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U.S. Mushroom Council enters partnership with Cabot Creamery

The mushroom organization will cross-promote the company’s cheeses in its recipes, and vice versa.

The Mushroom Council expects a co-marketing partnership with Cabot Creamery Cooperative will build awareness of its Blend model, which promotes the use of finely diced mushrooms into proteins to improve health and flavor.

At the same time, the council will also promote Cabot’s cheese varieties including naturally-aged Cheddar, Muenster, Monterey Jack and more in bars, shreds, slices and spreads.

“We are excited to work with the Mushroom Council,” explains Cabot Creamery retail promotions and events manager Ian Ormon.

“It is great to be able to provide our consumers with new usage ideas like The Blend.”

The Council is equally pleased with the partnership.

“The Blend and Cabot’s cheese varieties add more flavor and nutrients to meals,” says Mushroom Council president Bart Minor.

“By cross marketing our products, we can reach new consumer groups that gain exposure to The Blend and many cheese varieties. It will help drive consumers to the dairy, meat and produce departments.

Retailers can use or modify Blend recipes for their meat, foodservice and deli departments, enabling consumers to enjoy  their favorite foods while reducing their intake of fats, sodium, cholesterol and calories, while adding a portion of produce.

To promote The Blend, the Mushroom Council will feature Cabot’s Portobello Alpine Beef Burger. A Grilled Cheesy Portobello Caps with Turkey Sage recipe will also be featured on the council’s consumer site, with links to Cabot’s website.

Cabot Creamery will include the Council’s Blended Lasagna Roll Ups recipe using Cabot Legacy Alpine Cheddar and a Cheeseburger Pizza using Cabot Vermont Sharp cheese on their website, with links to the council’s site.

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Agave Dream cappuccino ice cream recalled for Listeria risk

Agave Dream ice creamAgave Dream of Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, is recalling 389 cases of its cappuccino ice cream because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The company stated that the recalled item was distributed nationally through retail stores receiving product from KeHE Distributors’ Romeoville, IL, warehouse, DPI Northwest; Americold in Los Angeles; IWI’s Franklin, IN, warehouse, and Haddon House, Richburg, SC.

The recalled product consists of pints of Agave Dream cappuccino ice cream packed in brown paper, 1-pint containers with “Agave Dream” printed on the front of the carton and with a best-by date of 07/04/17 and a UPC number of 899349002048.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall is the result of a routine sampling by the state of Washington, which revealed that the finished products contained Listeria bacteria. The company has ceased production and distribution of the product while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the company continue their investigation into what caused the problem.

Consumers who have purchased Agave Dream cappuccino ice cream with a best-by date 07/04/17 are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 866-993-4438 or by sending email to [email protected].

Listeria is a microscopic organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

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Food Safety News

Facility expansion helps Apio increase service in eastern United States and Canada

Apio Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Landec Corp. and a leading national producer of fresh-cut vegetable products for the United States and Canada under the Eat Smart brand, has completed a major expansion of its Hanover, PA, operations. The $ 19.5 million expansion triples the size of the facility to 64,000 square feet and increases the number of production lines to 10 from two, helping Apio to better serve its retail customers in the eastern United States and Canada.Apio-Hanover-Plant-Expansion-After-Photo-6-8-16

“Shoppers in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and eastern Canada are responding to our on-trend products, which include Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Superfood Salad Kits like Sweet Kale Salad and Wild Greens and Quinoa Salad,” said Anne Byerly, vice president of marketing and innovation for Apio, which is based in Guadalupe, CA. “Apio’s revamped Hanover operations allow us to enhance our service platform in the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada by delivering tasty, easy-to-prepare fresh vegetable products to retailers’ shelves faster than ever — and giving their customers more good reasons to visit the packaged salad aisles.”

Apio’s Eat Smart brand includes nine gourmet vegetable salad kits, each of which contains five to eight superfoods, which are nutrient-rich foods considered part of a healthy, balanced diet. The popular chef-inspired vegetable salad kits give consumers numerous quick and delicious ways to eat healthy every day. Newest to the line are the Strawberry Harvest Salad, the Sunflower Kale Salad and the Asian Sesame Salad.

“Through our complete line of fresh produce products , Apio delivers unique value to retailers and consumers,” said Byerly. “The new production capabilities in the East enable retailers to increase their sales by satisfying their customers’ growing demands for nutritious dining choices that also deliver flavor variety and convenience .”

The Eat Smart vegetable salads are available in nine- to 12-ounce retail sizes or 16- to 32-ounce family sizes, depending on location. Eat Smart products are available in over more than 100 club and retail chains in the United States and Canada.

