Sanderson Farms Inc. reported results for the first fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2010. Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 were $420.1 million compared with $388.9 million for the same period a year ago. For the quarter, the company had net income of $15.8 million, or $0.75 per fully diluted share, compared with a net loss of $6.7 million, or $0.33 per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

"The results for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 reflect an improved overall poultry market compared with the first quarter of last year," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. "Demand for chicken at the retail grocery level has remained good and current supply levels are balanced with consumer demand in that market. Our foodservice business remains soft, reflecting the prolonged slowdown in restaurant traffic caused by current economic conditions. We expect these demand trends to continue until we see a meaningful improvement in the national job market and consumers resume spending and dining out again. Our results for the first quarter also reflect lower overall feed costs compared with the prior year. Grain prices have come down over recent weeks in reaction to the USDA's January crop estimates, and we believe our feed costs for fiscal 2010 will remain below last year's levels."

According to Sanderson, market prices for poultry products were mixed during the first quarter of fiscal 2010 compared with the same period of fiscal 2009, but were higher overall. A simple average of the Georgia dock price for whole chickens was approximately 5.3 percent lower in the Company's first fiscal quarter compared with the same period in 2009. Boneless breast meat prices during the quarter were approximately 6.2 percent higher than the prior-year period. The average market price for bulk leg quarters increased approximately 11.6 percent for the quarter compared with the same period last year. The increase in leg quarter prices during the quarter is primarily due to better world economic and credit conditions compared with a year ago and more stable export demand. The bright spot in the poultry market is noted in jumbo wing prices, which averaged $1.57 per pound, up 36.4 percent compared with an average of $1.15 per pound a year ago, reflecting strong seasonal demand during the football season. Feed costs, the Company's largest single component in cost of sales, decreased 4.6 percent compared with the first quarter a year ago.

"We are pleased with the start to fiscal 2010 and are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead," Sanderson continued. "We believe that we have reached a more favorable industry balance of supply and demand levels for poultry products, and egg sets and breeder placements remain in check. The construction of our Kinston, North Carolina, plant is moving forward as planned and we expect to begin processing chickens at this location in January 2011."

Source: Sanderson Farms Inc.

Pediatricians group wants hot dogs, other foods labeled as choking hazards

Choking is a leading cause of injury and death among children, especially those younger than 4 years of age. The majority of choking-related incidents among children are associated with food, coins and toys. A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), led by a doctor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and published in the February 22 online issue of Pediatrics, takes a closer look at preventing choking among children.

On average, a child will die every five days in the United States from choking on food. However, too little attention is paid by government agencies and food manufacturers to minimizing choking risks. Although some food manufacturers voluntarily place warning labels on high risk products, more work needs to be done to implement safety standards for all high risk foods in regard to choking.

“We have laws and regulations in this country that require warning labels to be placed on toys that pose choking hazards, and we have systems that monitor and recall consumer products that pose a risk,” said the policy’s lead author Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “However, there are no such regulations on high risk foods - and children are much more likely to put food in their mouths than a toy.”

According to the policy statement, the AAP recommends:
• Warning labels on foods that pose a high choking risk
• A recall of food products that pose a significant choking hazard
• The establishment of a nationwide food-related choking-incident surveillance and reporting system
• A commitment from food manufacturers to design new food and redesign existing food to minimize choking risk, to the extent possible

Parents and caregivers should also be made aware of foods that could be choking hazards. The risk of choking depends on the shape, size and consistency of the item, along with the developmental and behavioral capabilities of the child. Many foods that are thought to be “kid friendly” are actually dangerous. Foods like grapes, popcorn and nuts can easily become lodged in a young child’s throat or lungs. Hot dogs pose the greatest risk, as they cause more choking deaths than any other food.

“If you were to design the perfect plug for a child’s airway, you couldn’t do much better than a hot dog,” said Dr. Smith, also a Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “It will wedge itself in tightly and completely block the airway, causing the child to die within minutes because of lack of oxygen.”

In order to prevent choking, parents and caregivers can do their part by following these safety tips:
• Do not give children younger than 4 any round, firm foods unless they have been cut into very small pieces. Cut hot dogs lengthwise and cut grapes into quarters. This changes the dangerous round shape that can block a young child’s throat.
• Do not give toddlers other high risk foods, such as hard candy, nuts, seeds and raw carrots.
• Never let small children run, play or lie down while eating.
• Keep coins and other small items out of reach of young children at all times.
• Carefully read warning labels on toys before giving them to young children.
• To check if a part of a toy is too small, use a small parts test device, which is available at many toy stores.
• Additionally, parents and caregivers should learn first aid for choking and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event a choking episode occurs.

Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Sara Lee launches “Saga Solver” social networking campaign

Sara Lee Deli today launched its “Saga Solver” social media campaign designed to help moms simplify their lives. The new Sara Lee Fresh Ideas pre-sliced and sliced-to-order deli meats campaign offers moms valuable expert advice and insights from three nationally recognized experts to help solve their everyday mama sagas, building upon the success of the Sara Lee Deli “Mama Saga” program launched in Sept. 2009.

Acknowledging the sagas many moms face daily, Sara Lee Deli wants to be a resource that helps moms feed their families better while also presenting moms a moment of laughter and entertainment, the company said in a release. The Saga Solver program will provide moms the chance to interact with three nationally-recognized “Saga Solvers” who will offer tips and advice on three distinct areas of focus: food preparation, helping mom get her kitchen and family schedules organized and family advice, all housed on Sara Lee Deli’s Facebook page ( The program will also provide an update on the lives of the three Sara Lee Deli “Mama Saga” mamas, who originally appeared in satirical web-cam videos on Metacafe, Facebook and other video sharing sites. Since their launch in September, the videos have recorded 2.5 million online views.

“The ‘Mama Saga’ campaign demonstrated that the social media space provides Sara Lee Deli immediate and intimate ways to reach moms and build relationships,” said Paula Shikany, director, Sara Lee Deli. “Providing moms with entertaining and educational content about the areas that matter most helps us be a resource to allow mom to simplify and streamline her life.”

Each “Saga Solver” will serve as a resource to moms that visit the Facebook page through tips, advice and recipes posted regularly as well as through one live chat per expert where moms can get answers to their issues in real time.

The first “Saga Solver,” Ceci Carmichael, will offer her guidance on food preparation as well as recipes that every family will love. A busy mom herself, Ceci is the former host of Food Network’s “Calling All Cooks” and “Good Food Fast” and has an extensive background in food preparation.

Ceci’s tips will be posted regularly on the Facebook page starting today and will be featured for six weeks. The next two “Saga Solvers” will be announced in the coming weeks.

The “Saga Solver” campaign will also introduce six videos revisiting “Mama Saga” moms from the original campaign and highlighting their most recent mama sagas. The videos will be released from February to June and will be featured on the Metacafe Sara Lee Deli Channel ( and Facebook page as well as a variety of other sites including: YouTube and Yahoo! Video. The videos were created in conjunction with Second City Communications, the business services arm of the world-famous Second City Theater.

Source: Sara Lee Corp.

Burger King introduces new broilers, burgers

Burger King Corp. announced that Burger King restaurants nationwide are cooking with new broiler technology. The broiler, supplied by two manufacturers, features proprietary technology that allows restaurants to further enhance the brand's famous flame-fresh taste and provides the flexibility necessary to explore a wider range of innovative, delicious, fire-grilled foods.

"This new broiler is a game-changing piece of equipment and a significant point of differentiation for us," said John Schaufelberger, senior vice president, global product marketing and innovation, Burger King Corporation. "Not only is the technology revolutionary to our industry, it is proprietary to the Burger King brand. It allows us to up the ante in our product development across the board - from superior quality food and unconventional menu innovations to even more competitive value offerings."

Burger King Corp. is currently testing a variety of products that can now be made on the new broiler, including fall-off-the-bone BK Fire-Grilled Ribs, stuffed burgers packed with flavor from the inside out, and an array of one-of-a-kind offerings for breakfast, snacks and even flame-kissed desserts.

The casual dining quality Steakhouse XT premium burger line that are flame-broiled to perfection are more than 30 percent larger than McDonald's Angus Third Pounders. The extra-thick, juicy steakhouse patty debuts at Burger King restaurants nationwide this month and is among the first menu offerings made possible by the revolutionary new cooking system.

* The Steakhouse XT features 7 ounces of seasoned ground beef topped with crisp lettuce, onions, red-ripe tomatoes, ketchup and mayo all on a corn-dusted bakery bun.
* The A.1. Steakhouse XT features all of the ingredients on the Steakhouse XT(TM) along with A.1. steak sauce, American cheese and crispy onions.
* The Smoky Cheddar Steakhouse XT is named for its smoky barbeque sauce, cheddar cheese and bacon.

Source: Burger King Corp.