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Frozen farm-raised catfish recalled for potential chemical contamination

Recall 060-2016 labels

Haring Catfish Inc. of Wisner, LA, is recalling approximately 21,521 pounds of siluriformes fish (catfish) products that may be adulterated with a residue of public health concern, specifically gentian (crystal) violet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday, July 14, 2016.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 51217” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations and hotels, restaurants, and institutions in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The problem was discovered on July 11, 2016, after routine FSIS sampling results revealed a violative level of the chemical gentian (crystal) violet in the product.

The siluriformes (catfish) products items were produced on June 28 and 29, 2016. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 11-lb. Cardboard boxes of IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) “catfish” tails in plastic wrapping identified as HARING CATFISH and having Lot Code 2140 printed on the label.
  • 15-lb. Cardboard boxes of IQF “catfish” steaks, irregular filets, whole fish, strips, nuggets, and partially gutted fish in plastic wrapping identified as HARING CATFISH and having Lot Code 2140 printed on the label.
  • 30-lb. Cardboard boxes of IQF “catfish” steaks, irregular filets, whole fish, strips, nuggets, and partially gutted fish in plastic wrapping identified as HARING CATFISH and having Lot Code 2140 printed on the label.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions, injury, or illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them but instead to throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

Consumers with questions about this recall can contact Dottie Walker at (318) 724-6133, ext. 119.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)

Food Safety News

Fisher Chopped Walnuts, Pecan Cookie Pieces Recalled for Potential Salmonella Contamination

John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. (JBSS) of Elgin, IL, announced Tuesday that it is voluntarily recalling Fisher 8-oz. Chopped Walnuts and Fisher 8-oz. Pecan Cookie Pieces packaged in plastic bags because some of these products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Consumers who have recently purchased the items with the BEST BY DATES listed below at stores located in AR, AZ, CO, KS, LA, MO, NM, OK and TX or online should not consume this product and should return it to the store of purchase for a full refund or replacement. The BEST BY DATES can be found on the back of the bags.

Item Description:

JBSS Item PRODUCT UNIT
Code UPC# BRAND DESCRIPTION WT. UM BEST BY DATE
P02352 070690 02360 3 Fisher Chopped Walnuts 8 oz. 10/31/15 TQ2
P02352 070690 02360 3 Fisher Chopped Walnuts 8 oz. 11/01/15 TQ1
P02352 070690 02360 3 Fisher Chopped Walnuts 8 oz. 11/01/15 TQ2
P02352 070690 02360 3 Fisher Chopped Walnuts 8 oz. 11/03/15 TQ1
P02352 070690 02360 3 Fisher Chopped Walnuts 8 oz. 11/03/15 TQ2
P02351 070690 02351 1 Fisher Pecan Cookie Pieces 8 oz. 11/03/15 TQ1
P02351 070690 02351 1 Fisher Pecan Cookie Pieces 8 oz. 11/03/15 TQ2

 

To date, JBSS has not received any reports of illnesses in connection with the items listed above.

This voluntary recall is the result of a routine sampling program conducted by FDA in the retail marketplace, which revealed that a package of Fisher Chopped Walnuts contained Salmonella.

Consumers or customers who have questions about the above recall may contact John B. Sanfilippo and Son Inc. Customer Service toll-free at (800) 874-8734, Monday through Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. CST.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (e.g., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Food Safety News

Merb’s Candies Recalls Caramel Apples for Potential Listeria Risk

Merb’s Candies of St. Louis, MO, is recalling its Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The company’s Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples were available for retail sales at St. Louis area locations, through local supermarkets (located in the produce section), and through mail orders nationwide.

The product is individually packaged in a clear burgundy-and-gold cellophane bag and would have been available from Sept. 8 through Nov. 25, 2014. No identifying lot codes were used.

Merb’s Candies has been working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its investigation of the current outbreak of Listeriosis, which has been associated with caramel apples.

Bidart Brothers of Shafter, CA, which is one of Merb’s Candies apple suppliers, has initiated a recall as there may be a connection between this outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes and apples supplied to Merb’s Candies.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted 29 illnesses in 10 states linked to the outbreak, and the agency has advised consumers not to eat commercially produced, pre-packaged caramel apples until more is known.

Production of Merb’s Candies’ caramel apples ceased as of Nov. 23 2014, and the caramel apples produced are no longer available for purchase. However, the company recommends that any consumers who are still in possession of caramel apples follow CDC’s advice and dispose of the product in a secure container to avoid potential contamination to animals.

Consumers who have any of the recalled product may return it to the store where purchased or dispose of it per the advice of the CDC. Consumers with questions may email the firm at [email protected] or call (314) 832-7206 during normal business hours Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.

Listeria 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.

Food Safety News

California Snack Foods Recalls Caramel Apples for Potential Listeria Risk

California Snack Foods Inc. of South El Monte, CA, is issuing a voluntary recall of California Snack Foods brand caramel apples with a best use by date between Aug. 15 and Nov. 28, 2014, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

California Snack Foods caramel apples are sold in single packs and three packs, and each package will have a best use by date on the front of the label.

