More than 140 meat and poultry plants were recognized for outstanding safety performance at the American Meat Institute Foundation’s annual Conference on Worker Safety, Human Resources and the Environment, held April 29-30, at Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri.

“This program’s ongoing success is a reflection of our industry’s strong dedication to making workplace safety a top priority,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle. “We applaud the efforts of these plants to protect their workers and for their continued commitment to further progress.”

Forty-six plants were recognized with the highest award – the Award of Honor. Forty-eight received the Award of Merit. In addition, 32 plants received the Award of Commendation and 16 received a Certificate of Recognition.

The various levels of awards that may be earned are based on an evaluation of each eligible plant’s actual safety performance as well as its implementation of various key components of an effective safety and health program as measured by the safety program questionnaire.

The meat and poultry industry’s commitment to improving workplace safety is reflected in the significant and consistent decline in illness and injury rates among its nearly 500,000 workers over the past two decades.

To view a list of this year’s Safety Award winners, visit

Source: AMI

Hormel releases 2009 corporate responsibility report

Hormel Foods released the 2009 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report, available online This is the third full report the company has released covering environmental and social performance.

“Our corporate responsibility report reflects our commitment to conduct business in a manner that minimizes our environmental impact and maximizes our social benefit, while providing value to our shareholders,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods. “Every day we endeavor to follow the principles of 'Our Way' — our corporate values structure — as embodied in people, process, products, performance and philanthropy. The goals established in our report tell the story of our commitment, our progress and our future plans in each of these key areas.”

The report includes details about the company’s packaging minimization initiative, product development process, employee engagement, public policy involvement and states new goals for employee safety, supplier responsibility and greenhouse gas emissions.

Some key highlights about the company’s corporate responsibility performance include:
    * 7,275 fewer tons of solid waste sent to landfills
    * 9 percent water use reduction since 2006
    * 100 percent animal care requirements met by individuals who supply hogs to Hormel Foods
    * $4.2 million donated as charitable contributions
    * 1 million pounds of product donated to food banks
    * 219,598 total hours spent on employee training
    * $15.9 million distributed to eligible employees as part of company profit-sharing

Source: Hormel Foods Corp.

Chicken sausage advertising focuses on executive chef

al fresco, recently named one of Family Circle's Best Products of 2010, unveiled a new brand look and feel including a new logo, advertising campaign, redesigned product packaging and a refreshed website. The new ad campaign, created by The VIA Group, features healthy recipes, created by al fresco's Executive Chef, Susanna Tolini. The new campaign will run in national magazines and on top food websites including Cooking Light, Food Network Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Eating Well, Fine Cooking,,,, and

Coinciding with this campaign, the redesigned packaging created by LAM design will also be hitting store shelves and will include easier-to-read nutrition facts and feature a more prominent brand logo, allowing customers to easily identify al fresco products.

In addition to featuring recipes using al fresco, the new campaign showcases Executive Chef Susanna Tolini as the face of the brand. The Johnson & Wales School of Culinary Arts graduate joined al fresco in 2007, where she works to develop unique flavors and delicious, creative recipes. Before coming to al fresco, she developed new products for premium food manufacturers including Trio's Pasta, Stop & Shop and Hans Kissle. She was also co-owner and chef at Le Bocage, a top French restaurant in the Boston area.

"The decision to feature Chef Susanna Tolini and incorporate her recipes into our new ads was an easy choice for us," explains Sarah Crowley, al fresco's senior brand manager. "Susanna personifies the creativity and fun you can have with this product. Bursting with flavor, al fresco all natural chicken sausages can be used in so many different dishes. The ads encourage customers to be adventurous and discover how in just a few minutes al fresco all natural chicken sausage adds zing to your meals."

al fresco all natural chicken sausage comes in 12 flavors such as Sweet Apple, Roasted Pepper & Asiago, Sweet Italian. They have no artificial ingredients, 70% less fat than traditional pork sausage and are gluten free. al fresco All Natural is manufactured by Kayem Foods Inc.

Source: al fresco

Boston Market adds sliders to menu

Boston Market today unveiled Market Sliders, the newest and most delicious addition to the restaurant’s menu. The delectable sliders will be available at all restaurant locations for the introductory price of $2.99 for three sliders, or $4.99 for a combo featuring three sliders, a regular gourmet side and a regular drink.

The sliders come in three varieties:
* BBQ Chicken & Cheddar – Boston Market’s specially seasoned rotisserie chicken topped with tangy BBQ sauce and melting aged cheddar.
* Meatloaf & Cheddar – Generous slice of Boston Market’s famous, home-style meatloaf topped with hickory ketchup and melting aged Cheddar.
* Turkey & Swiss – Hand carved turkey topped with aged Swiss cheese and dill Parmesan mayo.

“Sliders have been a popular menu addition request, particularly by those who are already fans of Boston Market classics such as rotisserie chicken, turkey and meatloaf,” said Lane Cardwell, CEO, Boston Market. “Market Sliders are a fun way for people to enjoy their favorite Boston Market menu items as a lighter meal or even as an afternoon snack.”

Source: Boston Market

PETA: Meat eaters to blame for oil spill

A week after the Deepwater oil rig exploded, killing 11 people and causing an environmental disaster in the Gulf Coast, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals flew a banner over Alabama that read, “Meat on your grill=Oil Spill. PETA.”

Karin Bennett wrote a blog on PETA’s Web site explaining the publicity stunt. “At times like this, I know it’s popular to blame big business, and that’s fair enough,” she said. “But in a free-enterprise system, business only gets big (and sloppy and greedy) because of consumer demand. This morning, PETA delivered that message to Alabama residents by flying a banner over downtown Mobile.

“Raising animals for food causes environmental devastation on a massive scale, and oil spills can be blamed in large part on the oil-guzzling meat industry—which owes its existence to the meat-guzzling public. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it takes more than 10 times as much fossil fuel to produce a calorie of animal protein as it takes to produce the same amount of plant protein.”

Source: PETA

White Castle celebrates Hamburger Month with Slider candle

To commemorate its 18th annual celebration of National Hamburger Month, White Castle has teamed up with Laura Slatkin, founder of Nest Fragrances, often called the "queen" of home fragrances, to introduce a candle with the steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions scent of America's first fast-food hamburger. Packaged in a ceramic holder that reproduces the signature cardboard sleeve of the White Castle hamburger packaging, the candles are available in White Castle restaurants and at White Castle's online store Candles sell for $10 each, with net proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks.

"Starting today, no true Craver's castle will be complete without a The Original Slider-scented candle," said Jamie Richardson, vice president of corporate relations. "We expect the first run of 10,000 candles to be snapped up quickly during National Hamburger Month, May 1 - 31."

He said the idea for the candle was sparked when company executives met Laura Slatkin, who sits on the board of Autism Speaks.

"We wanted to do something special for our loyal Cravers during National Hamburger Month while exploring a new way to support a great cause," Richardson said. "Laura has launched fragrances for such fashion luminaries and celebrities as Vera Wang, Elton John and Princess Diana, we believed Laura and Nest Fragrances was ready to take on the challenge of reproducing the signature beef-and-onion scent that has inspired the cravings of millions of customers from all over the world."

"When I think of truly superior aromas, I think of the aroma of a freshly grilled White Castle hamburger - life just doesn't get better than that," Slatkin said. "We have captured that exact essence in our White Castle candle!"

Source: White Castle System Inc.