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

Cattle grazing and clean water are compatible on public lands, study finds

June 28, 2013 — Cattle grazing and clean water can coexist on national forest lands, according to research by the University of California, Davis.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the most comprehensive examination of water quality on National Forest public grazing lands to date.

“There’s been a lot of concern about public lands and water quality, especially with cattle grazing,” said lead author Leslie Roche, a postdoctoral scholar in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. “We’re able to show that livestock grazing, public recreation and the provisioning of clean water can be compatible goals.”

Roughly 1.8 million livestock graze on national forest lands in the western United States each year, the study said. In California, 500 active grazing allotments support 97,000 livestock across 8 million acres on 17 national forests.

“With an annual recreating population of over 26 million, California’s national forests are at the crossroad of a growing debate about the compatibility of livestock grazing with other activities dependent upon clean, safe water,” the study’s authors write.

“We often hear that livestock production isn’t compatible with environmental goals,” said principal investigator Kenneth Tate, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. “This helps to show that’s not absolutely true. There is no real evidence that we’re creating hot spots of human health risk with livestock grazing in these areas.”

The study was conducted in 2011, during the grazing and recreation season of June through November. Nearly 40 UC Davis researchers, ranchers, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service staff and environmental stakeholders went out by foot and on horseback, hiking across meadows, along campsites, and down ravines to collect 743 water samples from 155 sites across five national forests in northern California.

These areas stretched from Klamath National Forest to Plumas, Tahoe, Stanislaus, and Shasta-Trinity national forests. They included key cattle grazing areas, recreational lands and places where neither cattle nor humans tend to wander.

UC Davis researchers analyzed the water samples for microbial and nutrient pollution, including fecal indicator bacteria, fecal coliform, E. coli, nitrogen and phosphorus.

The scientists found that recreation sites were the cleanest, with the lowest levels of fecal indicator bacteria. They found no significant differences in fecal indicator bacteria between grazing lands and areas without recreation or grazing. Overall, 83 percent of all sample sites and 95 percent of all water samples collected were below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency benchmarks for human health.

The study noted that several regional regulatory programs use different water quality standards for fecal bacteria. For instance, most of the study’s sample sites would exceed levels set by a more restrictive standard based on fecal coliform concentrations. However, the U.S. EPA states that E. coli are better indicators of fecal contamination and provide the most accurate assessment of water quality conditions and human health risks.

The study also found that all nutrient concentrations were at or below background levels, and no samples exceeded concentrations of ecological or human health concern.

The study was funded by the USDA Forest Service, Region 5.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Kowalski’s Holds Class on Digestive Health

TGF-FruitImageST. PAUL, Minn. — Kowalski’s Markets, always adding to its roster of in-store classes for its customers, scheduled its first on digestive health Thursday evening, and two more classes on that subject are set for later this month.

The class, Better Health Starts in Your Gut, will feature as guest speaker Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, who practices at Minneapolis’s Allina Health Penny George Institute for Health and Healing.

After his presentation on how important it is to treat your digestives system with the right foods, registered dietitian Sue Moores, Kowalski’s nutritionist, will offer samples of high-fiber foods such as Kowalski’s deli-made bean and whole grain salad and other high-fiber items from the chain’s deli menu.

“We’ll also be sampling prebiotic and probiotic items such as kefir and kim-chi and probiotic yogurt,” Moores told SN.

“You can tell people what they should eat for better digestive health, but it’s important to give them the opportunity to taste some of the things we’re always talking about, and since classes are held in our stores, people are in an environment where they can buy the items, or at least, think about it.”

Earlier this year, Kowalski’s had a cardiologist, also from the Penny George Institute, and customer feedback was “terrific,” Moores said. They asked for more classes that show easy ways to make food a healer or maintainer of good health.

“The classes fill up so quickly,” Moores said.


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She initiated the classes on digestive health.

“For the last couple of years, it has become apparent to me that our gut is the epicenter for our health,” Moores said.

Plotnikoff talks about digestive issues most often being the cause of people staying out of work, and he suggests that medicines should not be the first thought in a person’s mind. In fact, emphasizes that food is a wonderful tool for good health.

“His holistic approach is right in sync with ours at Kowalski’s,” Moores said. “It fits beautifully with our  philosophy.”

The doctor will be featured on a culinary segment on a local affiliate of NBC-TV this Saturday, and will talk about his classes at Kowalski’s.

“We can be sure those remaining classes will be filled that day. That’s what happened when the cardiologist was on that TV segment,” Moores said. “It’s a wonderful partnership we have with the Penny George Institute.”

