One in four Americans is worried about having enough money to put food on the table in the next year, according to a national hunger survey by Hart Research Associates, commissioned last month by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and Tyson Foods Inc. Another key finding is that many Americans are unaware of how serious hunger is in their own communities.

The online survey was initiated as part of Tyson’s “KNOW Hunger” campaign, which is focused on helping more people understand and actively address the problem of hunger in the U.S. The survey found that 24% of respondents indicated they are very or fairly concerned about being able to afford food at some point in the next year, while 31% are slightly worried.

The survey, which is one of the largest and most comprehensive ever conducted on attitudes and perceptions of hunger, also revealed that many Americans may be underestimating the seriousness of hunger in their own community. Two-thirds of the people surveyed rated hunger as a more serious problem nationally than in their own community. Yet according to a report published in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, 14.7 % of American households are food insecure at least some time during the year, the highest recorded levels since 1995, when the first national food security survey was conducted. 

While more than one-third of those surveyed indicated they have a direct connection to hunger, 59% of respondents were surprised to learn the parents of hungry children in the U.S. typically have full-time jobs A majority also assumed hunger is concentrated in urban areas, however, according to USDA, hunger is slightly higher among rural households than the national average. 

“The research shows that the vast majority of Americans believe that hunger is a problem for the country, and it also shows they are committed to the belief that no one should go hungry,” said Jim Weill, FRAC President. “No community is free from hunger, but the survey demonstrates very broad and deep support for efforts from both the public and private sectors to implementing solutions to this continuing challenge for our nation.”

“As we’ve become involved in hunger relief over the past ten years, engaging our employees, customers and communities, we’ve seen evidence of what this survey confirms,” said John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods. “People do think hunger is a serious issue. They’re willing to become involved. But they also need to be shown how it directly impacts their own communities. We believe creating more awareness creates more involvement.”

“The survey confirms what we see every day,” said Lynn Brantley, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “Hunger affects more than the homeless. It also impacts people who are employed but simply don’t make enough to consistently feed themselves or their family. While we provide many different kinds of foods to the agencies we serve, meat and poultry are typically among the most requested, but least available, foods.”

Other key survey findings include:

·         91% of Americans are committed to the principle that no one should go hungry in the U.S.

·         89% believe hunger impacts the physical development of infants/toddlers.

·         53% believe that children often eat cheap, unhealthy foods so families can pay rent.

·         51% believe that seniors often have to choose between paying for medical prescriptions or food.

·         54% of Americans say more should be spent to address hunger compared to other problems.

·         73% see a major hunger relief role for the federal government.

·         80% see a major role for local organizations/leaders.

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.


Keystone Foods and Perdue Farms win Clean Water Awards

Keystone Foods LLC, Gadsden, Ala., and Perdue Farms Inc, Perry, Ga., are winners of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s 2011 Clean Water Awards. American Proteins, Cuthbert, Ga., received honorable mention. Presented annually, the awards recognize excellence in the operation of wastewater treatment plants in the poultry industry. The presentations were made during the Association’s Environmental Management Seminar in Nashville, with the winners being selected by a committee made up of university personnel, industry engineers and managers, and state regulatory officials.

Awards are presented in two categories, full treatment and pretreatment. The full treatment category covers facilities that fully reclaim wastewater prior to discharge into a receiving stream or final land application system. The pretreatment category includes facilities that discharge pretreated effluent to publicly owned, full treatment facilities. 

Keystone Foods was selected as winner in the pretreatment category. The Gadsden facility was recognized for its pretreatment of wastewater with integrated aerobic and anoxic zones and secondary DAF for clarification. The facility was designed with the latest safety and energy savings technologies applied to its design. Through its wastewater pre-treatment plant, the company is helping ensure the protection of the environment now and in the future.

Perdue Farms was selected as the winner for full treatment for their slaughter and further processing operations, after being runner-ups last year. Perdue Farms received the award for full treatment of wastewater, based on community service and electromagnetic treatment of DAF flow that reduces chemicals. The water treatment process uses a three-polymer system in a dissolved air flotation unit and a PLC system to control polymer dosing. The system enhances effluent quality and streamlines management control. The facility is located on 700 rural acres, with approximately 350 acres set aside for wildlife habitat conservation.

