Gold Star Sausage, a Denver, Colo., establishment is recalling approximately an undetermined of chili products because they contain an undeclared allergen, soy, which is not declared on the label. Soy is a known allergen.

The following products subject to recall are 16-oz. plastic containers of “Johnson’s Chili” and “Johnson’s Chili, Hot & Spicy.” Each package bears the establishment number “1106” inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as a packaging date.

The products were packaged in Colorado from Feb. 15, 2010 to Feb. 15, 2011, and shipped to wholesalers nationwide. The recall covers all products produced in that timeframe by the company.

The problem was discovered by FSIS during a routine label review, when it was determined that the label read lecithin, not “soy lecithin” as it should. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Source: FSIS

Cargill introduces Fressure ground beef patties 

Cargill has introduced Fressure fresh ground beef patties, which have double the shelf life of traditional fresh burgers, benefit from enhanced food safety while also providing optimal flavor and a consistent high-quality eating experience for consumers. Cargill is employing this company developed, patent-pending process technology to produce fresh ground beef patties for the foodservice market. The result will be that Fressure ground beef patties provide foodservice customers with value-added fresh products to better meet their needs in a competitive marketplace, the company says.

Evaluating pressure system technology similar to the type that revolutionized the fresh guacamole business for the avocado industry, Cargill focused research efforts on making high-pressure processing commercially viable for ground beef patties. Those efforts were inspired by the need to find an improved premium ground beef patty solution for customers, resulting in the doubling of shelf life from 21 to 42 days, preservation of the beef's optimal flavor and diminishing bacteria that cause food borne illness and spoilage. It is an entirely natural process that does not use high temperatures, chemicals or irradiation, while retaining the nutrient value and freshness of the ground beef.

"The process enabling Cargill to produce Fressure patties is a technological break-through that allows us to provide our customers, as well as consumers, with a premium ground beef option that is superior, in a number of ways, to any in the marketplace today," said Brent Wolke, vice president for Cargill's Wichita, Kansas-based foodservice meat business. "Ground beef customers told us they wanted a product with a longer shelf life that does not sacrifice the quality, flavor, texture and eating experience consumers pay for when they want a good hamburger. We were able to meet those objectives and achieve enhanced food safety benefits by perfecting our process after years of research and development. This is an example of Cargill's commitment to investing in advanced technologies at our processing plants, and our focus on food safety innovation. This is a win-win for those who sell, prepare and eat burgers as part of their diet."

Fressure ground beef patties are being produced at Cargill's Columbus, Neb., meat processing facility.

"High-pressure processing of foods is a well-established treatment to mitigate contamination by harmful microbes such as SalmonellaE. coli O157:H7 and Listeria, without adversely affecting the product's taste and quality," stated Professor Michael P. Doyle, Ph.D., Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia. "I applaud Cargill's leadership in applying this technology to ground beef to raise the level of ground beef safety to a new industry standard."

Source: Cargill

Bob Evans releases Q3 results 

Bob Evans Farms Inc. announced its results for the 2011 third fiscal quarter ended Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. The company reported third-quarter fiscal 2011 consolidated operating income of $25.4 million, or 5.9 percent of net sales. This represents a 10.4 percent decrease compared to reported consolidated operating income of $28.4 million, or 6.6 percent of net sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2010.

Net sales were $428.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, a 0.3 percent decrease compared to $429.8 million in fiscal 2010. This decrease was primarily the result of same-store sales declines at Bob Evans Restaurants and Mimi's Café.

Chairman and CEO Steve Davis said the Company's third-quarter operating results reflect challenging operating conditions in the restaurant segment, along with excellent management of sales promotions and effective cost control in the food products segment.

"Both of our restaurant concepts demonstrated sequential quarterly same-store sales improvement, despite adverse December and January weather conditions in our key geographic concentrations," Davis said. "The weather impact, coupled with commodity cost pressure, contributed to the restaurant segment's year-over-year decline in operating income. We estimate that the weather conditions had a 0.75 to 1.0 percent combined negative impact on our third-quarter same-store sales results.”

Reported operating income for the food products segment was $10.7 million, or 11.8 percent of net sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to $3.5 million, or 4.0 percent of net sales, in fiscal 2010. The operating income improvement is due primarily to a significant decrease in promotional expenses and year-over-year reductions in operating wages and other operating expenses resulting from the company's manufacturing productivity initiatives. The manufacturing productivity initiatives resulted in the discontinuation of the company's fresh sausage operations at its Galva, Ill., and Bidwell, Ohio facilities, along with other headcount reductions, in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

The food products segment's net sales were $90.9 million, up 4.7 percent compared to $86.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Comparable pounds sold decreased 9 percent compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2010. More than offsetting the impact of the decrease in comparable pounds sold was a $10.4 million, or 40.9 percent, year-over-year decrease in promotional discounts provided to retailers, along with increased authorizations of new products in key national accounts. (Promotional discounts and other selling allowances affect the income statement as a reduction to the net sales line.) Also contributing to the year-over-year sales increase was a pricing increase implemented at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

"We delivered significant sequential and year-over-year improvement in the food products segment, which benefited from higher net sales, exceptional management of sales promotions and lower costs from productivity initiatives implemented earlier in the year," Davis said. "We achieved this despite a 27.5 percent year-over-year increase in sow costs.