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Ocean Mist selling unique Frost Kissed artichokes

As a result of the recent widespread frosts in California, highly flavorful artichokes known as Frost Kissed artichokes are now in stores for a short time.

“The impact of frost on artichokes is similar to how human skin reacts to sunburn,” Joe Feldman, Ocean Mist Farms vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release. “Frost turns the outside layer of the artichoke dark brown, and then it flakes and peels.”Frost-Kissed  Ocean-Mist-Farms1

Once cooked, the brown outer layer is gone, resulting in the soft green artichoke people are familiar with.

“Frosting is strictly a cosmetic condition,” Feldman said in the release. “While the brownish color may not look pretty, Frost Kissed artichokes actually taste wonderful. The cold weather concentrates the natural artichoke flavors into a more intense, nutty flavor.”

Because Frost Kissed artichokes look different than green artichokes, Ocean Mist Farms is implementing an education program to teach shoppers about how good they taste.

The company has information on its website with pictures and recipes and is sending that information to all members of its Artichoke club.

Ocean Mist is also sending display cards to the retail customers who are stocking Frost Kissed artichokes in their stores the new few weeks.

“A Frost Kissed artichoke is a very unique item that we don’t have every season,” Feldman said. “Because they are so seasonal, we have to teach shoppers to look for them and be sure to buy them during the short time they are in the stores.”

Artichokes are Frost Kissed when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Following a freeze, artichoke plants take two to three weeks to start producing frost-free artichokes again.

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

Ocean Mist selling unique Frost Kissed artichokes

As a result of the recent widespread frosts in California, highly flavorful artichokes known as Frost Kissed artichokes are now in stores for a short time.

“The impact of frost on artichokes is similar to how human skin reacts to sunburn,” Joe Feldman, Ocean Mist Farms vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release. “Frost turns the outside layer of the artichoke dark brown, and then it flakes and peels.”Frost-Kissed  Ocean-Mist-Farms1

Once cooked, the brown outer layer is gone, resulting in the soft green artichoke people are familiar with.

“Frosting is strictly a cosmetic condition,” Feldman said in the release. “While the brownish color may not look pretty, Frost Kissed artichokes actually taste wonderful. The cold weather concentrates the natural artichoke flavors into a more intense, nutty flavor.”

Because Frost Kissed artichokes look different than green artichokes, Ocean Mist Farms is implementing an education program to teach shoppers about how good they taste.

The company has information on its website with pictures and recipes and is sending that information to all members of its Artichoke club.

Ocean Mist is also sending display cards to the retail customers who are stocking Frost Kissed artichokes in their stores the new few weeks.

“A Frost Kissed artichoke is a very unique item that we don’t have every season,” Feldman said. “Because they are so seasonal, we have to teach shoppers to look for them and be sure to buy them during the short time they are in the stores.”

Artichokes are Frost Kissed when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Following a freeze, artichoke plants take two to three weeks to start producing frost-free artichokes again.

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

Produce professionals have eye toward future trade with Cuba

The Dec. 17 announcement of a restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba has some produce industry members intrigued with the prospect of future trade with Cuba.

Robert Colescott, president and chief executive officer of Southern Specialties, headquartered in Pompano Beach, FL, said, “As Cuba begins to open for commerce with the U.S. the opportunity will favor the U.S. Exporters supplying Cuba with grains [will] potentially open doors for ports in Louisiana and Houston. I would expect tourism to begin making an impact that will improve the economy and, eventually, create demand for more specialty produce and other traditional fruits and vegetables. It will take several years before we see Cuba become a significant agriculture producer and exporter. Lots of work is necessary on their infrastructure including significant investments in logistics.”

Geno Valdes, vice president of sales and marketing for Southern Specialties, and a second-generation Cuban-American, said, “Fresh produce opportunities will be very exciting if relations with Cuba are truly a reality. Cuban people will want to eat produce they know, such as tomatoes, avocados, mangos and other tropical items.

“Due to its strategic location and rich soil many crops currently grown in Costa Rica and other Central American countries can be grown there,” Valdes continued. “Cuba has experienced farmers, lots of farm land and abundant water. The fact that Cuba has a high literacy rate is also an asset. The port of Miami, currently undergoing a massive drayage and expansion project, is the natural port of entry for Cuban produce. As a company with lots of experience growing and supporting farms in Latin America, Southern Specialties will examine opportunities in Cuba.”