They were available for retail sale through grocery, discount and club stores, generally in the produce section, and were distributed to retailers in the following states: Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Utah.

Company officials have been working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its investigation of the current outbreak of Listeriosis, which has been associated with caramel apples. California Snack Foods recently received notice from Bidart Brothers of Shafter, CA, one of its apple suppliers, that there may be a connection between this outbreak and the apples that they supplied to the company’s facility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted 29 illnesses in 10 states linked to the outbreak, and the agency has advised consumers not to eat commercially produced, pre-packaged caramel apples until more is known.

California Snack Foods officials said they used the last of the Bidart Brothers apples in the first week of November 2014, and that the caramel apples produced with Bidart Brothers apples should no longer be available in stores. However, the company recommends that consumers follow the advice of CDC and remove any caramel apples in storage and dispose of them in a secure container to avoid potential contamination in animals.

Consumers who have any product may return it to the store where purchased or dispose of it per the advice of CDC. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-966-5501, Monday through Friday during normal business hours, or via email to [email protected]

Listeria 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.

Food Safety News

MI Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese Recalled for Potential Listeria Risk

Farm Country Cheese House of Lakeview, MI, is recalling about 1,136 pounds of Raw Milk Cheddar because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Raw Milk Cheddar was distributed in Michigan, specifically in the Grand Rapids and Detroit metro areas, through retail stores and specialty shops.

The Raw Milk Cheddar in question is packaged under two different labels. The first label will have Farm Country Cheese House logo on the far left-hand side, and the product name (Raw Milk Cheddar) will be written on top of the label. This product is sold as an 8-oz. block.

This product has a “Use By Date” on the back of the cheese. The dates are between Oct. 28, 2015, and Dec. 5, 2015. This label will also have a Julian Date in the lower right-hand corner. These Julian dates are as follows: 14301, 14302, 14308, 14309, 14324, 14325, 14332, 14336, and 14339.

The second label will have Farm Country Cheese House logo on the far left-hand side, and the product name (Raw Milk Cheddar) written in white over a light-blue banner. This label will have the “Use By Date” on the back; it will not have a Julian Date. The “Use By Date” dates are between Oct. 28, 2015, and Dec. 5, 2015. This product will be packaged in 8-oz. blocks and 5-lb. loafs.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria. Farm Country Cheese House has ceased production and distribution of the product while FDA and the company continue their investigation into to what caused the problem.

Consumers who have purchased Farm Country Cheese House Raw Milk Cheddar are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at (989) 352-7779, or email to [email protected], Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Listeria 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.

Food Safety News

Del Monte Recalls Fresh-Cut Fruit Products With Gala Red Apples for Potential Listeria Contamination

Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. (“Del Monte Fresh”) announced Wednesday the voluntary recall of fresh-cut fruit products containing Gala red apples grown in Pennsylvania.

The affected products were distributed to a limited number of customers in a few states in the northeast U.S. and are being recalled because these apples have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

The fresh-cut red apples have a red-colored skin. The recalled fresh-cut fruit packages containing red apples were distributed for sale in clear plastic containers with one of the following labels and markings:

Finished Product Descriptor Package size/Weight BIUB Retailer Brand/Label  Lot Number Product Quantities
Red/Green Apples W/Dip 9 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Plain Transparent Label 2332101 50
Gala Apples 12 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Plain Transparent Label 2332101 20
Apple W/Dip 24 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 62
Apple Tray W/Dip 24 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Plain Transparent Label 2332101 6
Red/Green Apples W/Dip 5 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 8
Red Apple Slices 12 oz 12/7/2014 Amazon Del Monte 2332101 6
Red/Green Apples W/Dip 5 oz 12/7/2014 Amazon Del Monte 2332101 6
Pineapple Medley 16 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 156
Pineapple Medley 8 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 114
Apples/Grapes/Cheese 7 oz 12/6/2014 Sunoco Nature Made 2332101 96
Gala Apples 12 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Plain Transparent Label 2332101 2
Gourmet Bowl 64 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Plain Transparent Label 2332101 4
Pineapple Medley 16 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Del Monte 2332101 6
Pineapple Medley 8 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Del Monte 2332101 4
Snack Pack 7 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 14
Apples/Grapes/Cheese 7 oz 12/6/2014 Peters Nature Made 2332101 108
Red Apple With Caramel 5 oz 12/8/2014 Peters Del Monte 2332101 60
Gourmet Bowl 40 oz 12/6/2014 Amazon Del Monte 2332101 3
Red Apples/Grapes/ Cheese/Dip 7 oz 12/6/2014 Amazon Nature Made 2332101 6
Gourmet Bowl 64 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 120
Pineapple Medley 32 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 128
Apple Cinnamon Yogurt 6.5 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 44
Gourmet Fruit Bowl 4 Lbs 12/3/2014 Wegmans Wegmans 2332101 78
Gourmet Fruit Bowl 4 Lbs 12/3/2014 Wegmans Wegmans 2332101 50
Red Apple Gala 12 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 142
Red and Green Apple With Dip 24 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 56
Apple with Dip 24 oz 12/8/2014 Giant Eagle Plain Transparent Label 2332101 14
Gourmet Bowl 64 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 60
Pineapple Medley 32 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 80
Pineapple Medley 16 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 4
Pineapple Medley 8 oz 12/6/2014 Giant Eagle Farmer’s Market – Giant Eagle 2332101 140
Red Apple With Cheese 5 oz 12/6/2014 Sheetz Sheetz M-T-O 2332101 48
Apples/Carrots/ Cheese with Dip 7 oz 12/8/2014 Sheetz Sheetz M-T-O 2332101 156
Harvest Blend 4 oz 12/6/2014 7-Eleven 7-Eleven 2332101 1200

