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Del Monte expands Dallas facility to produce new fresh cut product range

Del Monte expands Dallas facility to produce new fresh cut product range

Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. (Del Monte) announced today that it is expanding its extensive fresh cut fruit and vegetable product offerings to include complete meal-single serve salad bowls and fresh fruit & protein snack packs under the Nature Made™ brand. The new products coincide with the expansion of operating facilities and production lines in Dallas and will also include new bagged single serve Del Monte® fresh cut fruit and vegetables.

The salad bowl range, made with Del Monte® fresh fruits and vegetables, will include the Nature Made™ Caesar Salad with White Chicken and Nature Made™ Turkey and Bacon Cobb Salad among others.  “We are excited to launch our newest product line that will include salads and snack packs. Our focus is the on-the-go consumer seeking a convenient, healthy, and complete meal. Our new product range makes it easy to eat healthy, with delicious and nutritious salads made with premium quality ingredients complete with a fork, dressing, and even an after-meal breath mint. As one of the largest fresh cut suppliers, extending our product line to include salads and snacks for the on-the-go consumer was a logical move,” says Dennis Christou, Vice President of Marketing, North America for Del Monte.

The new snack pack product range will include fresh fruit and protein combinations such as their Nature Made® Turkey and Swiss Snack Pack that includes red grapes, red apple slices, turkey slices, Swiss cheese, and crackers.  They will also have the innovative Nature Made® Turkey Sausage Links & Pancakes Pack that includes grapes, buttermilk pancakes, apples, turkey breakfast sausage, and syrup, perfect for the on-the-go breakfast consumer.

In addition, Del Monte is also expanding its fresh cut produce capabilities and providing a larger variety of fresh cut items and blends for their customers.  New state-of-the-art equipment has increased production and allows Del Monte to process bagged, single serve, fresh cut fruit and vegetables that are perfect for schools, traditional retailers, convenience stores, and other foodservice venues.

These significant new product introductions were made possible by the expansion of Del Monte’s Dallas operations with an entirely new USDA Certified facility to process a broader variety of products.  The new products will initially be available in the South Central and Midwest and there are plans for future expansion in other markets.

Publication date: 7/10/2014

Nature Fresh offers wide range of hot peppers

Nature Fresh offers wide range of hot peppers

Nature Fresh Farms is turning up the heat with many of the hottest speciality peppers, intended to add the right level of zest to any recipe. The range includes peppers varying in pungency in accordance with the Scoville scale, which measures the capsaicin content of chilli peppers and other spicy foods, from the Trinidad Scorpion, the spiciest with 1.4 million units, to the Padron/Shishito, the mildest with just between 500 and 1,000 units.

Some other varieties supplied by the company include the Poblano, Japapeño, Spanish Chilli, Pencil Hot, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet and Ghost.

All hot peppers are available from April to November in various formats, such as bulk packs of 3 and 5 lbs for those who would like to use their own packaging, but also retail ready clamshells or tray packs. Popular mixed packs are also available.

For more information:
Ray Wowryk
Nature Fresh
Tel: +1 519.326.1111 x1377
Fax: +1 519.326.2070
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 5/28/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés

Free Range Chickens Brought Under Egg Safety Rule

The draft rule for free range chickens coming out today might also have a calming effect on nervous fruit and vegetable growers, says Mike Taylor, who runs the food side of the business at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Laying hens that roam outside are the last to fall under FDA’s four-year-old Egg Safety Rule, which was designed specifically to cut down on the all-too-common presence of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in table eggs. Farms that raise free range and organic chickens get their first look today at FDA’s draft rule for their unique operations.

If the approximately 200 free range chicken farmers with 3,000 or more hens find FDA’s suggestions reasonable, their stance might help Taylor persuade the nation’s small fruit and vegetable growers that they can live with the produce rule FDA is putting into place under the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act.

“I think it puts folks at ease a bit,” Taylor told Food Safety News.

Earlier this year, produce growers generated enough Congressional heartburn to get FDA to extend the comment period for the new produce safety rule into the Fall. The United Fresh Produce Association and several regional commodity associations also joined in asking for the extra time, even though it is estimated that almost 80 percent of the nation’s  growers will be exempt from the produce rule.

Farms that “pasture their hens,” as Taylor calls it, need to keep SE out of their poultry houses. Just like the big poultry barns, they need to be concerned about wild birds, rodents and pests getting into their houses.

To understand how these farms might craft an regulatory approach that would fit the free range and organic segment, FDA visited farms on its own and with officials from USDA’s National Organic Program.

“In effect, we were on a fact-finding mission to see for ourselves how these farms operate and to better understand the unique challenges these producers face,” Taylor said in personal blog going out today. “We gained a better understanding of these challenges and used this knowledge to develop a draft guidance document specifically addressing the challenges and concerns we observed.”

“We strive not just to be regulators, but to work cooperatively with industry as fellow problem solvers,” he added.

Taylor says producers are concerned about their ability to meet the requirements of the Egg Safety Rule and their “discerning questions” caused FDA to rethink its approach and focus on what’s reasonable.

“We think we’ve come up with practical guidance,” Taylor told Food Safety News.

John F. Sheehan, director of plant and dairy food safety for FDA, said complying with the egg rule shouldn’t require much more labor intensity than these producers already experience.

Egg producers with fewer than 3,000 laying hens and those who sell all of their eggs directly to consumers are exempt from the Egg Safety Rule.

The campaign to increase the safety of the 80 billion table eggs Americans consume annualy began in 2009 when the Rule was published. It first applied in 2010 to more than 500 U.S. egg producers with 50,000 or more laying hens.

Shortly after large producers came under the rule, a nationwide SE outbreak was traced back to two Iowa farms. The two egg producers recalled more than half a billion eggs, making it the largest recall of table eggs in U.S. history.

After that, FDA enlisted several states to help it step up enforcement of the Egg Rule, which has since been applied to smaller producers.

Food Safety News