Blog Archives

Case Count Climbs to 120 in Frozen Berry Mix Hepatitis A Outbreak

The hepatitis A outbreak linked to a frozen berry mix sold at Costco has now sickened 120 people in 8 states, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday.

This count includes one more case than Monday’s count of 119. The new case was reported in Wisconsin, a state that had previously reported no victims in the outbreak; however health officials say the Wisconsin patient had eaten the frozen berry mix in California, a state that’s reporting 62 illnesses.

The Townsend Farms “Organic Anti-Oxidant Berry Blend” linked to the hepatitis A outbreak was distributed through Costco and Harris Teeter stores nationwide, but illnesses have only been linked to the products sold at Costco to date. The Costco product was sold at stores in 12 western states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington, but no illnesses have been reported in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington.

For the states affected, case counts are as follows: Arizona (16), California (62), Colorado (24), Hawaii (5), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Utah (2) and Wisconsin (1).

Of the 120 victims, 54 (or 45 percent) have been hospitalized; 61 percent are between the ages of 40 and 64. Illness onset dates range from March 31 through June 16, 2013.

FDA is continuing its investigation at the processing facility at Townsend Farms, located in Fairview, OR, in an attempt to determine the source of the contamination.

The implicated berry mix included berries from the U.S., Argentina and Chile, as well as pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey. 

Food Safety News

NERGI berry sees first commercial volumes

NERGI berry sees first commercial volumes

Although developed and planted over four years ago, Prim’land’s NERGI berry has, up to now, not been widely available. This year, now that early plantings have matured, will see increased availability of this new variety.

The first commercial volumes of NERGI are now being harvested and Prim’land expect to have 600,000 punnets.

“We are pleased we will have good volumes as a lot of customers here in Asia are keen to buy this product. We’re quite confident it will be a success.” It will be marketed as top end product snacking product.

“Last year due to climatic conditions we had a drop in our Oscar kiwi production, but it is back to normal this year,” said Prim’land’s Jean Baptist Pinel. “Even with that drop in production we were able to keep our supplies up because we joined with two other packhouses. This harvest will be better and we will have even more volume than before due to the new packhouses.” The harvest of Oscar kiwis should begin in the last week of October, first week of November, but this will depend on the sugar levels of the fruit. The harvest is expected to be around 15,000 tons.

Pinel believes it will do well in Asian markets, where they see much potential for growth.

Oscar kiwi has been going to Asia for a few years. China is a specific market like many others, but the company has built up partnerships, Pinel explained it has been a step by step process to find good partners and this is important because they are in it for the long-term.

“At the moment we are testing gold varieties which are not sensitive to Psa, but they are not in production as we don’t want to invest before we have done all the testing.”

For more information:
Jean Baptist Pinel
Prim’land
[email protected]

Publication date: 9/23/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

California Giant enters fall berry season

California Giant enters fall berry season

Autumn begins next week just in time for California Giant Berry Farms’ Fall strawberry crop from Santa Maria, California complimenting the harvest still underway in Watsonville and Salinas. This time of year has become an exciting time for strawberries which typically was considered the tail end of the season.  Now with the added volume, the company has fruit to support consumer demand for year-round fresh strawberries.
 

The company is expecting the volume to be strong from both Santa Maria and the Watsonville/Salinas district well into fall through holidays in October and November if weather continues to be favourable. However, this year that is a double-edged sword with California farmers hoping for a strong rainy season due to drought conditions.


 
At the same time, blueberry season is beginning again in South America as the Pacific Northwest season winds down. California Giant expects excellent quality and promotable volume of fresh blueberries beginning in October from regions in South America and extending well into the Spring.
 
As the weather and leaves begin to turn across the country this time of year, families are back in the kitchen cooking and baking as family events and parties shift inside instead of the backyard. Holidays like Halloween and especially Thanksgiving are peak months for retail grocery shopping and California Giant is in constant dialogue with their consumers on ways to include their fresh berries in the mix, as well as featuring themed consumer promotions and contests.

Programs on tap include Back to School promotions, Halloween recipe ideas and a recipe promotion highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. Food Blogger partners are also creating unique recipes, entertaining tips and Pinterest pages featuring California Giant fresh berries that extend the company’s reach during this time period with innovative ideas.

For more information:
Cindy Jewell
California Giant Berry Farms
Tel. +1 (831) 728-1773
Fax. +1 (831) 728-0613
Email: [email protected]
www.calgiant.com
 

Publication date: 9/18/2014


FreshPlaza.com

California Giant enters fall berry season

California Giant enters fall berry season

Autumn begins next week just in time for California Giant Berry Farms’ Fall strawberry crop from Santa Maria, California complimenting the harvest still underway in Watsonville and Salinas. This time of year has become an exciting time for strawberries which typically was considered the tail end of the season.  Now with the added volume, the company has fruit to support consumer demand for year-round fresh strawberries.
 

The company is expecting the volume to be strong from both Santa Maria and the Watsonville/Salinas district well into fall through holidays in October and November if weather continues to be favourable. However, this year that is a double-edged sword with California farmers hoping for a strong rainy season due to drought conditions.