The voluntary recall of the fresh-cut fruit products containing red apples is being implemented as a result of a random test by the Division of Food Safety of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and FDA was advised on Dec. 9, 2014. Although no illnesses have been reported to date, Del Monte Fresh voluntarily decided to recall the potentially affected lot.

Consumers who believe that they are in possession of the fresh-cut fruit products containing the affected red apples should dispose of the products in an appropriate waste container. For any inquiries, consumers may call 1-800-659-6500 (operating 24 hours a day) or email Del Monte Fresh at [email protected].

Listeriosis symptoms may include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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.

Food Safety News

Retail Outlets Remove Chile Pepper Varieties From Sale Due to Potential Salmonella

Following last week’s recall of fresh Serrano chile peppers by Bailey Farms Inc., Giant Food Stores LLC and Martin’s Food Markets announced that they removed from sale Serrano, Anaheim, Red Cherry Hot and Finger Hot peppers sold in a variety case due to potential Salmonella contamination.

The following product is included in this recall: Serrano, Anaheim, Red Cherry Hot and Finger Hot Peppers, PLU 4691, purchased on or after Oct. 9, 2014. The stores have not received any reports of illnesses to date.

Martin’s Food Markets and Giant Food Stores operate in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Both retail chains are owned by Netherlands-based Ahold.

Customers who have purchased the product should discard any unused portions and bring their purchase receipt to Giant/Martin’s for a full refund.

Consumers looking for additional information on the recall may call Bailey Farms at 888-820-2545. In addition, customers may call Giant/Martin’s customer service at 1-888-814-4268 for more information. Customers can also visit the store websites at www.giantfoodstores.com or www.martinsfoods.com.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause Salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.

The most common manifestations of Salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may include chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

Food Safety News

PCA Post-Trial Events Turn Secretive, But Potential Appeal Arguments Emerge

In the 75 weeks between the indictment and the start of the trial, and during the eight-week jury trial, the criminal cases against former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives have largely played out in public.

But since the jury handed down guilty verdicts a month ago, many of the orders, motions, and documents filed in the case have been sealed from public view and for reasons that are often unclear.

The 30-day deadline for post-trial motions imposed by U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands passed Sept. 19. The three defendants convicted by the jury all want Sands to either overturn the verdicts or order new trials. More than a dozen other court documents filed since the end of the trial are sealed, including orders from the judge.

No sentencing date is known to have been set. Pre-sentencing reports for the federal courts are conducted largely in secret, and it’s possible that references to those investigations are among the sealed files that are piling up.

Among the motions that are public, here’s what we’ve learned since 60-year-old Stewart Parnell, chief executive and owner of the now-defunct PCA; his 55-year-old brother Michael Parnell, a peanut broker, and Mary Wilkerson, PCA’s quality assurance officer, were found guilty on various felony charges:

  • As reported by Food Safety News on Oct. 8, the Parnell brothers jointly filed a motion for a new trial based on reports that some jurors may have done their own research on the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak that led to the investigation that resulted in the 76-count indictment against the defendants.
  • Stewart Parnell, found guilty on 67 counts charged, has moved for a judgment of acquittal or a new trial. His attorneys argue that there is insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict. Parnell says he did not intentionally ship tainted food, believed retesting was a legitimate process, and that his Blakely, GA, operations manager was “following protocol.”
  • Michael Parnell, found guilty on 30 counts charged, has moved for a judgment of acquittal. His attorneys argue that since the jury found their client not guilty on multiple charges involving shipping misbranded food or participating in a conspiracy or fraudulent scheme, it’s inconsistent with the convictions.
  • Mary Wilkerson, found guilty on one of two counts of obstruction of justice charged, also wants a judgment of acquittal. Her court-appointed attorney, Thomas G. Ledford, argues that the evidence at trial shows confusion about whether Wilkerson was even involved in the incident upon which the charge was made.

That incident concerns Stewart Parnell telling an inspector that, if any samples came up positive, Wilkerson would know about it, but the question involved a time period before she was the QA officer for PCA at Blakely, GA. A Feb. 3, 2009, memo from FDA’s Janet Gray quotes Parnell as saying that “someone” at Blakely would remember if there were any positives, but that relates to a Jan. 20, 2009, phone conversation with Parnell in which he did not mention Wilkerson.

