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Fri. Feb 28, 2020

ANALYSIS: Freezer Burn


























Industry Reacts to Implementation of USMCA 

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has officially entered into force, replacing NAFTA. The USDA stated that this improved agreement is a better deal for America's farmers, consumers, and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come.

Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said, "USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families.”

Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, stated, "This marks the beginning of a new and better chapter for trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada, just as President Trump promised he would deliver for the American people." Lighthizer added that the USMCA contains significant improvements and...

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Jul 2 10:50 AM, Urner Barry



Weather Poses Significant Risk to U.S. Corn Crop Entering Critical Pollination Phase

After last year's delayed start to the season, planting of the 2020 U.S. corn crop brought with it quite a bit of optimism for producers across the Heartland. Now, according to Planalytics AgriBusiness Weather group, that optimism may have tempered somewhat as a combination of hot, dry conditions have taken hold from the Dakotas south to Missouri and east to Ohio.

"No sooner did seed get in the ground when an unusually cold pattern set up that continued through the first two weeks of May", says Jeffrey Doran, Planalytics AgriBusiness Meteorologist and Director, Specialized Support and Services. "Sub-freezing temperatures were reported as far south as the Missouri Valley and Mid-South regions that slowed crop development. By the end of May, the pattern reversed itself bringing surges of strong heat that have continued into June. Unfortunately, precipitation has been hit or miss with...

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Jul 1 9:19 AM, General News


Pilgrim's Pride Corporation Recalls Chicken Breast Nugget Products

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a Waco, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 59,800 pounds of fully cooked chicken breast nugget products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically flexible rubber material, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The frozen ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken breast nugget items were produced on May 6, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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Jun 29 9:00 AM, General News


USDA, FDA Says Food Export Restrictions Not Consistent with COVID-19 Science

In a joint statement, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said that countries currently restricting global food exports over worries related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with science.

“The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to..."

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Jun 26 12:03 PM, General News


ANALYSIS: Hatchery figures: Filling a Need but Which One?

By almost every measure, 2020 has been an historic year and one which has rocked the chicken industry to its core...

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Jun 26 8:13 AM, Urner Barry


Joint Statement from USDA and FDA on Food Export Restrictions Pertaining to COVID-19

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., issued the following statement regarding food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19:

“The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission.”

“There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from...

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Jun 25 8:42 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage: Standing Resolute

Monday’s release of the USDA’s Cold Storage Report helps support the current standing of most major lines, and also reflects...

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Jun 25 8:24 AM, Urner Barry


CBP Intercepts Nearly 20,000 Pounds of Smuggled Animal Products from China at LA/LB Seaport

In just a few weeks, from April 6 to June 6, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists assigned to the LA/Long Beach Seaport, intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products arriving from China.

Most of the unmanifiested animal products were commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases and household goods in a clear attempt to smuggle the prohibited meats.

CBP agriculture specialists identified, examined and seized 12 shipments containing a total of 834 cartons which lacked the required...

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Jun 22 8:15 AM, General News


USDA Trade Mitigation Purchases to Feed People in Need and Aid American Farmers Surpass $2B

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has purchased more than $2.2 billion of meat, fruits, vegetables, specialty crops and dairy products in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 in its ongoing efforts to feed people in need and assist American farmers and ranchers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.

USDA is on target to reach its fiscal year goal of about $1.4 billion of trade mitigation purchases in the next phase of fiscal year purchasing, which ends Sept. 30. The purchases were made through...

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Jun 19 8:17 AM, General News


La Bodega Meat Recalls Beef Products Distributed Without Benefit of Import Re-Inspection

La Bodega Meat LLC, a Farmers Branch, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 83,038 pounds of raw beef products that were not presented for import re-inspection into the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The various raw beef items were imported on June 2 and June 3, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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Jun 18 9:04 AM, General News


Lakeside Refrigerated Services Recalls Beef Products due to Possible E.coli O157:H7 Contamination

Lakeside Refrigerated Services, a Swedesboro, N.J. establishment, is recalling approximately 42,922 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw ground beef items were produced on June 1, 2020. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]  

- 1-lb. vacuum packages containing “MARKETSIDE BUTCHER ORGANIC GRASS-FED GROUND BEEF” and a use or freeze by date of 07/01/20 and lot code P-53298-82.

- 1-lb. vacuum packages containing four ¼ lb. pieces of “MARKETSIDE BUTCHER ORGANIC GRASS-FED GROUND BEEF PATTIES” and a use or freeze by date of June 27, 2020 and lot code P-53934-28.