"While our overall third-quarter performance was below our expectations, we believe we are on track to deliver our full-year consolidated adjusted operating income guidance as we head into the final quarter of fiscal 2011."

Source: Bob Evans Farms Inc.

Beef cuts recognized by American Heart Association 

The American Heart Association has listed three beef cuts as part of its Food Certification Program. This program helps healthy consumers over age 2 identify foods that meet criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol when labeled with the association's heart-check mark.

The three beef cuts that met the American Heart Association's criteria for extra lean, and are now certified to display the heart-check mark include Boneless Top Sirloin Petite Roast (select grade), Top Sirloin Filet (select grade) and Top Sirloin Kabob (select grade).

"We are extremely thrilled to receive the American Heart Association certification because for consumers, it represents the independent voice of a trusted health organization," says Margie Hand, a cow/calf operator from Amidon, ND and chair of the Beef Checkoff retail committee. "Today the Beef Checkoff Program has added another nutrition success point to its growing roster to show that a serving of extra lean beef can be part of an overall sensible eating plan. The nutrients in lean beef, such as protein, iron and zinc, help people feel satisfied longer and get more nutrition from their calories without sacrificing taste."

This certification allows retailers to display the heart-check mark on fresh case beef packages; promoting the health benefits of a serving of these particular beef cuts to their customers. The mark has been shown to influence sales by as much as 5 percent. In addition, The Beef Checkoff Trade Association Certification simplifies a retailer's processing and related costs to participate in the American Heart Association's heart-check mark program such as certain fees waived as well as significant discounts to participate.

"Lean beef helps Americans build a healthy diet and manage their waistline because one 3-ounce serving provides ten essential nutrients for about 154 calories, helping you meet the new Dietary Guidelines," says Cheryl Hendricks, a registered dietitian with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which contracts to manage retail marketing efforts for the beef checkoff. "With today's focus on obesity, lean beef is a solution that satisfies our appetites and provides more nutrients for fewer calories than many other foods."

Source: Beef Checkoff

Steak-Umm announces NASCAR Truck sponsorship 

In its second appearance on the NASCAR circuit, Steak-umm Company LLC will take to the track this Friday as primary sponsor of four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday. Hornaday drives the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Inc.

The red, white and black Steak-umm logo will dominate the paint scheme of the No. 33 truck at the February 18 season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Hornaday's firesuit, pit wall and pit box will also carry Steak-umm branding.

Steak-umm will return for repeat performances with Hornaday and KHI at the Nashville Superspeedway on April 22 and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on October 29. Hornaday will compete in the 2011 season to become the first driver to win five championships in the popular 16-year-old truck series.

In 2008, Steak-umm sponsored two races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to celebrate the addition of frozen burgers to the sliced sandwich steaks that put Steak-umm on the map in the late 1960s.

"Seeing the paint job on any NASCAR car or truck is like waiting for Super Bowl ads: it's a highlight of the NASCAR experience. That's especially true if the driver is a star, as is the case with Ron Hornaday," said Sergei Szortyka, president of Steak-umm Co. "Ron and the No. 33 Chevrolet will be in the spotlight for this series, and that means Steak-umm will, too. It's a great opportunity for us to put the Steak-umm name in front of millions of fans over and over again."

Source: Steak-umm Co. LLC

Don Shula to launch burger chain 

Don Shula announced today a new quick casual burger concept called Shula Burger. The concept will include gourmet burgers as well as a build-your own burger menu. Shula Burger will also feature salads, chicken sandwiches and Veggie Burgers.

Shula Burger will be franchising immediately in Florida, the southeast and northeast. Territories will be sold and demand is expected to be very strong. Shula's is expecting to have over 100 locations under development across the nation within five years. "We have been working on Shula Burger for two years," says Don Shula, the winningest coach in National Football League history. "We think that this will be a highly successful concept."

Don Shula is no stranger to the food and beverage industry as he currently has 32-full service restaurants across the country including Shula's Steak House, Shula's 347 Grill and Shula's 2 Steak & Sports. Shula's opened its first restaurant in Miami Lakes, Fla., in 1989 and now operates in 16 states across the country.

Source: Shula Steak Houses, LLLP