 
At the same time, blueberry season is beginning again in South America as the Pacific Northwest season winds down. California Giant expects excellent quality and promotable volume of fresh blueberries beginning in October from regions in South America and extending well into the Spring.
 
As the weather and leaves begin to turn across the country this time of year, families are back in the kitchen cooking and baking as family events and parties shift inside instead of the backyard. Holidays like Halloween and especially Thanksgiving are peak months for retail grocery shopping and California Giant is in constant dialogue with their consumers on ways to include their fresh berries in the mix, as well as featuring themed consumer promotions and contests.

Programs on tap include Back to School promotions, Halloween recipe ideas and a recipe promotion highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. Food Blogger partners are also creating unique recipes, entertaining tips and Pinterest pages featuring California Giant fresh berries that extend the company’s reach during this time period with innovative ideas.

For more information:
Cindy Jewell
California Giant Berry Farms
Tel. +1 (831) 728-1773
Fax. +1 (831) 728-0613
Email: [email protected]
www.calgiant.com
 

Publication date: 9/18/2014


FreshPlaza.com

California Giant enters fall berry season

Autumn will begin just in time for California Giant Berry Farms’ fall strawberry crop from Santa Maria, CA, complementing the harvest still under way in Watsonville and Salinas. Typically this was considered the tail end of the season, but now with the added volume the company has fruit to support consumer demand for year-round fresh strawberries.fall-crop-2

The company is expecting the volume to be strong from both Santa Maria and the Watsonville/Salinas district well into fall through holidays in October and November if weather continues to be favorable. However, this year that is a double-edged sword with California farmers hoping for a strong rainy season due to drought conditions. 

At the same time, blueberry season is beginning again in South America as the Pacific Northwest season winds down.  California Giant expects excellent quality and promotable volume of fresh blueberries beginning in October from regions in South America and extending well into the Spring.

Holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving are at peak times for retail grocery shopping, and California Giant is in constant dialogue with its consumers on ways to include their fresh berries in the mix, as well as featuring themed consumer promotions and contests. 

Programs on tap include back-to-school promotions, Halloween recipe ideas and a recipe promotion highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Food Blogger partners are also creating unique recipes, entertaining tips and Pinterest pages featuring California Giant fresh berries that extend the company’s reach during this time period with innovative ideas.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

California Giant enters fall berry season

Autumn will begin just in time for California Giant Berry Farms’ fall strawberry crop from Santa Maria, CA, complementing the harvest still under way in Watsonville and Salinas. Typically this was considered the tail end of the season, but now with the added volume the company has fruit to support consumer demand for year-round fresh strawberries.fall-crop-2

The company is expecting the volume to be strong from both Santa Maria and the Watsonville/Salinas district well into fall through holidays in October and November if weather continues to be favorable. However, this year that is a double-edged sword with California farmers hoping for a strong rainy season due to drought conditions. 

At the same time, blueberry season is beginning again in South America as the Pacific Northwest season winds down.  California Giant expects excellent quality and promotable volume of fresh blueberries beginning in October from regions in South America and extending well into the Spring.

Holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving are at peak times for retail grocery shopping, and California Giant is in constant dialogue with its consumers on ways to include their fresh berries in the mix, as well as featuring themed consumer promotions and contests. 

Programs on tap include back-to-school promotions, Halloween recipe ideas and a recipe promotion highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Food Blogger partners are also creating unique recipes, entertaining tips and Pinterest pages featuring California Giant fresh berries that extend the company’s reach during this time period with innovative ideas.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Food News Today: Is a strawberry actually a berry? (video)

In Food News Today, Phil Lempert asks: Do you know what’s a fruit, berry or vegetable? And he reports on a study that concludes word choices in online restaurant reviews reveal more about the reviewer than the restaurant.

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Supermarket News

Oppy starts California berry program

Momentum continues to build in The Oppenheimer Group’s berry category, with fruit grown in the Golden State making its debut in the Oppy label.

Oppy-strawberry-labelThe full-service Vancouver-based produce marketer is currently shipping conventional strawberries from Coachella and Oxnard, with organic strawberries starting in February.

“This is our first large-scale California berry campaign,” Nolan Quinn, director of Oppy’s berry category, said in a Jan. 13 press release. “With this significant domestic deal, we can now offer our customers more comprehensive berry programs. The fruit complements our Mexican strawberry and blackberry volumes very well, and can tie-in promotionally with our import and domestic blueberry supplies.”

On an annual basis, the California fruit will virtually double the company’s annual berry volume, and addresses two strategic growth areas for Oppy: strawberries and organics.

All of the fruit will be sold in the refreshed “Oppy” label, a bright, eye-catching graphic used on clamshells and master cartons. While this label has appeared on several import items in recent months, this is its first appearance on domestically grown fruit.

Oppy’s berry category now includes blueberries from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay; strawberries from the United States (California and Florida) and Mexico; blackberries from Mexico and Guatemala; and cranberries from the United States and Canada.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.