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Jun 15 8:56 AM, General News


America’s Meatpacking Facilities Operating More than 95% of Capacity Compared to 2019

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the safe reopening of critical infrastructure meatpacking facilities across the United States. As of this morning, across the cattle, swine, and broiler sectors, processing facilities are operating more than 95% of their average capacity compared to this time last year. In fact, beef facilities are operating at 98%, pork facilities are operating at 95%, and poultry facilities are operating at 98% of their capacity compared to the same time last year.

America’s meatpacking facilities are safely resuming operations following President Trump’s Executive Order directing the facilities to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines specifically created for...

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Jun 10 8:37 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Boneless Pork Loins Broke 3 Records on June 1st

We kicked off June with a bang in the boneless pork loin market. The reactions to COVID-19 continue to produce volatility across the pork market. Having moved to record highs prior to...

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Jun 4 8:12 AM, Urner Barry


USDA Announces Transition to Preventive Plan for Virulent Newcastle Disease in California

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing that effective today, we are transitioning our virulent Newcastle disease (vND) efforts in southern California from a response focus to implementing a prevention plan aimed at keeping vND from recurring in the region. Even with extensive testing taking place, APHIS has not confirmed any new vND cases since February 1, 2020. As a result, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is removing its vND quarantine.

“APHIS and CDFA employees have worked tirelessly over the past two years toward this goal,” said Dr. Burke Healey, USDA Chief Veterinarian. “While this is a big accomplishment, we need to continue...

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Jun 4 8:10 AM, General News


Nestle Prepared Foods Company Recalls Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo Products

Nestle Prepared Foods Company, a Jonesboro, Ark. establishment, is recalling approximately 29,002 pounds of chicken product labeled as Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo because the product contains undeclared soy, a known allergen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo is not supposed to contain chicken and chicken does not appear in the ingredients statement or on the label.

The frozen, Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo products were produced and packaged on April 22, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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May 29 11:49 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: A Bird’s Eye View of YTD Chicken Production

With mid-year just around the corner, this week we thought it would be a good opportunity to investigate how chicken headcount and average live weights are stacking up against...

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May 29 8:23 AM, Urner Barry


Conagra Brands Recalls Frozen Not-Ready-To-Eat Chicken and Turkey Bowl Products

Conagra Brands, Inc., Russellville, Ark. and Marshall, Mo. establishments, are recalling approximately 276,872 pounds of not ready-to-eat chicken and turkey bowl products because the products may contain extraneous material, specifically small rocks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The scope of this recall has been expanded to include Healthy Choice Power Bowls Chicken Feta & Farro Bowls, Healthy Choice Power Bowls Unwrapped Burrito Scramble Power Bowls, and Healthy Choice Power Bowls Turkey Sausage & Egg Scramble Power Bowls produced on various dates. The products were produced at two different establishments.

The following additional products are subject to recall...

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May 26 9:23 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: COVID 19 Rooted Chicken Production Cutbacks on Tap 

Not a day goes by when the immediate and future potential impact of COVID-19 isn't central to dialogue...

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May 22 8:15 AM, Urner Barry


SNAP Online Purchasing to Cover 90% of Households

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that households in 13 new states – Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia – will soon be able to purchase food online with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Once operational, online purchasing will be available in 36 states and the District of Columbia, home to more than 90% of SNAP participants. 

In addition, Secretary Perdue also announced an expansion of independently owned and operated retail stores beyond those included in the original pilot. Soon more SNAP authorized retailers, under...

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May 20 9:14 AM, General News


USDA, FDA Strengthen U.S. Food Supply Chain Protections During COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic response continues, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been working around the clock on many fronts to support the U.S. food and agriculture sector so that Americans continue to have access to a safe and robust food supply. As a next step in carrying out Executive Order 13917, the USDA and FDA announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (PDF, 137 KB) to help prevent interruptions at FDA-regulated food facilities, including fruit and vegetable processing.

This is an important preparedness effort as we are approaching peak harvesting seasons, when many fruits and vegetables grown across the U.S. are sent to be...

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May 20 9:11 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Chicken Exports Spring Forward as China Makes a Comeback

The latest release of the USDA’s export figures help to paint a strong underlying picture to our trade relations with key export partners, and marks a significant return of...

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May 18 8:15 AM, Urner Barry


Evans Food Group Recalls Ready-To-Eat Pork Skin Products

Evans Food Group Ltd., an Arlington, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 3,796 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) pork skin products due to misbranding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The product contains soy, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

The product that contains soy – the red hot fried pork skins – is packaged in a variety pack that does not declare soy on the outside package display panel; however, soy is declared on the individual 1-oz. product label and is listed in the individual product’s list of ingredients. The consumer would not be able to see the soy ingredient on the label unless they open the larger box.