“There was no mention of Mary Wilkerson by the name or reference to her position in this quote from Stewart Parnell although this was the basis of Count 73 in the indictment against Wilkerson,” Ledford writes. The Albany, GA, attorney says that Parnell was misquoted in Count 73 of the indictment, and he says that is the basis for the “very serious felony charge of Obstruction of Justice.”

Ledford states that Wilkerson’s name is not even mentioned in the memo of the conversation by Gray and that, “at some point in time,” the word “someone” was replaced with “Mary” because the indictment needed a “genuine warm body.”

Ledford further argues that the remaining obstruction count is vague and ambiguous in that Wilkerson’s response was to a question that did not clarify the time period involved, and the government has never been able to provide a recording, time log, video, affidavit, statement or any other type of record of their interview with the defendant who supposedly obstructed them.

“No such credible evidence was presented by the Government at any time during the Trial, which would have been sufficient for a conviction and therefore, the Defendant argues that no reasonable jury could possibly find guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on Count 73,” Ledford writes.

Stewart Parnell’s defense team from Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore in Roanoke, VA, is making multiple arguments on behalf of their client. They argue that the testimony of Daniel Kilgore, the PCA operations manager at Blakely, “was impeached through cross-examination and should be ignored.”

Kilgore has a plea agreement with the government and also awaits sentencing. He was indicted separately in February 2013, and his extensive testimony at trial should result in getting favorable consideration at sentencing.

The Virginia attorneys also charge that rebuttal and closing arguments by Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney Patrick Hearn, one of the case’s three prosecutors, was improper for bringing up “food safety.”

“The stark implication of Mr. Hearn’s statements was that if the jury did not convict Mr. Parnell that innocent people would fall ill from tainted food,” the defense attorneys wrote. They compared it to a prosecutor bringing up the “War on Drugs,” which courts have found to be improper.

They also argue that much of the evidence introduced through the testimony of Samuel Lightsey, the former Blakely plant manager who was also a government witness, was improper because it pre-dated his arrival at the facility.

Finally, Stewart Parnell’s attorneys argue that there were enough trial mistakes to either overturn the verdicts or order a new trial based on “cumulative error.”

Food Safety News

PCA Post-Trial Events Turn Secretive, But Potential Appeal Arguments Emerge

In the 75 weeks between the indictment and the start of the trial, and during the eight-week jury trial, the criminal cases against former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives have largely played out in public.

But since the jury handed down guilty verdicts a month ago, many of the orders, motions, and documents filed in the case have been sealed from public view and for reasons that are often unclear.

The 30-day deadline for post-trial motions imposed by U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands passed Sept. 19. The three defendants convicted by the jury all want Sands to either overturn the verdicts or order new trials. More than a dozen other court documents filed since the end of the trial are sealed, including orders from the judge.

No sentencing date is known to have been set. Pre-sentencing reports for the federal courts are conducted largely in secret, and it’s possible that references to those investigations are among the sealed files that are piling up.

Among the motions that are public, here’s what we’ve learned since 60-year-old Stewart Parnell, chief executive and owner of the now-defunct PCA; his 55-year-old brother Michael Parnell, a peanut broker, and Mary Wilkerson, PCA’s quality assurance officer, were found guilty on various felony charges:

  • As reported by Food Safety News on Oct. 8, the Parnell brothers jointly filed a motion for a new trial based on reports that some jurors may have done their own research on the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak that led to the investigation that resulted in the 76-count indictment against the defendants.
  • Stewart Parnell, found guilty on 67 counts charged, has moved for a judgment of acquittal or a new trial. His attorneys argue that there is insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict. Parnell says he did not intentionally ship tainted food, believed retesting was a legitimate process, and that his Blakely, GA, operations manager was “following protocol.”
  • Michael Parnell, found guilty on 30 counts charged, has moved for a judgment of acquittal. His attorneys argue that since the jury found their client not guilty on multiple charges involving shipping misbranded food or participating in a conspiracy or fraudulent scheme, it’s inconsistent with the convictions.
  • Mary Wilkerson, found guilty on one of two counts of obstruction of justice charged, also wants a judgment of acquittal. Her court-appointed attorney, Thomas G. Ledford, argues that the evidence at trial shows confusion about whether Wilkerson was even involved in the incident upon which the charge was made.

That incident concerns Stewart Parnell telling an inspector that, if any samples came up positive, Wilkerson would know about it, but the question involved a time period before she was the QA officer for PCA at Blakely, GA. A Feb. 3, 2009, memo from FDA’s Janet Gray quotes Parnell as saying that “someone” at Blakely would remember if there were any positives, but that relates to a Jan. 20, 2009, phone conversation with Parnell in which he did not mention Wilkerson.

