Pampanga Food Company, Inc. an Anaheim, Ca. establishment, is recalling approximately 14,430 pounds of sautéed chicken products because they contain an undeclared allergen, whey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. Whey is a known allergen, which is not declared on the label.

The products subject to recall are 30-pound cases of "Pampanga Sauteed Chicken," with each case containing 3-pound bags. Each package bears the establishment number "P-9029-A" inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as a packaging date between May 6, 2010 and Dec. 6, 2010. Each case has a production date appearing as a lot number ranging from "0506" to "1203." The products were sent to distribution centers for further sale to restaurants in the states of Calif. and Hawaii.

The problem was discovered by FSIS during a routine inspection. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Source: FSIS

Industry criticizes Senate extension of ethanol tax credit

The Senate has agreed to a tax policy package that includes a one-year extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) at its current level of $.45 per gallon. In response, organizations representing the food industry, animal agriculture, environmental groups, and budget watchdogs released the following statement:

“The Senate’s decision to accept a deal to extend for another year the outdated and unnecessary subsidies for the corn ethanol industry is outrageous and shortsighted.  Now it’s time for the House of Representatives - especially the Leadership and the House negotiators on the tax package - to stand up and say no to extending federal corn ethanol subsidies. The federal government should not waste another $6 billion on this needless subsidy. It is bad for the environment, food producers, farmers, and consumers. And at a time when the budget deficit and national debt have reached a crisis level, bad for the nation’s long-term fiscal health. Enough.”

Source: American Meat Institute, National Meat Association

U.S. may be next exporter of beef in 2011

The chief economist of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said that the United States may become a net exporter of beef for the first time ever, as a weaker dollar spurs demand. That decline has helped U.S. beef become more competitive with Brazil, according to NCBA’s Gregg Doud.

“A weak U.S. dollar is helping the competitiveness of all commodities the U.S. exports,” Doud said in the report, according to Bloomberg. “At the same time, the weak dollar is also making the U.S. a poorer destination for beef exporters around the world.”

U.S. cattle prices also may get support next year as the domestic herd continues its decline, Doud wrote. The U.S. may have 600,000 fewer beef cows on Jan. 1 than at the same time a year earlier, when supplies were at a 51-year low, he said.

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Sara Lee releases interactive corn dog video

State Fair Brand, part of the Sara Lee Corp. and corn dog maker, has released its first-ever interactive video: Battle Cart Corn Dog. The video aims to grow the State Fair Brand presence within social media networks, increase brand awareness, and drive sales via promotional offer, by engaging with current and potential State Fair Brand consumers.

Available at, the video enables viewers to interact with a fun, engaging story and to direct the action. The video features multiple scenarios in which two moms—and their kids—wage battle for the last box of State Fair Brand Corn Dogs, showcasing how far each mom will go to make her family happy.

“We’re excited about our first interactive video,” said Audrey Ingersoll, assistant brand manager with State Fair. “This reinforces the State Fair Brand profile of ‘bringing home the fun.’”

Several linked videos—seven in all—enable viewers to direct the story by clicking what happens next at multiple junctures throughout the story. In total, there are four possible ending scenarios, two “winning” and two “losing,” with a losing scenario resulting in an opportunity to rewind to a previous spot in the story and “win.” The winning screens drive viewers to share the video, visit the State Fair Brand Web site, and drive purchase via coupon offer.

Source: Sara Lee Corp.

AMI releases 2010 meat facts book

The American Meat Institute (AMI), in cooperation with Sterling Marketing Inc., has released the 2010 edition of Meat and Poultry Facts, the industry’s leading statistical book.

The 39th edition of this popular resource contains the latest statistics on production, consumption, prices, imports, exports, employment, wages and much more. The 54-page book was compiled by John Nalivka, president of Sterling Marketing Inc.

“It is our desire that the publication will continue to help people, both inside and outside of this complex industry, to better understand the important, but sometimes, confusing dynamics,” Nalivka said.

Nalivka noted in his introduction that 2010 was much more positive than 2009 as the uncertainty of demand became less of a burden on the markets.

“During 2010, producers and processors in the red meat industry saw a significantly brighter picture as higher wholesale prices and lower producer breakeven prices led to positive margins. While U.S. demand for meat was improved from a year earlier, a larger share of the 2010 price appreciation can be attributed to solid gains in U.S. export sales during 2010. A weak dollar was also a major factor contributing to export sales,” said Nalivka.

Nalivka did point out however, that while cattle producers realized gains in net returns, herd building has not been initiated as producers still face uncertainty in the market and regulatory environment as well as changing producer demographics.

The complete 2010 edition of Meat and Poultry Facts is now available for purchase from AMI’s online bookstore ( The regular price is $35 for AMI members and $75 for non-members. For additional information, or contact Jessica Mosley, AMI program manager of awards and education, at or 202-587-4252.

Source: AMI