After opening up the country to chicken imports in September, A Russian official announced that the country would stop buying frozen chicken after Jan. 1. The head of Russia's consumer protection watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, on Wednesday told Reuters in Moscow the country will ban sales and processing of deep-frozen poultry meat from Jan. 1, both domestic and imported, because freezing hurts the quality of the meat.

A USDA spokesman pointed out that there is no scientific basis for the ban and that freezing is a long-used, internationally accepted method of securing the safety of food products. A spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office told Reuters that such a move would be an obstacle to Russia joining the World Trade Organization.

"We just don't know what is going on. We are working with the U.S. embassy to try and find out what is going on," said Toby Moore, spokesman for the trade group USA Poultry and Egg Export Council. "Hopefully, we can find out something today."

Source: Reuters

McDonald's Europe president resigns

McDonald's Corp. announced that Denis Hennequin will resign as president of McDonald's Europe to become CEO of the Accor Hotel Group. He leaves his McDonald's position effective November 30, 2010.

As president of McDonald's Europe, Hennequin was responsible for more than 6,800 McDonald's restaurants in 39 European countries, which generated $9.3 billion in revenues for McDonald's in 2009.

"Denis' leadership made a tangible difference in our key segment of Europe," said McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner. "The European team's dedication to our Plan to Win business strategy elevated the restaurant experience for our customers. We wish Denis well in his new role at Accor."

"We appreciate Denis' energy and passion for our brand," said Don Thompson, McDonald's president and chief operating officer. "Our customers and our crew in Europe will continue to benefit from the momentum he helped to drive."

Hennequin began his career at McDonald's in 1984 as an assistant store manager, assuming various responsibilities in field service. In 1996, Hennequin was appointed president and managing director for McDonald's France, and was subsequently appointed as executive vice president for McDonald's Europe before becoming president in 2005.

Skinner said, "A succession plan for McDonald's Europe is in place and a new leader will be named in the near future."

Source: McDonald’s Corp.

GOP leader: South Korea must open market to U.S. beef and cars

The Republican Representative who is expected to become the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee next year said that South Korea must do more to open its market to U.S. beef and automobiles if the long-delayed trade agreement is to be approved.

"I think it's up to the Koreans to decide whether they really want to have an agreement or not," said Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), according to Reuters. "I think particularly in the auto sector, as well the beef sector, those have been the two problem areas that we need to see some progress in.”

The Ways and Means panel has jurisdiction over trade in the House, so Camp will play a key role in any congressional consideration of the Korean pact. The two countries still hope to reach an agreement before President Obama arrives in Seoul for the Group of 20 Summit, November 11-12.

Source: Reuters

N.Y. Gourmet Salads recall expands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is expanding its Oct. 30 public health alert for an undetermined amount of various meat and poultry products produced without the benefit of federal inspection by N.Y. Gourmet Salads Inc., a Brooklyn, N.Y. establishment.

The previous public health alert warned against containers of Chicken Salad, Meatballs & Sauce, Meatballs and Swedish Meatballs. Additional products have been included in this expanded alert, including but not limited to containers of: Lemon Grilled Chicken, Grilled Chicken, Breaded Chicken, Stuffed Cabbage, Grilled Chicken Plain, Teriyaki Grilled Chicken and Chopped Chicken Liver.

The implicated products were produced between March 11, 2010, and Oct. 29, 2010, and were distributed to retail establishments in New York. The products may have been repackaged by retailers into smaller units and sold to consumers.

Source: FSIS

Jack's Links teams with camo company

Jack Link's Beef Jerky has launched a packaging partnership with Realtree Camo, maker of America's most versatile camouflage patterns. Through the end of the year, a selection of Jack Link's beef steak products will be available in blaze-orange-colored packaging featuring distinctive Realtree Camo patterns. Just in time for hunting season, the stand-out blaze orange packaging adds extra visibility, while the beef steak offerings provide hunters with a satisfying snack to fuel their outdoor adventures. The pocket-sized packages are easily stored in a hunter's field bag or jacket and require no refrigeration, allowing them to take Jack Link's wherever the hunt may lead them.

"In or out of the woods, Jack Link's limited edition blaze-orange-packaged beef steak products help outdoor enthusiasts to Feed Their Wild Sides," said Jeff LeFever, director of marketing, Jack Link's Beef Jerky. "Jack Link's and Realtree are synonymous with family, camaraderie, fun and the great outdoors."

"Over the years Realtree has partnered with hundreds of companies on all sorts of cool, useful products," said Realtree designer and president Bill Jordan. "But, I cannot remember more excitement around our office since we announced the Jacks Link's Realtree products. Our staff was already probably responsible for driving up the American per capita consumption of Jack Link's jerky. It really is unbelievable how much we're eating now. I know all the Realtree fans are going to be just as excited as we are here at Realtree."

Jack Link's blaze orange packaging is available in 2-ounce Original and Teriyaki Beef Steak products.

Source: Jack Link's Beef Jerky