Seven associations were recognized for more than 10 years of participation and $2.5 million in cumulative contributions to the nonprofit U.S. Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) at the 2010 Food Safety Education Conference.

The associations honored are the American Egg Board (AEB), American Dietetic Association (ADA), Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation, National Chicken Council (NCC), National Pork Board (NPB), National Turkey Federation (NTF) and Produce Marketing Association (PMA).

“The enduring commitment of these organizations, together with the federal government and consumer advocates, has enabled the Partnership to teach millions of Americans of all ages the essential measures to keep their food safe,” said Shelley Feist, executive director of the PFSE. “They made it possible for the Partnership to develop and launch Fight BAC!, Be Food Safe and other free programs for public health and nutrition educators.”

The PFSE has developed several education campaigns, including:
Fight BAC! – teaches the four core safe food handling practices: Clean hands and surfaces often; Separate to avoid cross-contamination; Cook food to safe internal temperatures as measured with a food thermometer; and Chill - refrigerate foods promptly. More information is available at
Be Food Safe – developed by the Partnership to involve retailers in consumer food safety education. The program complements USDA’s Be Food Safe campaign. More information is available at and recall basics ( for consumers. These campaigns include consumer resources such as brochures, graphics, fact sheets, newsletters and multimedia presentations.

Source: PFSE

FSIS seeks comments on proposed food safety measures

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that it is seeking comment on proposed measures to enhance food safety. The proposed rule would implement a provision of the 2008 Farm Bill and is a priority for the Food Safety Working Group (FSWG).

"One year ago the President called on government to do more to ensure our food is safe, and we are working aggressively every day to improve the food safety system in the United States," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The steps we are announcing today will help prevent foodborne illness as well as speed our response when illnesses occur - two goals of the Food Safety Working Group."

The new proposed rule would require that regulated establishments: 1) Promptly notify FSIS if any unsafe, unwholesome or misbranded meat or poultry product has entered commerce; 2) Prepare and maintain current procedures for the recall of meat and poultry products produced and shipped by the establishment; and 3) Document each reassessment of the establishment's process control plans or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans.

The new proposed rule supports the Food Safety Working Group Key Findings announced on July 7, 2009. President Obama created the Food Safety Working Group on March 14, 2009 and charged Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the co-chairs of the group, with working to upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century; foster coordination throughout government; and ensure that we enforce these laws to keep the American people safe. Representatives from all federal food safety related agencies, including FSIS, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet regularly to discuss how producers, processors, retailers, consumers, and all levels of government can work collaboratively to make the food Americans eat as safe as possible.

Comments regarding the adopted regulations must be received on or before May 24, 2010, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at, or by mail to: Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 2-2127, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Mailstop 5474, Beltsville, MD 20705-5474. All submissions received through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail must reference the Food Safety and Inspection Service and include the docket number "FSIS-2008-0025."

Source: FSIS

Beef industry showing profitability again

U.S. beef prices have surged this month, based on tight supplies, strong exports and good news from the foodservice industry, resulting in profits for U.S. beef companies and cattle producers, Reuters reports.

The wholesale price for choice-grade beef, which is often served in restaurants, is the highest in nearly two years at $163 per hundredweight.
"The supply side is so tight that any inkling of demand improvement sends prices higher," said Jim Robb, economist at the Livestock Marketing Information Center. calculated that beef companies, on average, will earn about $54 profit on every head of cattle they process, compared with about $14 on March 1. The higher beef prices quickly filtered down to feedlots, where beef companies this week paid $97 per hundredweight for cattle, the highest in nearly two years, and netted producers $120 to $150 profit on each steer and heifer.

Beef and cattle prices should not move much higher, but they may not drop significantly as beef demand should stay strong with the spring cookout season fast approaching, while supplies remain tight, economists said.

Source: Reuters

FPSA elects board members at annual meeting

The Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) elected new Board members at its March 10 Annual Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

Scott Scriven of Weber Inc., takes the helm as board chair, while Barry Shoulders of Packaging Technologies, moves to Immediate past chair after two years in the chairman’s position. Other members of the five-person executive board include David Camp of Key Technology Inc., as vice chair; Eugene Teeter of Meyer Industries Inc., as treasurer; and Jeff Dahl as JBT FoodTech, as the at-large member.

“I’m excited about the future of the Association,” said Scriven when accepting his nomination. “Our members represent the backbone of the food industry by providing the equipment and services that are crucial to the safe and efficient production of food products. Our board consists of key executives throughout the food equipment industry who are dedicated to helping members gain maximum business value through membership in FPSA.

“I want to especially thank Ashley Hunter of Odenberg Engineering Inc. and Gunther Brinkman of Norse Dairy Systems,” Scriven said. “Both are longtime and loyal members of the FPSA board and have completed their board terms this year. Their passion for the industry and great insights has helped elevate the quality of membership at FPSA. It’s been a privilege working with them.”

The full board consists of 20 respected leaders from within the food and beverage industry, as listed below:
FPSA Board
Executive Committee Chair: Scott Scriven, Weber Inc., Kansas City, Mo.
Immediate Past Chair: Barry Shoulders, Packaging Technologies, Davenport, Iowa
Vice Chair: David Camp Key Technology Inc., Walla Walla, Wash.
Treasurer: Gene Teeter, Meyer Industries Inc., San Antonio, Texas
At Large: Jeff Dahl, JBT FoodTech, Madera, Calif.