“There was no mention of Mary Wilkerson by the name or reference to her position in this quote from Stewart Parnell although this was the basis of Count 73 in the indictment against Wilkerson,” Ledford writes. The Albany, GA, attorney says that Parnell was misquoted in Count 73 of the indictment, and he says that is the basis for the “very serious felony charge of Obstruction of Justice.”

Ledford states that Wilkerson’s name is not even mentioned in the memo of the conversation by Gray and that, “at some point in time,” the word “someone” was replaced with “Mary” because the indictment needed a “genuine warm body.”

Ledford further argues that the remaining obstruction count is vague and ambiguous in that Wilkerson’s response was to a question that did not clarify the time period involved, and the government has never been able to provide a recording, time log, video, affidavit, statement or any other type of record of their interview with the defendant who supposedly obstructed them.

“No such credible evidence was presented by the Government at any time during the Trial, which would have been sufficient for a conviction and therefore, the Defendant argues that no reasonable jury could possibly find guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on Count 73,” Ledford writes.

Stewart Parnell’s defense team from Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore in Roanoke, VA, is making multiple arguments on behalf of their client. They argue that the testimony of Daniel Kilgore, the PCA operations manager at Blakely, “was impeached through cross-examination and should be ignored.”

Kilgore has a plea agreement with the government and also awaits sentencing. He was indicted separately in February 2013, and his extensive testimony at trial should result in getting favorable consideration at sentencing.

The Virginia attorneys also charge that rebuttal and closing arguments by Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney Patrick Hearn, one of the case’s three prosecutors, was improper for bringing up “food safety.”

“The stark implication of Mr. Hearn’s statements was that if the jury did not convict Mr. Parnell that innocent people would fall ill from tainted food,” the defense attorneys wrote. They compared it to a prosecutor bringing up the “War on Drugs,” which courts have found to be improper.

They also argue that much of the evidence introduced through the testimony of Samuel Lightsey, the former Blakely plant manager who was also a government witness, was improper because it pre-dated his arrival at the facility.

Finally, Stewart Parnell’s attorneys argue that there were enough trial mistakes to either overturn the verdicts or order a new trial based on “cumulative error.”

Food Safety News

PCA Post-Trial Events Turn Secretive, But Potential Appeal Arguments Emerge

In the 75 weeks between the indictment and the start of the trial, and during the eight-week jury trial, the criminal cases against former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives have largely played out in public.

But since the jury handed down guilty verdicts a month ago, many of the orders, motions, and documents filed in the case have been sealed from public view and for reasons that are often unclear.

The 30-day deadline for post-trial motions imposed by U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands passed Sept. 19. The three defendants convicted by the jury all want Sands to either overturn the verdicts or order new trials. More than a dozen other court documents filed since the end of the trial are sealed, including orders from the judge.

No sentencing date is known to have been set. Pre-sentencing reports for the federal courts are conducted largely in secret, and it’s possible that references to those investigations are among the sealed files that are piling up.

Among the motions that are public, here’s what we’ve learned since 60-year-old Stewart Parnell, chief executive and owner of the now-defunct PCA; his 55-year-old brother Michael Parnell, a peanut broker, and Mary Wilkerson, PCA’s quality assurance officer, were found guilty on various felony charges:

  • As reported by Food Safety News on Oct. 8, the Parnell brothers jointly filed a motion for a new trial based on reports that some jurors may have done their own research on the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak that led to the investigation that resulted in the 76-count indictment against the defendants.
  • Stewart Parnell, found guilty on 67 counts charged, has moved for a judgment of acquittal or a new trial. His attorneys argue that there is insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict. Parnell says he did not intentionally ship tainted food, believed retesting was a legitimate process, and that his Blakely, GA, operations manager was “following protocol.”
  • Michael Parnell, found guilty on 30 counts charged, has moved for a judgment of acquittal. His attorneys argue that since the jury found their client not guilty on multiple charges involving shipping misbranded food or participating in a conspiracy or fraudulent scheme, it’s inconsistent with the convictions.
  • Mary Wilkerson, found guilty on one of two counts of obstruction of justice charged, also wants a judgment of acquittal. Her court-appointed attorney, Thomas G. Ledford, argues that the evidence at trial shows confusion about whether Wilkerson was even involved in the incident upon which the charge was made.

That incident concerns Stewart Parnell telling an inspector that, if any samples came up positive, Wilkerson would know about it, but the question involved a time period before she was the QA officer for PCA at Blakely, GA. A Feb. 3, 2009, memo from FDA’s Janet Gray quotes Parnell as saying that “someone” at Blakely would remember if there were any positives, but that relates to a Jan. 20, 2009, phone conversation with Parnell in which he did not mention Wilkerson.

“There was no mention of Mary Wilkerson by the name or reference to her position in this quote from Stewart Parnell although this was the basis of Count 73 in the indictment against Wilkerson,” Ledford writes. The Albany, GA, attorney says that Parnell was misquoted in Count 73 of the indictment, and he says that is the basis for the “very serious felony charge of Obstruction of Justice.”