The RTE fried pork skin items were produced from April 15, 2020, to May 11, 2020. The following product is subject to recall...

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May 14 9:26 AM, General News


Ideal Foods Recalls Meat and Poultry Flatbread Pizza Products

Ideal Foods, a North Las Vegas, Nev. establishment, is recalling approximately 3,302 pounds of meat and poultry flatbread pizza products that were produced, packed and distributed without the benefit of federal inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The flatbread pizza products made with meat and poultry items were produced on various dates from October 2019 to April 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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May 13 9:32 AM, General News


U.S. Pork Exports Reach New Heights in March; First Quarter Beef Exports Also on Record Pace

Underpinned by record production, U.S. pork exports completed a tremendous first quarter with new March records for volume and value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports also trended higher year-over-year in March, establishing a record first quarter pace.

“March export results were very solid, especially given the COVID-19 related headwinds facing customers in many international markets at that time,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Stay-at-home orders created enormous challenges for many countries’ foodservice sectors, several key currencies slumped against the U.S. dollar and logistical obstacles surfaced in...

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May 8 8:09 AM, General News


Dr. Cindy Nickerson Appointed as USDA Deputy Chief Economist

U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Robert Johansson today announced the appointment of Dr. Cindy Nickerson as the Deputy Chief Economist, effective June 7.

In her role as Deputy Chief Economist for Policy Analysis, Dr. Nickerson advises the Chief Economist, the Secretary, and top policy officials regarding the economic implications of programs, regulations, and legislative proposals affecting the U.S. food system and rural areas.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Nickerson is joining the Office of the Chief Economist,” said Johansson. “She brings to the position significant experience both in program and policy analysis...

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May 8 8:08 AM, General News


APHIS Establishing Coordination Center to Assist Producers Affected by Processing Plant Closures

American livestock and poultry producers are facing an unprecedented emergency due to COVID-19, particularly with the closing of meat processing plants in several states. USDA is leading the federal response by working in coordination with the Vice President’s Task Force, the CDC, OSHA, Department of Labor, industry, state and local governments, and others across the federal family to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on producers.

We will continue to seek solutions to ensure the continuity of operations and return to production as quickly, safely and as health considerations...

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May 5 8:10 AM, General News


USDA Announces Additional Food Purchase Plans

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of $470 million in Section 32 food purchases to occur in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, in addition to purchases previously announced, which will enable USDA to purchase surplus food for distribution to communities nationwide. These Section 32 purchases will provide additional support for producers and Americans in need, in response to changing market conditions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency.

“President Trump has authorized USDA to support our farmers affected by this national emergency and this action to purchase food and deliver to those in need further demonstrates his unwavering support for the American people during these unprecedented times,” said Secretary Perdue. “America’s farmers and ranchers have...

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May 5 8:10 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage: It’s a Matter of Perspective

COVID-19’s widespread impact on the protein market landscape has certainly tested the wits of turkey buyers and sellers...

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Apr 30 8:18 AM, Urner Barry


NCBA Sends Letter To Ag Secretary Perdue Urging Against CFAP Payment Limitations On Cattle Producers

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging against payment limitations for cattle producers under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane issued the following statement:

“The economic damage to cattle producers across the country continues to mount due to the COVID-19 crisis. While we are extremely grateful to Congress, USDA and the Trump Administration for their work to keep the beef supply chain moving and deliver aid to our producers, we are concerned that...

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Apr 27 8:22 AM, General News


USDA Increases Monthly SNAP Benefits by 40%

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced emergency benefit increases have reached $2.0 billion per month for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households across all 50 states and 3 territories to increase food security during the coronavirus national emergency. These emergency benefits represent a 40% increase in overall monthly SNAP benefits, significantly increasing food purchasing power for American families.

“These are unprecedented times for American families who are facing joblessness and hunger. USDA is providing a 40% increase in SNAP benefits to ensure that low-income individuals have enough food to feed themselves and their families during...

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Apr 24 8:18 AM, General News


The Coronavirus Crisis from the K-12 Operator Perspective

Nearly all school districts have ended in-person instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many states planning to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year. However, some families rely on free and reduced meals that schools provide to students. Some districts are seeing rising participation in these meal programs as more people are experiencing layoffs and furloughs.

Previously, K-12 operators were not permitted to deliver food or have food for off-premise consumption. Now, those are their only options for service. Although these operators are accustomed to dealing with an at-risk population with existing safety measures and...

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Apr 22 8:19 AM, Urner Barry


NCBA Applauds USDA Relief Plan

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Marty Smith issued the following statement regarding the announcement related to USDA’s plan for distribution of CARES Act funding.

