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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.

Three new varieties of eastern bell peppers introduced

Gridiron, Blitz and Touchdown
Three new varieties of eastern bell peppers introduced

Sakata Seed America has introduced three new varieties of Eastern Bell Peppers expected to please growers and consumers alike. The three players – Gridiron, Blitz and Touchdown have been specifically bred to thrive in Eastern regions, and are sure to be a top draft pick.

Always striving for innovation, Sakata’s team of experts and analysts have been hard at work creating a line of bell peppers for the East with outstanding yield, adaptability, disease resistance, shelf life and flavor, and are proud to present their winning line-up. “From a development perspective, emphasis is placed on features and benefits for the complete customer chain, from growers to the final customer,” states Bryan Zingel, Senior Product Development Manager for peppers. Grower friendly, the bells deliver improved returns and satisfied customers.

To learn more about Eastern Peppers, including a pathology report and column by pepper-industry expert Kevin Ratchford, growers can also download the Eastern Bell Pepper Bulletin.

For more information:
Alicia Bush
Sakata Seed America, Inc.
Tel: +1 408-782-5391
Fax: +1 408-778-7768
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 12/23/2014

Eastern apple growers go with fresh

While the processed and cider markets are good alternatives for apple growers when there are quality issues, the main market continues to be the fresh one. In fact, for many East Coast growers in the United States, the rising production levels across the country mean they’ll rely more on the fresh market – just in increasingly diverse export destinations.

“If you look at the total production of the U.S. apple crop, we absolutely have to increase our exports by a very large amount to keep supply and demand at good levels,” said Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association. “If we don’t increase exports and try to sell everything in the United States, the market will be in the toilet for a long time.” Because the processing and cider markets are not viable alternatives for large volumes of fruit, exports are the way to make sure what’s grown domestically doesn’t result in a glut of product.

“We do have a processing base, but that’s not the most prosperous market,” pointed out Allen. “The hard cider industry is emerging and growing, but I don’t know of anybody yet that’s planting orchards for the cider industry.” Likewise, growers in Ontario, Canada also still rely heavily on the fresh market.

“There aren’t a lot of dollars for growers in processing,” explained Charles Stevens, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers. “Any processing that gets done is fresh pressed apple juice, but that part doesn’t handle the volumes it used to.” In fact, most of the processing industry has moved out of Ontario, to places where processing costs are lower.

“There’s very little processing of apples done in Ontario,” said Stevens. “Growers are moving toward fresh as much as possible.”

FSIS Issues Food Safety Advice for Storm-Lashed Eastern Seaboard

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Wednesday issued food safety recommendations for the eastern seaboard, which has been affected by a massive storm system that has dropped about 10 inches of rain on the region and left as many as 30,000 people without power.

Power outages from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, but consumers can take steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness. The FSIS website provides consumers with resources to keep food safe and protect themselves.

FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication, “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes,” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage.

FSIS will provide relevant food safety information as the storm progresses from its Twitter feed @USDAFoodSafety. To get tweets about weather-related food safety issues affecting just your state, follow @XX_FSISAlert, replacing XX with your state or territory’s postal abbreviation.

Steps to follow if the power goes out:

  • Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40 degrees F or lower in the refrigerator and 0 degrees F or lower in the freezer.
  • Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit in around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.
  • Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
  • Group foods together in the freezer — this “igloo” effect helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Avoid putting food outside in ice or snow because it attracts wild animals and/or could thaw when the sun comes out.
  • Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  • Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross-contamination of thawing juices.
  • Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully stocked 18-cubic-foot freezer cold for two days.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40 degrees F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that is partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

Videos detailing food safety information are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language on the FSIS YouTube channel, An FSIS Public Service Announcement illustrating practical food safety recommendations for handling and consuming foods stored in refrigerators and freezers during and after a power outage is available in 30- and 60-second versions at News organizations and power companies can obtain hard copy (Beta and DVD) versions by contacting the FSIS Food Safety Education Staff at (301) 344-4757.

Food Safety News

Spain: Almeria’s citrus exports growing in Eastern Europe

Spain: Almeria’s citrus exports growing in Eastern Europe

The value of Almeria’s citrus shipments overseas increased by around 14% between January and May this year, with Eastern Europe receiving more than 13% of these exports. Poland acquired 7%, Russia and Romania 3.1% and Ukraine received 1.8%, according to a statement from Almeria’s delegation of the Council of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment.

The delegate, José Manual Ortiz, reminded that, in any case, the main clients for Almeria’s citrus are still Italy (29.2%), Germany (22.9%) and France (14.8%), which accumulate more than 67% of all exports.

Source: Diariosur

Publication date: 8/8/2013