“With both governments now in consideration to open new opportunities for trade, it only makes sense to look at the entire portfolio of products offered,” Craig Uchizono, vice president of Southern Hemisphere for the Giumarra Cos., said.“Everyone will be interested to learn as much as possible for all fresh fruit, vegetable and tropical commodities both countries have to offer.”

Raul Millan, executive vice president and partner of Vision Import Group, headquartered in Los Angeles and a first-generation Cuban-American, said that as a son of Cuban parents, produce trade with Cuba has always been on his mind since beginning his produce career.

“Cuba’s proximity to the U.S. offers an opportunity that cannot be ignored, both in freight savings and transit time,” said Millan. “Cuban farmers have lacked resources for so long that I can only imagine most fruit and vegetable exports will take longer than most want.

“Politics aside, I for one, am looking forward to do business in a country where I will be able to relate so well to the language, culture, food and, of course, the people,” he added.

Jim DiMenna, president of Red Sun Farms a hydroponic vegetable grower and distributor with greenhouses in Canada, Mexico and Dublin, VA, said that true to his and his company’s nature, he looks at all opportunities when it comes to business, adding that as a Canadian, he has always has the freedom to look at Cuba with a keen business eye because the U.S. embargo did not involve Canada.

“Although Canada has always had the opportunity to do business with Cuba, transportation has been a key problem in the past,” DiMenna said. “But if that issue goes away and we can move a ship 90 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, things may change.

“But we also have to do our due diligence,” he added. “Does Cuba have the proper elevation for a highly technical greenhouse facility? Does it have the altitude that will affect crops in any way? We have to assess and analyze all aspects of doing business there. It’s not something we’ll do overnight.”

DiMenna stressed that Red Sun is a progressive company that is cautiously optimistic.

“We continually look for options for developing business,” he added. “But our stringent rules and regulations would apply to doing business with Cuba the same as they do with our business partners in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Everything that we do we do to a stringent stet of standards.

“I am glad, however, that after more than 50 years everyone in North American will be building a relationship with Cuba and its people,” he added.

Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties, added, “The thought of having a potential new client and supplier-base located only hours from our facility is quite exciting. But we need to keep in mind we are in very early stages of opening any real relationships with Cuba. The average yearly income for the 11 million Cubans of $ 6,000 does not make for a strong customer base for every product. Large international companies like Coca-Cola will make initial investments. The Cuban government has made tourism, from countries other than the U.S., its biggest profit center. Opening Cuba to American tourism would be huge and we could expect a large influx of money into the Communist government. It will be interesting to watch this relationship unfold. Perhaps, ultimately, Southern Specialties may play a part in Cuba by expanding its core competencies of growing, importing and processing vegetables grown in Latin America, the U.S., Mexico and Canada.”

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

Congressional decisions benefit RRV and other potato industry segments

Along with other sectors of the national potato industry, Red River Valley grower-shippers will benefit from the U.S. Senate passing the $ 1.1 trillion Consolidated & Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which is part of the 2015 spending bill.

Ted Kreis, marketing director of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, credits the lobbying work of the National Potato Council staff in Washington, DC, for encouraging these Federal changes. Kreis particularly cited the work of John Keeling, the council’s executive vice president.KreisTed Kreis

“There are two provisions in the legislation that are totally unrelated, but both very important to the potato industry,” Kreis wrote. “One offers some temporary regulatory relief to the trucking industry while another provision brings some common sense into the WIC program.”

The latter case means that fresh potatoes have been added to the WIC program for the first time. “Under current law, all fresh fruits and vegetables except white potatoes are eligible for purchase in the USDA’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program,” he said. “That is about to change.” 

He also noted that “’white potatoes’ refers to all fresh potatoes regardless of skin color. The term ‘white’ is used to differentiate potatoes from sweet potatoes.”

The new spending omnibus has a provision that would make fresh white potatoes eligible for purchase with WIC vouchers — available to low-income women and children at critical stages of development — just like all other fresh fruits and vegetables.

At least a temporary trucking fix

Kreis said the Congressional roll-back of limited daily hours of driving for the nation’s truckers will be at least a “temporary fix” to ease a scarcity of truckers.

Kreis and others in the Red River Valley indicate a driver shortage is causing significant damage to their businesses.

“A provision in the spending bill also calls for a detailed study of the effect of the regulations on truck crashes,” Kreis indicated in his release. “The measure will roll back the restrictive new rules governing hours of service until next October, when both sides are expected to resume their arguments.

“The truck shortage is a tremendous problem for the whole country,” Kreis told The Produce News.

