A criminal case against poultry processor House of Raeford Farms is advancing unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in. A 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals order issued Friday clears the way for federal prosecutors to proceed with their case against House of Raeford Farms. The company is accused of illegally dumping untreated turkey waste into waterways, and the company is claiming the case would be a second prosecution for the same crime. House of Raeford was previously fined nearly $1 million for the same pollution offenses, reports the Associated Press.

The company said in a statement Monday that both it and its employees are innocent.

"House of Raeford Farms asked the Court of Appeals to determine that, under the Constitution, it should not be prosecuted based on the same events for which it already paid fines," the company said in a statement.

A federal grand jury indicted House of Raeford Farms and the plant's manager in December 2009 on 14 counts of violating the federal Clean Water Act. The indictment accuses the company and plant manager of knowingly bypassing its water treatment system at its Raeford turkey processing plant 14 times between 2005 and 2006. The wastewater was sent directly to the city's municipal sewage treatment works, the indictment said.

The bypasses and failure to report them violated an earlier agreement by House of Raeford to stop releasing untreated waste from the plant where more than 30,000 turkeys a day are processed, federal prosecutors said.

The company said it completed a $1.4 million pretreatment facility in September 2006, which solved the plant's problems.

If convicted, the company could face a maximum fine of $500,000 per count. Plant manager Gregory Steenblock could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count.

Source: AP, WLOS News


Nestle recalls 10,000 pounds of spaghetti & meatballs

Nestle Prepared Foods Company, Gaffney, S.C., establishment, is recalling approximately 10,260 pounds of frozen spaghetti and meatball entrees that may contain foreign materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The products subject to recall include 9.5-ounce packages of “Lean Cuisine Simple Favorites, Spaghetti with Meatballs.” The packages bear the establishment number “P-7991” and the case code “0298595519P” and a best before date of November, 2011 printed on the side of the package, underneath the ingredient listing. The spaghetti and meatball products were packaged on Oct. 25, 2010, and shipped to distributors and retail stores east of the Rocky Mountains.

The problem was discovered after the company received complaints from consumers in Minn., S.D. and Wisc., upon finding hard plastic in the product. FSIS has not received any reports of injury at this time.

Source: FSIS


Former Continental Airlines exec to give keynote address at AMI Expo

Turnaround expert and former Continental Airlines executive Gordon Bethune will keynote the 2011 Meat, Poultry & Seafood Convention and Exposition, to be held April 13-16, 2011, at McCormick Place, Chicago, Ill.

Bethune will deliver a talk about confronting challenges in an address called “The Ultimate Turnaround: From Worst to First.” His talk is scheduled for Friday, April 15 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bethune’s keynote replaces a previously scheduled talk by Carlos Gutierrez.

At Continental Airlines, Bethune spearheaded one of the most dramatic corporate turnarounds in U.S. history. When he joined the troubled carrier as president and chief operating officer in February of 1994, Continental consistently ranked last in every measurable performance metric. Bethune quickly assumed the role of chief executive officer in late 1994, and was elected chairman of the board of directors in 1996.

When he finished at Continental, the airline stood at the top of the heap. Observers say his deep knowledge, from CEO to mechanic, allowed him to pilot Continental Airlines’ remarkable recovery, and it is his willingness and eagerness to share his story that makes him an invaluable asset to the business community. 

Fortune magazine named Continental among the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for six consecutive years. The New York Times has given his speaking style rave reviews: “A big, blustery, no-nonsense executive, Mr. Bethune has the timing of a stand-up comic. But in between the jokes, what he has to say is pretty serious, and Continental's competitors would do well to take it to heart,” the newspaper wrote.

Bethune is also the author of a bestselling book From Worst to First, which has been called “refreshingly straightforward” by Business Week. Bethune is also a frequent contributor to CNBC.

Source: AMI


AMSA, National Pork Board announce Pork 505

The American Meat Science Association in cooperation with the National Pork Board has announced PORK 505, a new, internationally focused course that will be held June 6-7 at the University of Nebraska.

PORK 505 is an intensive two-day, hands-on educational experience will take place just prior to the World Pork Expo, June 8-10 in Des Moines at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The course is designed to update participants on issues facing the pork industry worldwide. It will focus on trade restrictions, certification/validation programs, export procedures, niche specialty markets, food preparation, fabrication, quality control and food safety.

PORK 505 will teach:

* International pork quality standards

* International food safety standards

* Quality systems assurance

* Process verification programs

* Internationally accepted carcass fabrication techniques

* By-products and their importance in the worldwide marketplace

* Niche/specialty products that appeal to the worldwide marketplace

* Important cultural differences in food preparation and plate presentation

* Hot topics in the international pork industry

Anyone involved in the production, processing and marketing of pork will benefit from attending PORK 505, states the AMSA. For a complete course outline and to register, go to www.meatscience.org/Page.aspx?ID=7321.

Source: AMSA