Ledford states that Wilkerson’s name is not even mentioned in the memo of the conversation by Gray and that, “at some point in time,” the word “someone” was replaced with “Mary” because the indictment needed a “genuine warm body.”

Ledford further argues that the remaining obstruction count is vague and ambiguous in that Wilkerson’s response was to a question that did not clarify the time period involved, and the government has never been able to provide a recording, time log, video, affidavit, statement or any other type of record of their interview with the defendant who supposedly obstructed them.

“No such credible evidence was presented by the Government at any time during the Trial, which would have been sufficient for a conviction and therefore, the Defendant argues that no reasonable jury could possibly find guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on Count 73,” Ledford writes.

Stewart Parnell’s defense team from Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore in Roanoke, VA, is making multiple arguments on behalf of their client. They argue that the testimony of Daniel Kilgore, the PCA operations manager at Blakely, “was impeached through cross-examination and should be ignored.”

Kilgore has a plea agreement with the government and also awaits sentencing. He was indicted separately in February 2013, and his extensive testimony at trial should result in getting favorable consideration at sentencing.

The Virginia attorneys also charge that rebuttal and closing arguments by Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney Patrick Hearn, one of the case’s three prosecutors, was improper for bringing up “food safety.”

“The stark implication of Mr. Hearn’s statements was that if the jury did not convict Mr. Parnell that innocent people would fall ill from tainted food,” the defense attorneys wrote. They compared it to a prosecutor bringing up the “War on Drugs,” which courts have found to be improper.

They also argue that much of the evidence introduced through the testimony of Samuel Lightsey, the former Blakely plant manager who was also a government witness, was improper because it pre-dated his arrival at the facility.

Finally, Stewart Parnell’s attorneys argue that there were enough trial mistakes to either overturn the verdicts or order a new trial based on “cumulative error.”

Food Safety News

North Carolina Firm Recalls Nearly 150 Food Products for Potential Listeria Contamination

SunBurst Foods of Goldsboro, NC, is recalling numerous food products sold under several brands because of the potential of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall includes the food services firm’s SunBurst, Fresh Bites and Private labeled products, which were sold in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

This recall was initiated as a result of sampling and testing performed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
The recalled products include sandwiches, hamburgers, chili dogs, salads and a long list of other items, which can be found here.

All codes, all sell-by dates and sizes of SunBurst and Fresh Bites brands are being recalled. Products not manufactured but distributed by SunBurst such as cakes, burritos, and chips are not part of this recall.

Private label products are identified by the following brand names: River Edge Farms, CFW, Southern Zest, CJ’s Vending, Binford Street Deli, Middle Georgia Vendors, Roanoke Foods, Select Foods, and Jesse Jones (Double Chili Dogs).

Consumers who have purchased the affected products are urged to destroy them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT at 1-919-778-2151.

Listeria cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. To date, SunBurst is unaware of any illnesses related to these products.

Food Safety News

Potential of autochthonous bacteria for use as biofertilizers

Neiker-Tecnalia, the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, is working to select autochthonous bacteria with a biofertilizing potential as a result of the stimulating effect they have on the take-up of nutrients by plants, phytohormone production and phytopathogen control. The research is of great interest for farmers because bacteria-based biofertilizers constitute an alternative to conventional chemical fertilizers that are expensive and less sustainable from the environmental point of view.

The final goal in selecting autochthonous bacteria with a biofertilizing potential is to create a bacterial strain bank to be subsequently used in biofertilizing formulations. These bacteria have the capacity to increase the bioavailability of nutrients present in the soil so that the crops can thus assimilate them; what is more, they produce hormones that stimulate plant growth and encourage root development. Another of their advantages is that they even combat other micro-organisms in the soil that cause plant diseases.

Alternative to the adding of conventional fertilizers and pesticides

The aim of biofertilizers is to complement and, where appropriate, replace conventional chemical fertilizers so that their use can be reduced with the resulting economic and environmental benefits. In this respect, the bacteria used in biofertilizer formulations encourage plants to absorb, on their own, a greater quantity of nutrients which, even if they are naturally present in the soil, on occasions cannot be assimilated by plants because they are in an insoluble form. Conventional chemical fertilizers, however, supply the soil with chemical elements which, despite functioning as a fertilizer, can end up contaminating aquifers if they are not applied in the right dose and at the right moment.

By contrast, the bacteria containing biofertilizing formulations compete with other micro-organisms in the soil and can hamper the appearance of crop pests, thus minimizing the use of pesticides.

Neiker-Tecnalia researchers isolated autochthonous bacterial strains belonging to soil samples and plant tissue. They then selected the best candidates by means of in vitro analysis and right now they are running tests on lettuce crops (chosen for their rapid growth) in growth chambers under controlled conditions. One of the aims of this experiment is to test the capability of the bacteria with a biofertilizing potential and biofertilizers produced in an artisanal way by local farmers compared with commercial biofertilizers and conventional chemical fertilizers to increase productivity in poor soils and, specifically, to combat the impact of the Sclerotinia sclerotiorum pathogen which affects roots. In the experiment the effectiveness of other organic fertilizers like the bokashi type compost of Japanese origin will also be tested. The final step will be to test the effectiveness of the biofertilizers under actual field conditions.