Because of a shortage of truckers, Kreis said his members “have lost some business. We’ve got to find a way to get it moved. It’s a challenge, but it has eased up a bit since Thanksgiving. After deer hunting season” in the Red River Valley truckers return to the road “it’s usually a little better. And it has been.”

Kreis said there is significant usage of rail service, but trucks remain the preferred mode of transportation.

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

School lunch compromise good news to fresh fruit, vegetable suppliers

WASHINGTON — Fruit and vegetable companies will continue to sell to schools that must meet improved nutrition standards thanks to a deal cut in the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill signed Dec. 16 by President Obama.

The appropriations bill that funds U.S. Department of Agriculture programs hit a roadblock when an amendment passed that would have allowed schools struggling to meet the strict standards to be granted a waiver. 

“Although well-intended, some of USDA’s rules went too far, too fast, and ended up driving students away from healthy school meals while unnecessarily driving up costs for schools,” said School Nutrition Association CEO Patricia Montague, who backed the waiver.

A coalition of groups, including the United Fresh Produce Association, urged Congress not to allow schools to opt out of all the new provisions, and this month lawmakers agreed to a compromise that allowed schools flexibility in meeting the whole grain and sodium standards.

“Congress agreed that rolling back the very modest requirement that kids get one-half cup of fruits and vegetables in their lunch would not be good policy and would have been detrimental to achieving our shared public health goal, which is to help children learn to make half-their-plate fruits and vegetables,” said Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of United Fresh. “The modest half-a-cup requirement is one step toward a lifetime of better health for today’s kids, and lower long-term healthcare costs for our country.”

The agreement also sets the stage for next year’s reauthorization of child nutrition programs, which expire in 2015.

“Schools need help in modernizing and streamlining procurement processes, updating refrigeration and cafeteria equipment, and financial resources to support healthy meals,” Stenzel said. “The solution contained in the omnibus passed today resolves a past debate, and sets all of us on a positive course where we can work together to serve our nation’s children.”

On a related note, a draft report from the committee developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reported this week the U.S. population has made few dietary changes from 2001-2010, with fruit intake low but stable and vegetable intake declining.

The committee, which recommends changes to the guidelines every five years, is set to recommend U.S. consumers follow a diet high in vegetable, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, seafood, legumes and nuts, and low in red and processed meat, added sugars and refined grains.

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

Study: E. Coli From Feedlots Can Contaminate Produce by Air

New research finds that E. coli O157:H7 can spread more than a tenth of a mile downwind from a cattle feedlot onto nearby produce.

In the study, first author Elaine D. Berry of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and her colleagues sampled leafy greens growing in nine plots (three each at 60, 120, and 180 meters downwind from the cattle feedlot at the research center) over a two-year period.

The rate of contamination with the pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 declined with distance. There was an average positive sample 3.5 percent of the time at 60 meters and 1.8 percent at 180 meters.

The findings suggest that current buffer-zone guidelines of 120 meters (400 feet) from a feedlot may be inadequate.

Transmission of the pathogens is thought to be airborne. The researchers found E. coli in air samples at 180 meters from the feedlot, though the instruments were not sensitive enough to pick up E. coli O157:H7.

The highest levels of contamination on the produce were in August and September of 2012 after several weeks of very little rainfall and several days of high temperatures, conditions that appear to aid airborne transport of bacteria.

The research was published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Food Safety News

Managing Moisture to Prevent Pests in Food Facilities

(Patricia Hottel is technical director at McCloud Services in South Elgin, IL, a leader in integrated pest management solutions serving the food supply chain of custody.)

The improper handling of water and organic debris in food facilities during food preparation and cleaning can contribute to pest problems such as cockroaches and small flies. The proper management of water in food facilities is crucial in reducing pest survival and contributes to the overall image of your brand.

Below are tips that can be helpful in reducing pest success in commercial kitchens due to moisture:

Beware of high-pressure hoses. High-pressure hoses are a more energy-efficient and less labor-intensive method for cleaning floors but have a tendency to push food debris into inaccessible areas. In addition, power washing can lead to more rapid deterioration of floor coatings and tile grout, increasing the attractiveness of floors for pest development. Mopping helps reduce these issues and is preferred. If mopping cannot be done, raising equipment off the floor can help reduce the organic debris collection points underneath the equipment. Where such design changes are not possible, place these hard-to-clean areas on a regular cleaning schedule to insure that food deposits are not available for pest development. In addition, placing equipment on wheels will help provide additional access for cleaning staff.

Use epoxy grouts instead of tile grout. Tile grout can deteriorate overtime allowing for organic material to accumulate between and underneath floor tiles. Epoxy grouts are now available, which are more resistant to high-pressure hoses than other grouting materials, and will last longer.

