At a joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Washington, President Barack Obama announced that Russia has agreed to lift its ban on U.S. poultry exports.

“We have reached an agreement that will allow the United States to begin exporting our poultry products to Russia once again,” Obama said, reports Bloomberg. Russia essentially barred U.S. chicken in January by slashing the allowable amount of chlorine U.S. producers can use to disinfect the meat.

Russian’s safety watchdog organization, Rosselkoznadzor, announced that U.S. processors are ready to use substances other than chlorine to disinfect chicken meat in order to comply with Russian regulations.

The National Turkey Federation issued a statement that read: “Members of the National Turkey Federation applaud President Barack Obama’s announcement that he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have reached an agreement lifting the trade ban on U.S. poultry exports to Russia.

“NTF also praised the efforts of U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., chairwoman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. The two wrote President Obama last week, explaining the urgent need to end the trade impasse and urging him to make the issue a priority during his meeting with the Russian president.

“The poultry industry has long emphasized that internationally recognized scientific methodology has proven U.S. poultry processing practices are safe and that the trade restrictions are unwarranted.

“Lincoln and Chambliss were joined by 22 other senators, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., in sending the letter to President Obama in advance of the meeting.”
Source: Bloomberg, NTF

Ground beef recalled due to potential drug contaminant

Sampco Inc., a Chicago, Ill., establishment is recalling approximately 61,000 pounds of cooked canned and frozen beef products that may contain the animal drug Ivermectin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

On May 14, 2010, FSIS issued Recall News Release FSIS-RC-033-2010, a Class II recall with low health risk, which also announced the agency was taking a number of actions regarding lots of cooked beef from Brazil after the agency found that they may contain the animal drug Ivermectin. Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic and is used as a de-worming agent in live animals. FSIS routine point of entry testing had discovered samples of cooked beef product from Brazil that were produced on January 20, 2010, that exceeded the tolerance level established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration in beef muscle. While that product was not permitted entry into the U.S., FSIS subsequently determined that associated product may have entered the country separately, resulting in today's recall.

Based on Brazil's voluntary suspension of export for cooked beef products, FSIS has broadened its ongoing investigation. FSIS may take further regulatory action as it continues its investigation. FSIS is also alerting consumers although the agency has received no reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

The products subject to recall include 12-ounce cans of Deltina and Hormel brand “Corned Beef With Juices” and 35-pound boxes of frozen “Seasoned Cooked Beef” and “Sampco Brand Frozen Cooked Beef, Salt Added.”

Source: FSIS

Ruiz Foods among top Hispanic-owned U.S. businesses

According to the June 2010 issue of Hispanic Business Magazine, Ruiz Foods Inc., the nation’s largest frozen Mexican food manufacturer and makers of the El Monterey and Tornados brands, is ranked:
• 1st among the top 10 U.S. Hispanic-owned manufacturing companies in the United States (in 2009, Ruiz Foods, Inc. ranked 2nd) and
• 1st among the top 500 U.S. Hispanic-owned manufacturing companies in the State of California (In 2009, Ruiz Foods, Inc. ranked 1st).
• 6th among the top 500 Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States according to the June, 2009 issue of Hispanic Business Magazine. (In 2009, Ruiz Foods, Inc. ranked 14th).

“We attribute our success to our commitment to respond to the consumer’s desire for food that brings convenience, great taste, quality ingredients and solid value to the family,” said Bryce Ruiz, president and CEO, Ruiz Foods. “It’s a commitment my dad and grandfather made when they co founded Ruiz Foods in 1964. We are very proud of what our team members and our vision continue to accomplish.”

Source: Ruiz Foods

Whataburger brings back cheddar chophouse burger

Whataburger announces the return of its Chop House Cheddar Burger that was first introduced in the summer of 2009. The limited time offer began on Monday, June 21 and will be available through August 2 at all of the 700+ Whataburger locations in ten states.

The burger features two 100 percent fresh, never frozen, American beef patties grilled to perfection, topped with grilled onions, melted shredded cheddar cheese, two slices of bacon and steak sauce on a fresh, toasted five-inch bun.

"Last year's launch of the Chop House Cheddar Burger was successful because customers enjoyed the combination of savory flavors and real shredded cheddar cheese," said Rich Scheffler, Whataburger Restaurants LP Group director of marketing. "We believe the burger delivers the premium taste and quality ingredients at a great value that customers expect from Whataburger."

The Chop House Cheddar Burger is available in two sizes, regular or junior, and alone or in a combo meal with a drink and French fries.

Source: Whataburger Restaurants LP Group