“We appreciate Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s announcement that the agency will soon distribute funding to the cattlemen and cattlewomen who desperately need help during this national emergency. We applaud USDA’s work to quickly craft a plan to distribute the funds to those who need it most and we look forward to learning more about that plan very soon. America’s cattle producers are facing unprecedented crisis after...

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Apr 21 8:15 AM, General News


Coronavirus-Related Cattle Industry Losses Estimated at $13.6 Billion

A study released estimates cattle industry losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will reach $13.6 billion. The study was commissioned by NCBA and conducted by a team of industry-leading agricultural economists led by Derrell Peel, Breedlove Professor of Agribusiness and Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist at Oklahoma State University, to assist USDA in determining how best to allocate CARES Act relief funds to cattle producers.

The study shows cow-calf producers will see the largest impact, with COVID-19-related losses totaling an estimated...

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Apr 16 8:16 AM, General News


Hog Farmers Face COVID-19 Financial Crisis 

The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. At a press briefing, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) outlined the crisis as described by producers and the immediate relief they are requesting from the administration and Congress.

“We remain committed to supplying Americans with high-quality U.S. pork, but face a dire situation that threatens the livelihoods of thousands of farm families,” said NPPC President Howard “A.V.” Roth, a pork producer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “We are taking on water fast. Immediate action is imperative, or a lot of hog farms will go under.”

The suspension of pork packing plant operations and rising employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing harvest facility capacity challenge due to...

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Apr 16 8:15 AM, General News


National Chicken Council Requests Relief for Chicken Farmers Affected by COVID-19

The National Chicken Council sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue requesting relief for family farmers due to potential supply chain effects related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“As a result of reduced workforce at processing plants, foodservice demand vanishing virtually overnight, historically high cold storage supply levels and a potential loss of international trade market access due to the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), some chicken processors have begun to reduce eggs set to reflect decreased demand and to avoid any potential animal welfare concerns,” the letter read. “One implication of trying to...

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Apr 15 8:14 AM, General News


Jowett Farms Corporation Recalls Pork Products Produced Without Benefit of Import Inspection

Jowett Farms Corporation, a Blumenort, Canada establishment, is recalling approximately 42,587 pounds of raw pork trimmings that were not presented for import re-inspection into the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw pork trimmings were imported on April 2, 2020 and further processed into sausage products. The following products are subject to recall...

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Apr 13 9:50 AM, General News


Conagra Brands Recalls Frozen Not-Ready-to-Eat Chicken Bowl Products

Conagra Brands, Inc., a Russellville, Ark. establishment, is recalling approximately 130,763 pounds of not ready-to-eat chicken bowl products because the product may contain extraneous material, specifically small rocks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The frozen, not-ready-to-eat chicken bowl items were produced on Jan. 23, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

Full Story »
Apr 13 9:47 AM, General News


USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H7N3 Avian Influenza in a Commercial Flock in South Carolina 

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States since 2017. It appears this HPAI strain mutated from a low pathogenic strain that has been found in poultry in that area recently.

No human cases of this H7N3 avian influenza virus have been detected and there is no immediate public health concern. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to...

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Apr 13 8:44 AM, General News


Despite Global Challenges, U.S. Pork and Beef Exports on Record Pace Through February

U.S. pork exports posted the third largest month on record in February while U.S. beef exports also recorded double-digit gains from a year ago, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Through February, exports of both pork and beef are on a record pace and account for a growing share of record-large U.S. production.

February pork exports reached 273,056 metric tons (mt), up 46% from a year ago, valued at $726.6 million (up 59%), trailing only the volume and value totals from December 2019 and January 2020. For the first two months of the year, pork exports exceeded last year’s pace by...

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Apr 7 8:19 AM, General News


USDA Statement on the Confirmation of COVID-19 in a Tiger in New York

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories has confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) in one tiger at a zoo in New York. This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with COVID-19. Samples from this tiger were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness.

Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. The zoo has been closed to the public since mid-March, and the first tiger began showing signs of sickness on March 27. All of these large cats are expected to...

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Apr 6 10:14 AM, General News


NCBA Applauds Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging COVID-19 Relief for Cattle Producers

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded a congressional letter that was sent today to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging swift relief for American cattle producers who have been adversely impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of over 145 lawmakers from both chambers of Congress.

“America’s cattle producers have been hit hard by the unforeseen financial challenges brought on by this pandemic. We thank each and every lawmaker that showed their continued support to rural families by signing onto this critical letter,” said NCBA President Marty Smith, a family cow-calf operator from Wacahoota, Fla. “We remain hopeful that...