Clean floor mats daily. Floor mats are an area where moisture and organic debris can accumulate. Mats should be picked up each night to allow for proper floor cleaning and drying.

Clean ramps installed to move carts in and out of proofers, freezers and coolers. Areas sometimes neglected during the cleaning process are ramps. This can be another point where organic debris can be pushed during power washing of floors. Ramps either need to be tightly sealed or removed on a regular basis for proper cleaning.

Keep countertop cracks clean and sealed. Serving counters are designed with numerous cracks and crevices. It is hard to design them without some cracks and crevices and they are subject to lots of water and food spills. Place these countertops on a proper maintenance schedule to insure joints and edges are properly sealed. Sometimes what looks like sealant is caked food debris. Add a little moisture and we can have fruit fly or other small fly issues. Keep countertop cracks clean and sealed.

Avoid using partition walls. Partition walls, especially along cook lines, can be an area of cockroach harborage. A more open layout without partition walls is advised whenever possible.

Use flexible gas lines for cooking equipment. Flexible gas lines for cooking equipment are recommended so that the area behind the equipment can be accessed and cleaned. Due to the warmth of this area, it is an area common for cockroach activity.

Ensure that all floor drains can be easily accessed for cleaning. Unfortunately, floor drains used for water management can be located under equipment and cabinets. Hard-to-reach drains can be difficult to inspect and clean. If cabinets are located above a drain which staff cannot easily access for cleaning cut a hole in the cabinet so it can be accessed. Equipment on wheels can also help staff access floor drains. Special drain caps are now available to help seal drains to allow water flow into the drain while excluding pests.

Food Safety News

Safeway real estate unit sold for $830M

Safeway said it has completed the sale of its real estate development assets to Terramar Retail Centers.

The assets, owned by Safeway’s wholly owned subsidiary Property Development Centers, sold for approximately $ 830 million, subject to certain adjustments.

The estimated total cash payment to Safeway stockholders for PDC is $ 2.45 per share, of which $ 2.38 is estimated to be paid at the closing of the pending merger between Safeway and Albertsons. Safeway stockholders will also receive a contingent value right at the closing of the merger relating to any additional net cash proceeds from the sale of PDC, including any amounts released from escrow, any additional payments from Terramar and any holdback amounts not spent for potential contingent liabilities. Safeway estimated these amounts total approximately $ 29 million, or approximately $ 18 million net of tax, which, if paid, would represent approximately $ 0.07 per share.

Safeway undertook the sale of PDC in connection with the Albertsons merger, which was announced in March and is expected to close in January.

Terramar, based in Carlsbad, Calif., is a community and neighborhood shopping center developer and owner.

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The 10 Worst U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2014

This year saw dozens of well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks caused by everything from bean sprouts to cilantro to caramel apples. Food Safety News has compiled a list of the 10 most harmful U.S. outbreaks of 2014, in terms of both the number of people who died and the number sickened.

This list includes only foodborne illness outbreaks in which investigators determined both the pathogen involved and the food source, which eliminates a number of outbreaks from inclusion.

10. Chia seeds and powder contaminated with Salmonella, 83 sickened. One of the more eyebrow-raising outbreaks of the year was tied to sprouted chia seeds and powder sold in the U.S. and Canada. At least 52 people from Canada and 31 from the U.S. were found to be sickened. [News report]

9. Bean sprouts from Wonton Foods contaminated with Salmonella, 111 sickened. New England residents were hit hard by this recent Salmonella outbreak, in which at least 29 people were hospitalized. [CDC outbreak information]

8. Chicken dish at Food Safety Summit contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, 216 sickened. This outbreak was the perfect recipe for a snarky news headline: Hundreds of people sickened with a foodborne illness at none 0ther than one of the nation’s biggest food-safety conferences. The likely source was a chicken marsala dish served by the conference’s hired catering company. [News report]

7. Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak, 634 total sickened, including 218 in 2014. Coming in at number two on our list of the worst outbreaks from 2013, the nationwide Salmonella outbreak from Foster Farms chicken continued into 2014, sickening another 218 people this year before finally being declared over in July. The outbreak spanned more than 17 months, making it one of the longest-running outbreaks in recent memory. [News report]

6. Wedding dish contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, more than 300 sickened. Contaminated gravy allegedly ruined a special day for more than 300 of the 750 attendees at a wedding in Missouri. Shortly after the wedding, guests began reporting cases of diarrhea and vomiting. [News report]