The Neiker-Tecnalia research is opening up a channel of great interest to cut the use of chemically-synthesised fertilizers and pesticides that entail environmental hazards and constitute a significant economic cost for farmers.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elhuyar Fundazioa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Texas Company Recalls Ground Beef for Potential Metal Pieces

Sam Kane Beef Processors of Corpus Christi, TX, is recalling approximately 90,987 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s FSIS announced Saturday.

The following products are subject to recall:

  • 3-lb. packages of “HEB Ground Chuck,” bearing the establishment number “337,” a production date of “09/12/14” and a use-by date of “10/02/14.”
  • 5-lb. packages of “HEB Ground Beef,” “73% LEAN 27% FAT,” bearing the establishment number “337,” a production date of “09/15/14” and a use-by date of “10/05/14.”
  • 10-lb. packages of “HEB Ground Beef,” “73% LEAN 27% FAT,” bearing the establishment number “337,” a production date of “09/18/14,” and a use-by date of “10/08/14.”
  • 10-lb. clear film packages of formed patties made from Sam Kane Beef Processors “Ground Chuck,” bearing the establishment number “337,” a production date of “9/09/14” and a use-by date of “9/29/14.”

The products were produced on the above dates (between Sept. 9, 2014, and Sept. 18, 2014, with sell-by dates between Sept. 29, 2014, and Oct. 8, 2014) and bear the establishment number “337” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. The products were shipped to retail outlets in Texas.

The problem was discovered after a retail location received consumer complaints involving ground beef and pieces of metal approximately 3 mm in size. Four separate consumer complaints were received, with one consumer reporting a chipped tooth. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness from consumption of these products should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Herb Meischen, senior vice president of sales and marketing, at (361) 241-5000, ext. 250.

This is the second recall involving products from this company in the past week. The previous recall, involving 2,633 pounds of ground beef chub product possibly contaminated with pieces of plastic, was announced Sept. 30.

Food Safety News

Bravo Turkey and Chicken Pet Foods Recalled for Potential Salmonella Contamination

Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella:

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive:

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059
Keep Frozen

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has not been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Food Safety News

Bravo Turkey and Chicken Pet Foods Recalled for Potential Salmonella Contamination

Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella:

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive:

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059
Keep Frozen

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has not been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Food Safety News

Bravo Turkey and Chicken Pet Foods Recalled for Potential Salmonella Contamination

Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella:

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive:

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059
Keep Frozen

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety. Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem. None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens. This market withdrawal has not been requested by the FDA, but is being done voluntarily by Bravo.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle). Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Food Safety News

Zespri see huge potential in Asian market

“good consumer up-take of the new Gold variety across the board”
Zespri see huge potential in Asian market

Zespri are around 3/4 way through the marketing period of this season’s kiwi crop and according to Simon Limmer, General Manager Grower & Government Relations and General Manager China for Zespri. This is going really well, “All markets are looking really good, but the strongest growth this year has been in the Chinese market which has been stunning. Japan has once again been the cornerstone of our market. We have seen good consumer up-take of the new Gold variety across the board, which of course was our focus,” explains Simon Limmer.


Lewis Pan, Zespri’s manager in China with Simon Limmer – COO, Oliver Broad – Communications Manager and Peter M’Bride – Chairman.

The new SunGold variety has been a big hit in Asia with both the colour and sweet flavour appealing to consumers. Europeans are also responding positively to the new gold variety, “We are very exited about its potential growth. It has a flavour mix which is very appealing for both Asian and European palates, but the green variety is also performing very well across all markets as we focus hard on taste and quality here to.”

In 2011 Psa decimated 70% of New Zealand’s gold kiwi production, at that time Zespri had a 70/30 green to gold ratio. The bulk of the 30m trays of gold production was lost, with only 11m trays produced that year, according to Limmer, Zespri is now back to 20m trays this year and growth recovery is progressing very well.

“In the future we will have a 50-50 balance between green and gold, it may take 3-4 years to get there but recovery is happening very quickly. We think a good balance is the right thing to do. The gold variety has certainly driven a lot of value for the growers over the last 10 years and is poised to continue strongly in coming years.”

40% of Zespri’s total grower base was growing gold in 2010 compared to 60% now, this is quite a substantial shift. Limmer explains that it is good to have a balanced portfolio both from an orchard management point of view, de-risking it from for example, Psa, it also lessens the commercial risk.

A 12 month supply is one of the main strategies for Zespri, “We are reasonably well established in Italy, France, Japan and Korea. All of which had their own issues with Psa and are going through the recovery process, but we are very exited about those countries as potential supply areas. China is producing around half the world’s kiwi fruit at the moment, around 1.3 m tons, which it consumes domestically. Its only a matter of time as quality standards and management practises improve and varieties come to the fore, before it becomes a more premium product for the Chinese market and potentially beyond the Chinese shores. We are very focussed on that and working to see what it could mean for us in the future, but may be a few years away yet.”

