Hormel Foods Corp. is closing a canned meat plant in Turlock, Calif., effective October 29. Valley Fresh canned meats are produced at this facility. Affected employees will receive severance pay and may have the opportunity to work at one of four other Hormel Foods facilities in California.

“This decision was a difficult one to make because of its impact on our valued employees at this location. The manufacture of our Valley Fresh canned products will be moved to another facility which will provide greater purchasing and distribution efficiencies,” said Mike Devine, vice president of grocery products operations.

Source: Hormel Foods Corp.

Hatfield Quality Meats, Phillies renew partnership

Hatfield Quality Meats today announced it has renewed its long term partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies.

“We are very proud to be a long time partner with such a tremendous organization like the Philadelphia Phillies,” said Eric Haman, corporate communications manager for Hatfield Quality Meats. “For many years now Hatfield has been able to partner with the Phillies to help create a very unique, delicious and memorable ballpark experience for the fans. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”

“The Philadelphia Phillies are excited to continue our partnership with Hatfield Quality Meats,” stated David Buck, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Sales for the Phillies. “Hatfield’s strong Brand presence, along with their commitment to deliver a high quality product and give back to the community, continues to make them a perfect partner for both the Phillies organization and for our fans.”

Hatfield Quality Meats is the producer of Phillies Franks, the great tasting hot dogs served at Citizens Bank Park.  Phillies Franks are M.S.G. and guten free. In addition to Phillies Franks, Hatfield also supplies the ballpark with a wide array of other pork products such as sausage, kielbasa, ribs, barbeque, and a variety of deli products. Phillies Franks are also available at retail locations throughout the Philadelphia region.

Source: Hatfield Quality Meats

Japan suspends its exports after possible hoof-and-mouth outbreak

Japan suspended beef exports Tuesday after detecting suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease in several cows in the south of the country, officials said. Three cows raised in a farm in Miyazaki developed mouth ulcers, a typical early symptom of the disease, prompting the ban, which will last three months, AP reports. If the cases are confirmed positive, it would be the first such outbreak since 2000.

Japan exported 565 tons of beef, worth $40 million (3.8 billion yen) in fiscal 2009 ended March, mostly to Vietnam, Hong Kong and the U.S., according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Source: Associated Press

California slaughterhouse operator fined for illegal sales

The owner of a custom slaughterhouse must serve two years on probation and pay a $4,000 fine after he admitted allowing clients to sell uninspected meat on his property.

Richard J. Riella of Manteca was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors in January, AP reports. As owner of Riella Farms Inc., the 48-year-old was licensed to slaughter clients' animals for personal consumption. The meat was supposed to be marked "not for sale."

The indictment against Riella said federal food safety investigators working undercover in 2004 made anonymous purchases from customers at an informal market on Riella's property. The investigators said all the meat they purchased would have failed federal inspections.

Source: Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News

Ammonia leak closes Pennsylvania poultry plant

An ammonia leak at a kosher Pennsylvania poultry plant has led to the evacuation of about 125 people, including six who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Emergency crews were called Tuesday night to the Mehadrin Kosher Poultry plant in Birdsboro, Pa. Six people were taken to the hospital for treatment of exposure to the gas. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, according to AP reports.

Exeter Township Sgt. Michael Bailey says ammonia was still leaking as of 11:15 p.m. He says the leak was contained to the plant and no animals were removed.

Mehadrin Kosher Poultry closed briefly last week amid a dispute with Exeter Township over sewage discharge and sewer bills. Exeter Township issued the order for Mehadrin to cease and desist its operations because it said the plant is violating sewer use laws and is late paying its sewer bills, but a judge denied that injunction.

Sources: Associated Press, The Yeshiva World

Oscar Mayer expands Deli Creations line with crackers

The Oscar Mayer brand has introduced its new Deli Creations Cracker Combinations, containing flatbread crackers made with whole grain, Philadelphia Reduced Fat Cream Cheese and Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh meat. Each of these packages includes a Toblerone chocolate treat- all this for only 270 calories per serving.

They are available in two varieties - Oven Roasted Turkey with Chive and Onion Spread and Rotisserie Chicken with Garden Vegetable Spread. Cracker Combinations can be found nationwide in the refrigerated meat section and have a suggested retail price of $2.50.

Source: Oscar Mayer