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Apr 6 8:16 AM, General News


State Beef Councils Win Major Legal Victory

The Beef Checkoff program and fifteen grassroots-led state beef councils won a major court victory today when the United States District Court of Montana ruled in favor of USDA and the Montana Beef Council in the matter of R-CALF vs. Sonny Perdue and USDA.

NCBA praised the court’s decision, which ends a legal battle that has spanned more than three years and interrupted beef promotion functions in Montana. The case had threatened local input and promotion efforts at the state level across the country.

“The foundation of the Beef Checkoff has always been state beef councils that collect checkoff funds and determine how those investments are used for research, marketing and...

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Mar 31 8:16 AM, General News


FSIS Loosens Labeling Enforcement, Allows Foodservice Items Easier Access to Retail

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced labeling flexibilities for products that were initially intended to head to the foodservice sector but have been rerouted for retail establishments.

FSIS broke down three situations which describe how product can move to retail with certain labeling deviations. These new allowances only apply to product that has already undergone production.

Product that is being produced is expected to meet all requirements.

Labeling at a Federal Establishment

Products made at a Federal establishment intended for HRI...

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Mar 27 8:20 AM, SeafoodNews


USDA Announces Expanded Red Meat Access to China as Phase One Trade Deal Moves Forward

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced continued progress in the implementation of agriculture provisions in the U.S.-China Phase One Agreement.

The new actions are led by increased access for red meat and poultry into China. According to the statement, U.S. beef producers, for the first time since 2003, will have access to nearly all beef products into China.

An expansion of pork products that will be allowed into Chinese ports was also included in the...

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Mar 25 10:24 AM, General News


USMEF Statement on Expanded Access to China for U.S. Beef and Pork

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has updated its Export Library for China to reflect expanded access for U.S. beef and pork. These changes were among the provisions negotiated in the U.S.-China “Phase One” trade agreement.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued the following statement:

"This is an exciting day for the U.S. beef and pork industries, which have waited a long time to have more meaningful and reliable access to China, and USMEF thanks USTR and USDA for their tireless efforts to negotiate and implement the...

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Mar 24 8:18 AM, General News


Secretary Perdue Announces New USDA Administration Leadership

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of David Wu to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Don Bice has played a critical role in ensuring USDA is the most efficient, effective, customer focused agency in the federal government. He has made great strides in the modernization of the Department and has carried out our vision with dedication and passion. I thank Don for his service on behalf of the American people and wish him well in the future,” said Secretary Perdue. “David Wu’s extensive experience and expertise make him a perfect fit for this role. I am confident that with...

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Mar 23 8:18 AM, General News


USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Ensures Food Safety During Coronavirus Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ensured the safety and timely delivery of the country’s food supply while simultaneously protecting the health of the Department’s employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a letter from USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach and USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Mindy Brashears, the USDA said that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) are “rising to meet challenges associated with COVID-19...”

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Mar 18 11:41 AM, General News


NPPC Tells Congress Oversight for Gene-Edited Livestock Should Be Under USDA 

Thanks to innovation and continuous improvements, U.S. hog farmers are the world’s leading suppliers of high-quality, safe and affordable pork. However, America is in danger of losing its leadership standing due to significant flaws in its current approach to regulating emerging animal breeding technologies, Iowa Pork Producers President Dr. Michael Paustian testified this morning before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Oversight should be under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), not the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Gene editing technology, which allows for precise changes within an animal’s own genome, offers tremendous promise to combat animal disease while producing safe food in a more sustainable fashion. “Livestock producers need...

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Mar 13 8:26 AM, General News


Rapid Start to 2020 for U.S. Pork Exports; Beef Exports also Trend Higher

Following a record-breaking performance in 2019, U.S. pork exports maintained a torrid pace in January, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). January beef exports were also higher year-over-year, while exports of U.S. lamb trended lower.

January pork exports cooled slightly from the volume and value records established in December 2019, but still far exceeded year-ago levels. Both the January export volume of 273,603 metric tons (mt), up 36% year-over-year, and export value ($738.7 million, up 50%) were the second highest on record. Export value per head slaughtered was $62.53, up 40% from a year ago. Exports accounted for 29.8% of total pork production and...

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Mar 11 8:25 AM, General News


USDA Announces ASF Response Plan; Prevention Remains Top Priority 

At the National Pork Industry Forum, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach announced an African swine fever (ASF) action plan should the swine-only disease be detected in the United Sates. To date, the United States is free of African swine fever; prevention remains the number one priority for the National Pork Producers Council.

According to the plan, USDA Secretary Perdue would immediately declare an “extraordinary emergency” if ASF was detected in the United States. In doing so, the USDA would be established as the leader of a national, coordinated response to control and eradicate the swine disease, which poses no human health or food safety risks. By declaring an extraordinary emergency, the USDA ensures...