Limmer goes on to say that they are looking at opportunities for growth, especially with gold volumes increasing. He expects that because China is so exiting it could take a lot of their focus. Although all of Zespri’s markets are growing quite strongly and will continue to do so over the next few years, South America is also growing especially Brazil, where there is huge potential and the kiwi is well adapted for this market.

Other growth markets include South East Asia really where Zespri are seeing a good growth from a low base. India has big opportunities given the population, difficult logistics, infrastructure and retail environment. Zespri are currently doing small amounts there with a commercial arrangement which is working well according to Limmer. “There are lots of exiting big places with potential, we are poised for the next few years of strong growth and investment is going on.”

Publication date: 9/17/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Large potential for growth for California grapes in Asia

Large potential for growth for California grapes in Asia

Though Asia is the continent to which the most grapes from California are shipped, there is still much potential for growth. A booming population and a rising middle class, especially in China, makes the region very attractive for California’s grape shippers.

“Out of the top 15 export markets we have, 10 of them are in Asia,” said Susan Day, vice president of the California Table Grape Commission at last week’s Asia Fruit Logistica. “So it’s a significant market that is still offering lots of potential for growth.” She pointed to China, which is the second biggest destination for California grapes, only behind Canada, as a prime example of the growth potential in Asia.

“China has a lot of people and shows a lot of growth,” said Day. “Along with the population increasing, the middle class is also increasing, and that gives more people the opportunity to enjoy grapes from California.” But opportunities in the region for shippers are not limited to just China. California grapes find their way to many Asian countries, and all of the countries that import those grapes import the top 15 varieties grown in the state. That means that not only are many of the top importers of California grapes in Asia, and not only are those countries spread out through the continent, but those countries are also interested in the plethora of varieties California’s growers offer throughout the season. The commission is looking to take advantage of that potential.

“We’re in the middle of a pilot program that will promote grapes during the holiday season,” said Day. “We’ve spoken to retailers about doing Moon Festival promotions, where they’ll display grapes along with moon cakes, and that will give consumers more opportunities to see and buy grapes from California.”

Publication date: 9/11/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Large potential for growth for California grapes in Asia

Large potential for growth for California grapes in Asia

Though Asia is the continent to which the most grapes from California are shipped, there is still much potential for growth. A booming population and a rising middle class, especially in China, makes the region very attractive for California’s grape shippers.

“Out of the top 15 export markets we have, 10 of them are in Asia,” said Susan Day, vice president of the California Table Grape Commission at last week’s Asia Fruit Logistica. “So it’s a significant market that is still offering lots of potential for growth.” She pointed to China, which is the second biggest destination for California grapes, only behind Canada, as a prime example of the growth potential in Asia.

“China has a lot of people and shows a lot of growth,” said Day. “Along with the population increasing, the middle class is also increasing, and that gives more people the opportunity to enjoy grapes from California.” But opportunities in the region for shippers are not limited to just China. California grapes find their way to many Asian countries, and all of the countries that import those grapes import the top 15 varieties grown in the state. That means that not only are many of the top importers of California grapes in Asia, and not only are those countries spread out through the continent, but those countries are also interested in the plethora of varieties California’s growers offer throughout the season. The commission is looking to take advantage of that potential.

“We’re in the middle of a pilot program that will promote grapes during the holiday season,” said Day. “We’ve spoken to retailers about doing Moon Festival promotions, where they’ll display grapes along with moon cakes, and that will give consumers more opportunities to see and buy grapes from California.”

Publication date: 9/11/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Large potential for growth for California grapes in Asia

Large potential for growth for California grapes in Asia

Though Asia is the continent to which the most grapes from California are shipped, there is still much potential for growth. A booming population and a rising middle class, especially in China, makes the region very attractive for California’s grape shippers.

“Out of the top 15 export markets we have, 10 of them are in Asia,” said Susan Day, vice president of the California Table Grape Commission at last week’s Asia Fruit Logistica. “So it’s a significant market that is still offering lots of potential for growth.” She pointed to China, which is the second biggest destination for California grapes, only behind Canada, as a prime example of the growth potential in Asia.

“China has a lot of people and shows a lot of growth,” said Day. “Along with the population increasing, the middle class is also increasing, and that gives more people the opportunity to enjoy grapes from California.” But opportunities in the region for shippers are not limited to just China. California grapes find their way to many Asian countries, and all of the countries that import those grapes import the top 15 varieties grown in the state. That means that not only are many of the top importers of California grapes in Asia, and not only are those countries spread out through the continent, but those countries are also interested in the plethora of varieties California’s growers offer throughout the season. The commission is looking to take advantage of that potential.

“We’re in the middle of a pilot program that will promote grapes during the holiday season,” said Day. “We’ve spoken to retailers about doing Moon Festival promotions, where they’ll display grapes along with moon cakes, and that will give consumers more opportunities to see and buy grapes from California.”

Publication date: 9/11/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com