5 cents per head. Earlier in the week, the Allied Industry Council also expressed its support of NCBA by voting to increase its member dues from $17,500 to $25,000.

Source: NCBA