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Mar 9 9:36 AM, General News


USDA Makes It Easier, Safer to Feed Children in California Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a request from California to allow meal service during school closures to minimize potential exposure to the coronavirus. These meals are available at no cost to low-income children – and are not required to be served in a group setting – to ensure kids receive nutritious meals while schools are temporarily closed.

“USDA stands with the people of California as a part of a federal-wide coordinated response,” said Brandon Lipps, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “The flexibility provided by the waiver approved will help ensure...

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Mar 9 8:54 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Freezer Burn

In light of the recent attention being placed on China, a central focus of chicken processors and exporters has been the back half of the bird, and with good reason...

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Feb 28 8:16 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Whole Bird Stocks Bolster Processor Enthusiasm

Following last month’s release of the USDA’s Cold Storage Report which drew some skepticism from market participants, the January report sends a jolt of optimism to sellers, especially those...

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Feb 27 11:26 AM, Urner Barry


Secretary Perdue Announces New FSIS Leadership

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of Paul Kiecker to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Mr. Kiecker will be assuming the role following the departure of Administrator Carmen Rottenberg, who is departing federal service after a career spanning two decades. 

“Ensuring the safety of America’s food supply is USDA’s most important responsibility, and one that Carmen carried out with dedication and vision. I know she will continue her passion for food safety in the private sector,” said Secretary Perdue. “Carmen is a true public servant and ushered in an era of modernization at the Food Safety and Inspection Service. This mission and drive will continue...

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Feb 25 11:17 AM, General News


USDA and USTR Announce Progress on Implementation of U.S.-China Phase One Agreement  

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that China has taken numerous actions to begin implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the landmark U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement on schedule. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2020. 

These actions include:

•Signing a protocol that allows the importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes (U.S. Chipping Potatoes Protocol Announcement); 
•Lifting the ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products, including pet food containing poultry products (Poultry and Poultry Products Announcement); 
•Lifting restrictions on imports of...

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Feb 25 9:23 AM, General News


U.S. Pork Industry Requests Additional ASF Prevention Measures

Thanks to continued vigilance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. pork industry, the United States has so far prevented an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), an animal disease affecting only pigs with no human health or food safety risks. To ensure the U.S. swine herd remains free of the disease, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and 30 state pork producer associations today asked Agriculture Secretary Perdue to take additional measures, including restricting imports of organic soy products for animal feeds from all ASF-positive countries.

The U.S. pork and feed industries have adopted holding times to allow for the natural degradation of any viruses, to ensure that most imported feed ingredients are safe to use. Research indicates, however...

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Feb 20 11:51 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: And the Year-End Export Figures Are...

The most recent release of the USDA’s export data paints a fairly choppy year-end picture to the turkey side of the business...

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Feb 20 8:20 AM, Urner Barry


NPPC: FDA Stall Tactics Hurting U.S. Agriculture

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) misrepresentation of a gene edited livestock research project is its latest stall tactic designed to rationalize a regulatory grasp on an emerging technology that must be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if the United States is to maintain its global leadership position in agriculture.

“While countries like China, Canada, Brazil and Argentina are moving quickly on this advancement to gain competitive advantage, the United States is falling far behind because of the FDA’s precautionary regulatory approach,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “Under FDA regulation, gene editing faces an impractical, lengthy and expensive approval process. Unless we move oversight to the USDA, we are ceding a technology that promises significant animal health benefits, including...

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Feb 12 8:13 AM, General News


Secretary Perdue Statement on President Trump’s Budget Proposal

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after President Donald J. Trump submitted his FY 2021 budget proposal to Congress:

“The United States is leading the world in economic growth and prosperity. President Trump’s pro-growth policies like tax cuts, common-sense deregulation, and new trade deals have increased confidence in the economy and put hard earned money back into the pockets of Americans,” said Secretary Perdue. “President Trump’s budget continues to reign in an overgrown Federal government with fiscally responsible cuts in spending. USDA is doing its part to improve our customer service while reducing our economic and regulatory impact. We will continue to...

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Feb 11 9:32 AM, General News


Family Traditions Meat Company Recalls Ready-to-Eat Meat Stick Products 

Family Traditions Meat Company, an Ackley, Iowa establishment, is recalling approximately 270 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) beef stick products due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The product contains milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

The fully cooked, ready-to-eat beef stick items were produced on Nov. 14, 2019, Dec. 3, 2019 and Jan. 6, 2020 and have a shelf life of six months. The following product is subject to recall...

