The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council said that U.S. poultry companies had not been selling their products at unfairly low prices in China and plans to appeal the anti-dumping tariffs that China set on U.S. exports this week.

The Chinese government said Sunday that its investigation found that U.S. chicken products are being sold at low prices which undermine the local market. The A.P. reports that new import duties ranging from 50.3 percent to as much as 105.4 percent will last for five years.

The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council said in a news release Monday that the yearlong investigation, which culminated in the tariffs, was in retaliation for another trade dispute with the U.S.

"It's truly unfortunate that our industry has ended up in this situation, especially because the issues that created this disaster were not of our making and are beyond our control," council president Jim Sumner said. He said the organization was planning its next steps to appeal the decision.

Source: Associated Press, Business Week

Russian month-long ban on Smithfield plants ends

Russia has lifted a month-long ban on pork from two Smithfield Foods Inc. pork plants, the company said on Monday. The plants are in Milan, Mo., and Denison, Iowa, and operated by Smithfield unit Farmland Foods.

Reuters reports that Russia had banned pork from the two plants in August due to traces of the antibiotic oxytetracycline in the meat.

Source: Reuters

Salmonella/Campylobacter Reduction Conference announced for IPE

The U.S. poultry industry is reacting to stringent new performance standards proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) aimed at reducingSalmonellaandCampylobacter. The new goal of USDA/FSIS is to significantly reduce the positive rate for Salmonella, and to start testing forCampylobacter.

To help the industry, the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP), the National Chicken Council (NCC), the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), and Auburn University (AU) have organized a "Salmonella and Campylobacter Reduction Conference” during the International Poultry Exposition, January 26-28, 2011, in Atlanta, GA. The conference will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center from 8:30 am until noon on the 26th and 27th.

Dr. Dan Engeljohn, assistant administrator of the FSIS Office of Policy and Program Development, will be the leadoff speaker the first day. For more information about the other speakers, schedule, and to register online, go to

NAMP, NCC, USPOULTRY and Auburn University are also partnering on a first-ever industry survey of poultry processing plants to determine what they are using in first and second processing to reduce or eliminate these pathogens. That survey is underway now; results will be released at the conference.

John Starkey, USPOULTRY president, said, “Pathogen reduction has been a priority focus of the poultry industry since adoption of HACCP programs, and significant strides have been made in reducing pathogens on raw poultry products. The challenge before us now is to continue this progress efficiently and effectively. To help our industry achieve the new goals, this workshop will bring together industry professionals, government, and academia to discuss changes in industry practices and to share updates on research and policy initiatives.”

Stephen Pretanik, NCC Director of Science and Technology said, “I am looking forward to seeing the results of the pre-conference industry survey of current industry practices to control Salmonella and Campylobacter which will be presented at the conference. The survey results and the presentations addressing the importance of bio-mapping, validation and HACCP approaches in reducing pathogens in first and second processing will help our industry meet these new challenges.”

NAMP Executive Director Phil Kimball noted, “It is extremely important that poultry establishments understand the changes and the best practices to achieve the new standards.

“This first-ever partnership by NAMP, NCC, USPOULTRY and Auburn University joined by leading trade media and corporate sponsors, will help the industry validate and identify systems and procedures for controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry,” he continued.

FMC Spectrum, Morris & Associates, and NPC are conference sponsors. Trade media sponsors include Meat & Poultry, National Provisioner and Watt Poultry USA.

Source: NAMP

Valley Meats introduces pork patty

Valley Meats LLC of Coal Valley, Ill., has introduced a new ground pork patty product available to regional casual and quick service dining venues in the central Midwest. Available in 4, 6 and 8-ounce sizes, the new, frozen ground pork patties are designed to be cooked on a flat top, broiler or grill, providing restaurants with a cost-effective alternative/addition to the traditional ground beef hamburger or related pork products such as breaded pork sandwiches and butterfly pork chops.

The company, which owns and operates a successful meat processing facility in Coal Valley, created the new pork patty product to meet a growing demand for more healthy and economical substitutes for smaller, regional restaurants.

"In light of the pork tradition and the popularity of pork tenderloins in the Iowa, Illinois and Indiana farm belt and the broader market introductions of consumer pork products such as Burger King's Country Pork Sandwich launched this spring, we feel that this pork patty product has an attractive market niche," said Jeff Jobe, president of Valley Meats.

Jobe said the patties are made from a quality blend of fresh pork, first ground and formed as a patty and then knitted back together using a specialized tenderizing machine that gives the product a homemade appearance and texture. The product is then frozen using IQF technology. He said the company is now showing the product to restaurants throughout its geographic territory, which ranges from Kansas to Ohio and from Michigan to Oklahoma.

Source: Valley Meats LLC

Texas Hill Country Barbecue plans plant expansion

Texas Hill Country Barbecue Inc. announced the expansion of production in order to facilitate requirements of increased retail and wholesale orders.

Jason Ford, president and CEO for THCB, stated, "We are pleased to announce that we have an immediate need for an increase in production to fulfill current requested wholesale orders. Our wholesale partners are requesting products such as Brisket, Smoked Turkeys, Smoked Hams and other refined THCB products for their Holiday needs. THCB's retail restaurants will have the ability to serve their customers with quality Smoked Hams, Whole Turkeys and Chicken, in a key market segment that will compete against Honey Baked Ham and other competitors nationally. THCB has produced quality food and products for nationally recognized institutions such as Wal-Mart and HEB for several years. Our Op's Team is very excited about the choice of four strategically picked locations for the restaurant segment and ready to establish the brand in these markets very quickly and in time for the holidays."

The management of THCB said it feels very positive about the company's financial position with the ability to produce at THCB's plant quickly to meet the current orders, and in-turn show immediate profitability from the company's Restaurant/Retail component as well as from Wholesale/Manufacturing. The financial team of THCB is projecting outstanding results from the current drive, with projected net profits of $500,000+ before the end of 2010.

Texas Hill Country Barbecue manufactures the sale of smoked meat products throughout the United States. The production of smoked meat products including brisket, sausage, pork ribs, pulled pork, barbecue sauce and other products have been in continuous production since 1971 under various production labels.

Source: Texas Hill Country Barbecue