American Proteins received honorable mention in the full treatment category. American Proteins operates on an Environmental Management System with a formal set of procedures and policies. A cover over its anaerobic lagoon reduces odor emissions and provides for the recovery and reuse of biogas for use in boilers. Through an aggressive water conservation program, 30 million gallons of water are recycled every day. Situated on 600 acres, the facility uses 100 acres, leaving 500 acres for wildlife habitat. 

“The poultry industry is acknowledged as a leader in defending our natural resources,” said USPOULTRY chairman Gary Cooper, Cooper Farms, Oakwood, Ohio. “U.S. Poultry & Egg Association continues to give emphasis to environmental stewardship by identifying excellence in environmental programs at our member companies. We also offer technical assistance and training in environmental management. Congratulations to these three companies for their excellent work.”



Turkey snack sticks recalled due to undeclared allergen


Monogram Meat Snacks LLC, a Chandler, Minn., establishment is recalling approximately 5,125 pounds of Hannah's Honey Cured Turkey Sticks because they contain an undeclared allergen, wheat, which is not declared on the label. Wheat is a known allergen.

The products subject to recall include cases containing 1-ounce packages of "Hannah's Honey Cured Turkey Stick." These products have an identifying case code of "706179" and the following package codes (use by/sell by dates): 09/09/11 and 10/01/11, and an identifying case code of "330074" and the package code (use by/sell by date) of 10/01/11. Each package bears the establishment number "P-15727" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were packaged on Dec. 13, 2010 through March 4, 2011, and shipped, including via internet sales, to institutions (prisons and one homeless shelter) in Calif., Colo., Ill., Mo., and Ohio. The problem was discovered by the plant, and occurred because of a change in ingredients at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Source: FSIS


83 pounds of meat sticks recalled by Minnesota processor

Old World Meats, a Duluth, Minn., establishment is recalling approximately 83 pounds of individually packaged hot and teriyaki-flavored red meat jerky products because they contain soy, wheat and milk that are not noted on the label. Soy, wheat and milk are known allergens.

The products subject to recall include 1.5-pound cases of "Old World Meats Original Flavor Beef Sticks Hot" and "Old World Meats Original Flavor Beef Sticks Teriyaki Snack Sticks" with each box containing 24 individual 1 oz. packages.

Individual packages bear the establishment number "EST. 3448" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The hot-flavored product label would also contain the code number 3022011 printed on the lower portion. The teriyaki-flavored product label would contain one of the following code numbers: 2172011, 3032011 or 3092011 printed on the lower portion. The products were produced on one of the following dates: Feb. 16, March 2, March 3 or March 8, 2011, and shipped to two distributors in the greater Duluth area.

The problem was discovered by an FSIS inspector during a label review at the establishment and may have occurred because of a change in ingredients at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Source: FSIS


Permit denied for chicken slaughterhouse located too close to SPCA building


The Sacramento, Calif., city commission has denied a special permit for a chicken slaughterhouse to open a new facility next to the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The company’s owner told the Sacramento Bee that he may be forced to close the business if he is not able to get approval for his business.

"This is ridiculous," Harry Cheung, owner of New American Poultry said after the city planning commission voted 5-3 to approve his facility. Six votes were required to gain approval. "We supply chickens for tens of thousands of people. What are we going to do? We have 30 people who will be unemployed, and there will be no fresh chickens going to markets and restaurants.”

After losing his lease, Cheung bought property less than a block from the SPCA complex. The new facility would process up to 5,000 chickens per day. New American Poultry has a “Chinese Bhuddist religious exemption” from the USDA, which allows the heads and feet of the slaughtered birds to remain intact.

The SPCA objected to the slaughterhouse, saying that the facility was inappropriately close to an agency that tries to save animals. Other animal advocates argued that animals lovers would avoid the SPCA building because of its proximity to the facility.

"Having an organization that has a mission of saving animals next to a business that kills them is just not a good fit," said SPCA Executive Director Rick Johnson.

Cheung said that he will appeal to the Sacramento city council.

Source: Sacramento Bee