5. Mexican-grown cilantro contaminated with Cyclospora, 304 sickened. Following a massive outbreak last year involving Cyclospora-contaminated salads and cilantro grown in Mexico, Texans once again faced the brunt of a Cyclospora outbreak from Mexican cilantro this year. The bulk of the illnesses once again hit at the height of summer. [CDC outbreak information]

4. Raw milk contaminated with Campylobacter in Utah, 1 dead and 80 sickened. This outbreak was the subject of a state legislative inquiry in Utah after it contributed to the death of one immunocompromised man. While Utah state law requires that raw milk carry a warning about the potential to carry harmful pathogens, the milk in this outbreak did not. [News report]

3. Bean sprouts from Wholesome Soy Products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 2 dead and 5 sickened. 2014 was a bad year for bean sprouts, which saw numerous outbreaks and even more recalls. The most deadly of the sprout outbreaks was linked to Wholesome Soy Products, where FDA investigators found several problems related to unsanitary conditions during inspections of their facilities earlier this year. [CDC outbreak information]

2. Dual Listeria outbreaks linked to Mexican-style cheese, 2 dead and 13 sickened in total. Mexican-style cheeses were linked to two deadly outbreaks this year. In one, a patient died and eight were sickened by cheese produced by Maryland-based Roos Foods. The other outbreak, linked to cheese produced by Florida-based Oasis Brands, killed one patient and sickened five. [News report for Roos Foods outbreak] [News report for Oasis Brands outbreak]

1. Caramel apples contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 5 dead and 29 sickened. The year’s most deadly outbreak was also its most recent to be announced and likely its most unexpected. While illnesses first appeared in mid-October, public health officials didn’t trace the outbreak back to store-bought, prepackaged caramel apples until mid-December. A complete list of brand names has yet to emerge, but so far we know that Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples are among those affected. [News report]

Food Safety News

The 10 Worst U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2014

This year saw dozens of well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks caused by everything from bean sprouts to cilantro to caramel apples. Food Safety News has compiled a list of the 10 most harmful U.S. outbreaks of 2014, in terms of both the number of people who died and the number sickened.

This list includes only foodborne illness outbreaks in which investigators determined both the pathogen involved and the food source, which eliminates a number of outbreaks from inclusion.

10. Chia seeds and powder contaminated with Salmonella, 83 sickened. One of the more eyebrow-raising outbreaks of the year was tied to sprouted chia seeds and powder sold in the U.S. and Canada. At least 52 people from Canada and 31 from the U.S. were found to be sickened. [News report]

9. Bean sprouts from Wonton Foods contaminated with Salmonella, 111 sickened. New England residents were hit hard by this recent Salmonella outbreak, in which at least 29 people were hospitalized. [CDC outbreak information]

8. Chicken dish at Food Safety Summit contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, 216 sickened. This outbreak was the perfect recipe for a snarky news headline: Hundreds of people sickened with a foodborne illness at none 0ther than one of the nation’s biggest food-safety conferences. The likely source was a chicken marsala dish served by the conference’s hired catering company. [News report]

7. Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak, 634 total sickened, including 218 in 2014. Coming in at number two on our list of the worst outbreaks from 2013, the nationwide Salmonella outbreak from Foster Farms chicken continued into 2014, sickening another 218 people this year before finally being declared over in July. The outbreak spanned more than 17 months, making it one of the longest-running outbreaks in recent memory. [News report]

6. Wedding dish contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, more than 300 sickened. Contaminated gravy allegedly ruined a special day for more than 300 of the 750 attendees at a wedding in Missouri. Shortly after the wedding, guests began reporting cases of diarrhea and vomiting. [News report]

5. Mexican-grown cilantro contaminated with Cyclospora, 304 sickened. Following a massive outbreak last year involving Cyclospora-contaminated salads and cilantro grown in Mexico, Texans once again faced the brunt of a Cyclospora outbreak from Mexican cilantro this year. The bulk of the illnesses once again hit at the height of summer. [CDC outbreak information]

4. Raw milk contaminated with Campylobacter in Utah, 1 dead and 80 sickened. This outbreak was the subject of a state legislative inquiry in Utah after it contributed to the death of one immunocompromised man. While Utah state law requires that raw milk carry a warning about the potential to carry harmful pathogens, the milk in this outbreak did not. [News report]

3. Bean sprouts from Wholesome Soy Products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 2 dead and 5 sickened. 2014 was a bad year for bean sprouts, which saw numerous outbreaks and even more recalls. The most deadly of the sprout outbreaks was linked to Wholesome Soy Products, where FDA investigators found several problems related to unsanitary conditions during inspections of their facilities earlier this year. [CDC outbreak information]

