the Latest news from the FOOD industry

10 Apr 2018

JTM Provisions recalls beef products due to contamination

US-based JTM Provisions is recalling nearly 14,525lb of fully cooked pulled barbequed beef products that may be contaminated.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the contaminating material is understood to be pieces of rubber.

The issue was identified after the company received complaints from two consumers stating that extraneous material was found in the food products.

Products that are subject to recall were produced on 23 September last year and bear an establishment number ‘EST. 1917’ inside the USDA mark of inspection.

JTM Provisions is said to have shipped the pulled barbequed beef products to retail locations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

FSIS has not yet received any reports of injury or illness due to the consumption of the recalled products.

10 APR 2018

Plus Products to increase US operations for cannabis foods

US-based Plus Products is planning to expand its operations in order to meet the growing demand for its cannabis-infused edibles.

As part of the expansion, Plus Products has closed nearly $6m in Series B financing, which was led by Serruya Private Equity Partners (SPE) and Navy Capital Green Fund.

Proceeds will be used by the company to enhance its production capacity, and factory automation, as well as new product development.

Plus Products co-founder and CEO Jake Heimark said: “We are extremely proud of the products Plus has brought to market.

“We’ve quickly grown into one of the leading edible brands in California. With the proceeds of this round, we will continue to further our mission: to make cannabis safe and approachable for all types of consumers.”

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Plus Products received the eighth temporary manufacturing licence in California and is said to be one of the first brands in the country to introduce fully compliant products to the legal market.

9 APR 2018

Cargill releases financial performance for third quarter 2018

Global food and agricultural conglomerate Cargill has reported its key financial results for the third quarter (Q3) of the 2018 fiscal year, with adjusted operating earnings falling by 22% from $715m to $559m, while nine-month earnings fell from $2.58bn last year to $2.4bn, a decrease of 7%.

As a result of the recently enforced Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017 in the US, the company received a net charge of $161m this year. Otherwise, Cargill’s results would have been consistent with 2017. Revenues for 2018 Q3 rose by 2%, from $27.85bn to $84.32bn.

Cargill chair and CEO David MacLennan said: “Our steady results from operations demonstrate that our strategic direction is the right one. The performance of our team worldwide keeps Cargill moving ahead, preparing us to continue to grow. In a time of continually changing expectations, we are setting ourselves apart to help our customers succeed.”

9 APR 2018

Pomegranates linked to hepatitis A outbreak in Australia

Frozen pomegranate arils —the fleshy part surrounding the seed—originating in Egypt have sparked recalls in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, in the latest instance of food imports being linked to hepatitis A outbreaks.

NSW Health has confirmed all seven victims of hepatitis A infections reported eating the frozen fruit seeds from Australian supermarket giant Coles before contracting the illness. Coles is the exclusive distributor of Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate arils.

The public health agency said in a statement: “Genetic testing available to date on some of the cases has identified a unique strain of hepatitis A. NSW Health is also working with other states and territories to determine if they also have locally acquired cases of hepatitis A with this strain—genotype 1B.”

6 APR 2018

Hershey’s to invest in sustainable cocoa strategy

Confectionery giant Hershey’s is planning to invest in a sustainable cocoa strategy worth $500m to be rolled out over the next 12 years.

The aim of the Cocoa For Good project is to address key challenges facing the industry, namely poverty, labour abuses and deforestation in cocoa-growing communities. The scheme has the potential to impact thousands of farmers worldwide, with a special focus on West Africa, where around 70% of cocoa is cultivated.

Hershey’s strategy identifies four key areas to prioritise–Nourishing Children, Elevating Youth, Prospering Communities, and Preserving Ecosystems.

Under these four headings, the company lists certain aims, including giving families access to good nutrition, eliminating child labour and increasing youth education, increasing household incomes for men and women, and developing agroforestry to mitigate deforestation.

5 ApR 2018

UK meat processors warn against hormone-treated beef after Brexit

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has advised the government to consider the full consequences of importing hormone-treated beef following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

BMPA CEO Nick Allen said that allowing hormone-treated beef into the UK market would increase consumer worries over the safety of products and provide difficulties for UK manufacturers to supply to Europe.

The European Commission has prohibited substances that induce hormonal action for growth in livestock since 1981. The law was repealed and replaced with Directive 2003/74/EC in 2003 to include certain conditions for oestradiol 17ß, pertaining to other non-growth uses on farm animals.

4 APR 2018

Thai poultry returns to Chinese market after 14-year ban

China has lifted a 14-year ban on the import of Thai poultry, which was marked by the arrival of 14 containers of Thai poultry products in Yunnan.

The containers, which have a combined value of THB35m ($1.1m), were shipped from the Chiang Saen Province to Yunnan via Myanmar. Its contents come from seven of 19 chicken manufacturers that have now been granted permission to sell on the Chinese market since the ban was instigated.

Chinese authorities banned chicken imports from Thailand after a bird flu epidemic in 2004. Japan and Korea reopened their markets to Thai poultry last year. China has also barred poultry imports from France, Mexico and Texas over bird flu concerns.

4 APR 2018

UK meat industry welcomes new Livestock Information Service

The UK farming industry has shown support for the creation of the Livestock Information Service, which provides meat farmers and manufacturers with accurate traceability data on their animals.

According to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) the new service will be initiated in 2019 and aims to ‘provide the foundations for some of the best farm-to-fork traceability in the world when the UK leaves the EU’. The system will identify and track livestock via electronic ID tags throughout their entire lifespan.

The ID system will initially be used to track dairy cows, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. It will help farmers and government inspectors to respond to crises such as disease outbreaks, said a Defra spokesperson.