FPSA Board of Directors
John Campbell, Separators, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.
Viggo Nielsen, Mettler-Toledo Safeline, Tampa, Fla.
Steve Hughes, Lyco Manufacturing Inc., Columbus, Wis.
Gil Williams, Poly-clip System Corp., Mundelein, Ill.
Chad Sprinkman, W.M. Sprinkman Corp., Franksville, Wis.
Ivo Cozzini, Cozzini Inc., Chicago, Ill.
Tim O'Brien, Urschel Laboratories Inc., Valparaiso, Ind.
John Atanasio, Alfa Laval Inc., Warminster, Pa.
Ed Fay, CMC America Corporation, Joliet, Ill.
Lou Beaudette, Admix Inc., Manchester, N.H.
John Rooney, Evergreen Packaging Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Ken Hagedorn, Naegele Inc., Newton, N.J.
Tony Bayat, CFS NA, Frisco, Texas
Goran Olsson, Tetra Pak Inc., Vernon Hills, Ill.
Bob Grote, Grote Company, Columbus, Ohio


Industry groups speak out against ethanol tax credits bill

Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) has introduced a bill that would extend ethanol tax credits for another five years, to 2015. This tax credit is set to expire on December 31, 2010. If extended, the tax credits will provide the conventional ethanol industry with $30 billion over five years.

A group of organizations representing environmental, hunger, industry and taxpayer interests denounced the proposed extension of ethanol tax credits.

Kate McMahon, energy policy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said, “Continuing to subsidize dirty corn ethanol is outrageous. Congress already mandates a market for ethanol use. The oil and ethanol industries need no further help from the American people. This money should be invested in more cutting-edge, clean, and renewable energy that won’t cause environmental degradation and increase food prices.”

J. Patrick Boyle, president and CEO, American Meat Institute, said, “Unfortunately, this bill continues the unfair support and protection corn-based ethanol has enjoyed for more than 30 years at the expense of the American taxpayer and the livestock and poultry producers who rely on corn for feed. It’s time for the corn-based ethanol industry to stop using the American taxpayers as a crutch and finally compete on its own in our free market system.”

Jonathan Lewis, attorney and climate specialist for the Clean Air Task Force, said, "If we hope to get ourselves out of the global climate change hole, the first thing we need to do is stop digging. This bill does just the opposite by lavishing taxpayer dollars on corn ethanol, a fuel that's even worse for the climate than gasoline. Renewing the corn ethanol subsidy makes no sense for our economy or for the environment."

Geoff Moody, manager of federal affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said, “The Grocery Manufacturers Association fully supports truly sustainable advanced biofuels and extension of the cellulosic ethanol tax credit. Unfortunately, this bill would also extend the unnecessary corn ethanol tax credit and import tariff at the expense of more sustainable biofuels. We urge Congress to instead shift government investments to advanced biofuels that do not pit our energy security against our food security.”

Scott Vinson, vice president of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, said, “In a time of ballooning federal deficits, it is high time for the government to say no to the ethanol lobby’s seemingly endless demands for more subsidies from the hard-pressed American taxpayer. Restaurants have to do business without government support in an intensely competitive market, and the ethanol industry needs to prove it can exist without taxpayers and consumers footing the bill. Congress is going to have to make some tough choices about how it spends taxpayers' money, and the ethanol sector is looking increasingly like a bad investment.”

Franz Matzner, climate center legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “Taxpayers should no longer throw good money after bad when it comes to subsidizing corn ethanol. The public should get something in return for its hard earned money, and that means demanding real environmental performance. It’s time to invest in the future, not the past.”

Gawain Kripke, director of policy & research at Oxfam America, said, “Congress should not waste taxpayer dollars by extending the current tax credits. The current package of ethanol mandates, incentives and subsidies is driving a rapid growth in ethanol production and the diversion of huge volumes of agriculture products from food markets to energy use. This year, the U.S. will burn nearly one-third of our corn harvest in gas tanks, which drives up the price of corn. This has big implications for hunger, climate change, and land use around the world, contributing to food insecurity in developing countries.”

Steve Ellis, vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense, said, “For more than three decades the ethanol industry has received generous subsidies from taxpayers. With Americans staring into a budgetary abyss for the foreseeable future, blowing billions on more ethanol subsidies doesn’t make sense. Expanding the ethanol tax credit is fiscally reckless. Instead, Congress should be considering its repeal."

Source: AMI

Brinker International to sell On The Border

Brinker International Inc. has entered into a purchase agreement with OTB Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, to sell its On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina brand. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Brinker expects the transaction to close by the end of fiscal 2010, subject to the completion of customary closing procedures. Brinker anticipates recording a gain upon completion of the transaction.

Brinker has agreed to provide transitional corporate support services to On The Border through the end of fiscal 2011, which will generate additional fees to offset the internal cost of providing the services. Moelis & Company LLC, is acting as Brinker's exclusive financial advisor in connection with this transaction.

"On The Border is well positioned to build on its current success and we are confident it will be a great addition to the Golden Gate portfolio," said Doug Brooks, chairman and CEO of Brinker International. "This decision enhances long term value for our shareholders and we believe that On The Border will continue to thrive under new ownership."

"On The Border is a strong leader in Mexican Casual Dining," said Joshua Olshansky, a managing director at Golden Gate Capital. "We are enthusiastic about the company's significant growth opportunities and we are very pleased to partner with the On The Border team to continue the success of the brand."

Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity firm. Over the last five years, Golden Gate has completed over 20 acquisitions in the specialty retail and restaurant sectors with combined annual revenue in excess of $4 billion, including such well known brands as Romano's Macaroni Grill, Express, Eddie Bauer and J.Jill.

Source: Brinker International Inc.