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Feb 10 8:31 AM, Urner Barry


U.S. Pork Exports Record-Large in 2019, Approaching $7 Billion; Beef Export Value Tops $8 Billion

U.S. pork exports posted new volume and value records in 2019, reaching nearly $7 billion, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Exports of U.S. beef were below the previous year’s record levels, while lamb export volume was the second largest on record.

Pork exports soared to 282,145 metric tons (mt) in December, up 34% year-over-year and surpassing the previous high (set in November 2019) by 9%. Export value was $760 million, up a remarkable 44% from a year ago and breaking the previous record (also from November 2019) by 7%. These results pushed 2019 exports 10% above...

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Feb 7 8:16 AM, General News


African Swine Fever Shrinks Pork Production in China, Swells Demand for Imported Pork

Although the rapid spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across China decimated the world’s largest swine herd in 2019, it has created significant export opportunities for the U.S. pork industry. In the United States, recent industry expansion and low prices helped the industry export more pork to China, despite high retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork.

After the first cases of ASF in China were reported in August 2018, the virus spread to every province by mid-2019. Assessments by industry observers suggest that the number of ASF outbreaks and losses of swine far exceeded officially reported numbers. As mentioned earlier, China’s swine herd was decimated—both by...

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Feb 5 11:48 AM, General News


Food Insecurity Among Children has Declined Overall but Remains High for Some Groups

Food security—access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life—provides an important foundation for nutrition and health. Food security is especially important for children. The nutritional content of their diets affects not only their current health, but also their physical, mental, and social development—and thus, their future health and well-being. Prior research has shown that children in food-insecure homes, where parents and caregivers struggle to put enough food on the table, are more likely to have adverse outcomes, such as more chronic health conditions, slower progress in math and reading, and more difficulties with social development than do otherwise similar children in...

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Feb 4 8:16 AM, General News


Astrochef LLC. Recalls Pepperoni Stuffed Pizza Sandwich Products

Astrochef LLC., a Rockwall, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 7,363 pounds of pepperoni stuffed pizza sandwich products because the product is mislabeled and contains undeclared soy, a known allergen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products are labeled as pepperoni stuffed pizza sandwich products but may contain meatball stuffed pizza sandwich products inside the package.

The frozen, stuffed pepperoni pizza sandwich items were produced on June 4, 2019 and July 3, 2019. The following products are subject to recall...

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Jan 30 9:04 AM, General News


Amity Packing Company Recalls Raw Ground Beef Products

Amity Packing Company Inc., a Chicago, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 2,020 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically clear, thin pliable plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw ground beef items were produced on Jan. 6, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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Jan 27 9:26 AM, General News


Industry Reacts to EPA's WOTUS Rule 

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army fulfilled a promise of President Trump by finalizing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to define "waters of the United States" (WOTUS). For the first time, the agencies are streamlining the definition so that it includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated, and defines terms in the regulatory text that have never been defined before.

Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, stated, "President Trump is restoring the rule of law and empowering Americans by removing undue burdens and strangling regulations from the backs of our productive farmers, ranchers, and rural land-owners. The days are gone when the Federal Government can claim a small farm pond on private land as navigable waters." Perdue thanked President Trump and Administrator Wheeler for...

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Jan 24 8:19 AM, General News


Trump Administration Recruits Six New Members as U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions

Today, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the addition of six new U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions. These champions are U.S. businesses and organizations pledging to reduce food loss and waste in their own operations by 50 percent by the year 2030. New champions in 2019 and announced today include: Browns Superstores, Compass Group, Giant Eagle, Hello Fresh, Las Vegas Sands, and The Wendy’s Company.

“Food products make up 22 percent of municipal solid waste sent to our nation’s landfills annually and working with my partners at USDA, we are challenging American businesses and consumers to reduce food waste,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The commitments made by...

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Jan 22 10:26 AM, General News


African Poultry Sector Remains Strong Opportunity for Investors

According to a recent Rabobank report, the time is now for investors that are looking to stake their claim in the African poultry industry.

A report authored by Nan-Dirk Mulder, Senior Analyst, Animal Protein, said that local and international investors are eyeing the steady growth for both the African poultry and egg industries over the past decade and see the region as a strong investment opportunity...

Rabobank’s initial report on investment opportunities in African poultry, “Time for Africa” was released in 2017, and Mulder provided an update on an opportunity...

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Jan 21 8:17 AM, Urner Barry


USDA Announces School and Summer Meals Reforms

Delivering on his promise to act on feedback from dietary professionals, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced two proposals that will put local school and summer food service operators back in the driver’s seat of their programs, because they know their children best. Under the school meals proposed rule, school nutrition professionals have more flexibility to serve appetizing and healthy meals that appeal to their students’ preferences and subsequently reduce food waste.

