Bob Evans Farms announced that it is closing the fresh sausage production line at its Bidwell, Ohio, production facility, effective today. The company cites the difficult economics of the current pork industry -- too much processing capacity and not enough supply in the sow market – as the reason for the closure. The Bidwell plant will continue to produce pre‐cooked sausage links and patties.

“The U.S. Pork industry is facing several significant issues right now,” says agriculture analyst Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics. “The smallest herd in 200 years coupled with higher production costs and soaring feed costs has created a challenging environment for producers.”

“This was a very difficult decision made for the long-term health of the organization,” says President of Food Products Mike Townsley. “Bob Evans Farms has roots in Gallia County and the employees at the Bidwell plant have been loyal and hard-working. We appreciate everything they have done through the years to build the brand.”

Bidwell’s production volume will be shifted to the company’s other fresh production plants in Xenia, Ohio, Hillsdale, Mich., and Richardson, Texas. The 57 affected employees will receive severance benefits and the opportunity to transfer within the company.


Source: Bob Evans Farms Inc.



Delaware governor praises Mountaire Farms expansion

A newly approved expansion plan at a Mountaire Farms facility in Millsboro, Del., will convert poultry processing leftovers into marketable proteins. The $34.5 million expansion will create 31 new jobs by December 2011.

"Mountaire is a critical part of our state's economy and we are so glad to see their strong commitment to this community renewed," said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell in a statement.

Mountaire’s operation will collect blood, feathers and unused chicken parts from the company’s Millsboro and Selbyville plants as well as farms and hatcheries in the region, then process them into poultry meal and feed-grade fat for a variety of uses, reports the News Journal.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control granted approval for the project Wednesday. In exchange for that approval, the company plans to convert boilers from oil to natural gas, install new odor controls and complete wastewater treatment plant upgrades that cut pollution releases by more than 60 percent.

Paul Downes, president of Mountaire Farms, said that the project was “paramount in solidifying Mountaire's total integration poultry business in Delaware.”


Source: DelawareOnline.com



Canned meat, poultry products recalled

Eickman's Processing, establishment #31776, in Seward, Ill., is recalling approximately 12,086 pounds of meat and poultry products because they may have been underprocessed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The products subject to recall include 14-ounce jars of canned meat, pork, chicken and mince meat under the “Lena UMW,” “Eickman’s” and “CJ’s” brands. The products subject to recall were produced between Nov. 4, 2007, and April 7, 2010, and distributed to retail establishments in the northern Illinois area.

The problem was discovered during a routine food safety assessment by FSIS. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses from consumption of these products.


Source: FSIS



CFIA still short on meat inspectors

Internal staffing projections released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency indicate that the Canadian government doesn’t have enough inspectors at plants that make ready-to-eat meat products and won’t until next spring. The National Post reviewed reports released to Postmedia News and reported that the effort equivalent to 90.5 full-time inspectors is needed to monitor food safety issues at facilities that process deli meats — considered high-risk products because consumers aren’t required to cook them.

CFIA had 69 full-time-equivalent meat inspectors in place at these facilities to perform Compliance Verification System tasks. CFIA said Thursday there are 253 federally registered ready-to-eat meat processing plants in Canada. The CFIA said that training of new hires to reach the target number of inspectors is ongoing, and the new inspectors are expected to be stationed at facilities by next April.


Source: The National Post



FSIS revises directive on identifying smuggled goods

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued FSIS Directive 9600.1, Revision 1: Illegally Imported or Smuggled Products and Reporting in the Import Alert Tracking System.

This directive provides methodologies that the employees of the Office of Program Evaluation, Enforcement and Review (OPEER), the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and the Office of Data Integration and Food Protection (ODIFP) are to employ when surveillance or investigations identify meat, poultry, or egg products from a foreign country that have been illegally imported or smuggled.

FSIS is reissuing this directive to incorporate updated information regarding the use of the Import Alert Tracking System (IATS). The IATS is the FSIS automated data system that principally tracks findings of illegally imported or smuggled products into the United States. The IATS will also track incidents involving “failure to present products” (FTP), any potential food defense incident, or incidents of other concern involving imported meat, poultry, or egg products. The IATS has been designed to automate the processes of incident notifications between FSIS program areas. IATS also automates the convening of the Hazard Evaluation Committee (HEC) and the elevation of an Import Alert to an Incident Report (IR) when appropriate.

To view this directive, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISDirectives/9600.1.pdf.


Source: FSIS



Jack Link's continues World Series of Poker sponsorship

Jack Link's Beef Jerky and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) have announced the signing of a new multi-year agreement. Under terms of the pact, Jack Link's will continue to serve as the presenting sponsor of the world's longest-running, richest and most prestigious poker tournament. The tournament will continue to be known as the World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link's Beef Jerky.

"Poker is entertaining, unpretentious, unpredictable and full of fun and camaraderie among friends. The same attributes can be used to describe the Jack Link's brand," said Jeff LeFever, director of marketing, Jack Link's Beef Jerky. "Winning a World Series of Poker bracelet is the ultimate accomplishment and we're proud to partner with the best in the business to help deliver the biggest, most exciting poker experience in the world."

Jack Link's new multi-year deal begins at the 42nd Annual World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link's slated to get underway at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on May 30, 2011 and extends through November 2012. The WSOP sponsorship is one of the most significant event partnerships for the Jack Link's brand.

"This remains a great fit between two category-leading brands," said WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart. "We couldn't ask for a better organization to be our lead sponsor. We love being with a market dominator that shares our sense of fun and irreverence."


Source: Jack Link's Beef Jerky