2. Dual Listeria outbreaks linked to Mexican-style cheese, 2 dead and 13 sickened in total. Mexican-style cheeses were linked to two deadly outbreaks this year. In one, a patient died and eight were sickened by cheese produced by Maryland-based Roos Foods. The other outbreak, linked to cheese produced by Florida-based Oasis Brands, killed one patient and sickened five. [News report for Roos Foods outbreak] [News report for Oasis Brands outbreak]

1. Caramel apples contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 5 dead and 29 sickened. The year’s most deadly outbreak was also its most recent to be announced and likely its most unexpected. While illnesses first appeared in mid-October, public health officials didn’t trace the outbreak back to store-bought, prepackaged caramel apples until mid-December. A complete list of brand names has yet to emerge, but so far we know that Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples are among those affected. [News report]

Food Safety News

The 10 Worst U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2014

This year saw dozens of well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks caused by everything from bean sprouts to cilantro to caramel apples. Food Safety News has compiled a list of the 10 most harmful U.S. outbreaks of 2014, in terms of both the number of people who died and the number sickened.

This list includes only foodborne illness outbreaks in which investigators determined both the pathogen involved and the food source, which eliminates a number of outbreaks from inclusion.

10. Chia seeds and powder contaminated with Salmonella, 83 sickened. One of the more eyebrow-raising outbreaks of the year was tied to sprouted chia seeds and powder sold in the U.S. and Canada. At least 52 people from Canada and 31 from the U.S. were found to be sickened. [News report]

9. Bean sprouts from Wonton Foods contaminated with Salmonella, 111 sickened. New England residents were hit hard by this recent Salmonella outbreak, in which at least 29 people were hospitalized. [CDC outbreak information]

8. Chicken dish at Food Safety Summit contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, 216 sickened. This outbreak was the perfect recipe for a snarky news headline: Hundreds of people sickened with a foodborne illness at none 0ther than one of the nation’s biggest food-safety conferences. The likely source was a chicken marsala dish served by the conference’s hired catering company. [News report]

7. Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak, 634 total sickened, including 218 in 2014. Coming in at number two on our list of the worst outbreaks from 2013, the nationwide Salmonella outbreak from Foster Farms chicken continued into 2014, sickening another 218 people this year before finally being declared over in July. The outbreak spanned more than 17 months, making it one of the longest-running outbreaks in recent memory. [News report]

6. Wedding dish contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, more than 300 sickened. Contaminated gravy allegedly ruined a special day for more than 300 of the 750 attendees at a wedding in Missouri. Shortly after the wedding, guests began reporting cases of diarrhea and vomiting. [News report]

5. Mexican-grown cilantro contaminated with Cyclospora, 304 sickened. Following a massive outbreak last year involving Cyclospora-contaminated salads and cilantro grown in Mexico, Texans once again faced the brunt of a Cyclospora outbreak from Mexican cilantro this year. The bulk of the illnesses once again hit at the height of summer. [CDC outbreak information]

4. Raw milk contaminated with Campylobacter in Utah, 1 dead and 80 sickened. This outbreak was the subject of a state legislative inquiry in Utah after it contributed to the death of one immunocompromised man. While Utah state law requires that raw milk carry a warning about the potential to carry harmful pathogens, the milk in this outbreak did not. [News report]

3. Bean sprouts from Wholesome Soy Products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 2 dead and 5 sickened. 2014 was a bad year for bean sprouts, which saw numerous outbreaks and even more recalls. The most deadly of the sprout outbreaks was linked to Wholesome Soy Products, where FDA investigators found several problems related to unsanitary conditions during inspections of their facilities earlier this year. [CDC outbreak information]

2. Dual Listeria outbreaks linked to Mexican-style cheese, 2 dead and 13 sickened in total. Mexican-style cheeses were linked to two deadly outbreaks this year. In one, a patient died and eight were sickened by cheese produced by Maryland-based Roos Foods. The other outbreak, linked to cheese produced by Florida-based Oasis Brands, killed one patient and sickened five. [News report for Roos Foods outbreak] [News report for Oasis Brands outbreak]

1. Caramel apples contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 5 dead and 29 sickened. The year’s most deadly outbreak was also its most recent to be announced and likely its most unexpected. While illnesses first appeared in mid-October, public health officials didn’t trace the outbreak back to store-bought, prepackaged caramel apples until mid-December. A complete list of brand names has yet to emerge, but so far we know that Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples are among those affected. [News report]

Food Safety News