The proposed rule also encourages state and local operators to focus resources on feeding children rather than administrative paperwork. These improvements build on the 2018 reforms that preserve...

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Jan 20 9:13 AM, General News


Industry Applauds Senate Ratification of the USMCA 

The Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, by a bipartisan vote of 89-10. The USMCA will advance United States agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness. The agreement builds upon existing markets to expand U.S. food and agricultural exports while supporting food processing and rural jobs. Canada and Mexico are the first and second largest export markets for U.S. food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018, supporting 325,000 American jobs. Now, the USMCA will be heading to President Trump's desk for his signature.

Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said, "We’ve long waited for this day and now USMCA will finally head to the President’s desk. The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. With Congressional consideration now complete...

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Jan 17 8:15 AM, Urner Barry


Impossible Foods CEO Criticizes Meat Industry; Intends to Replace Animals for Food Production

Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods, criticized the meat industry in a recent interview, calling it "the most destructive technology on Earth by far." Brown added that the company's ultimate goal is to completely replace animals as a form of food with plant-based products by the year 2035. Impossible Foods currently offers a plant-based beef burger, and a new sausage product will be offered at various Burger King locations across the United States for testing this month. The company also announced that it will introduce ground pork and sausage, but there is no word on availability at this time. With beef and pork alternatives becoming readily available to consumers, Brown stated that poultry options are on the way as well.

Brown claims that Impossible Foods is so important because of the impact the meat industry has on the environment. However, testifying on behalf of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association at a U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on climate change in May, Kansas cattle producer Debbie Lyons-Blythe delivered a clear message...

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Jan 14 9:25 AM, Urner Barry


North American Meat Institute Issues Statement on USDA’s Proposed Rule for Meat and Poultry Markets

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) made the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service proposed rule on meat and poultry markets:

“We will review the proposed rule and work to ensure livestock producers have a variety of tools available to market their animals and to ensure meat and poultry markets remain competitive,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “Any rule must protect marketing agreements between packer/processors and livestock producers, which provide stability to the industry and benefits consumers with lower prices and...

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Jan 14 8:16 AM, General News


U.S. Per Capita Availability of Red Meat, Poultry, and Seafood on the Rise

After falling from 148.6 pounds in 2004 to 133.5 pounds in 2014, the per capita supply of red meat, poultry, and fish/shellfish available for Americans to eat after adjusting for losses rose to 143.9 pounds in 2017. Red meat (beef, pork, veal, and lamb) accounted for 51 percent of 2017’s 143.9-pound total, compared with 42 percent for poultry (chicken and turkey) and 7 percent for fish and shellfish.

ERS calculates per capita loss-adjusted food availability in a given year by taking per capita supplies of food available for human consumption and adjusting for some of the spoilage, plate waste, and other losses in grocery stores, restaurants, and homes to more closely approximate consumption. Over 2015-17, beef had the...

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Jan 14 8:16 AM, General News


Culinary International Recalls Chicken Burrito Products

Culinary International, LLC, a Vernon, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 626 pounds of egg burrito products labeled as chicken burrito products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain eggs, a known allergen, which was not declared on the product label.

The frozen, not ready-to-eat (NRTE) chicken burrito items were produced on Sept. 10, 2019. The following products are subject to recall...

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Jan 13 8:50 AM, General News


November Pork Exports Shatter Previous Records; Beef Exports Trail 2018

U.S. pork exports posted the best month on record in November, easily reaching new highs in both volume and value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). November exports of U.S. beef were below the previous year’s large totals.

Pork exports surged to 259,812 metric tons (mt) in November, up 26% year-over-year and 11% above the previous high set in July 2019. Export value was $712.7 million, up 32% from a year ago and breaking the previous record (also from July 2019) by 14%. These results pushed January-November exports 7% above...

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Jan 9 8:15 AM, General News


USDA Proposes to Reapportion Cattlemen’s Beef Board Membership

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to adjust membership on the Beef Promotion and Research Board to reflect shifts in cattle inventory levels since the last board reapportionment in 2017, as required by the rules governing the board.

Under the proposal, total board membership would increase by two members, from 99 to 101, and would include the following changes...

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Jan 3 2:21 PM, General News


J&J Distributing Recalls Salad Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

J&J Distributing, a St. Paul, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 136 pounds of ready-to-eat salad products that contain meat due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain pine nuts (tree nut), a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

The ready-to-eat salad products that contain meat were produced on various dates from December 21, 2019 through December 27, 2019. The following products are subject to recall...

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Dec 31 8:38 AM, General News




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