Food Safety

FDA Updates Guidance on UFI (Unique Facility Identifier) And Extends Registration Update Period

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The FDA requires that facilities provide a UFI (Unique Facility Identifier) that is recognized as acceptable by the FDA when you submit your food facility registration or renewal in the Food Facility Registration Module (FFRM).  The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has recently updated the guidance on compliance. This latest guidance supersedes the …

Crop News

Severe Drought Condition Is Hurting California Agriculture

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United States Pea plantings are now completed, with green pea processing in the Northwest expected to begin end May /first week of June.   Sweet corn and green bean plantings now underway with about 20% to 25% of sweet corn in the ground in the Pacific Northwest.   Commodity prices on grain corn and soybean rose sharply …

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Popularity of Plant-Based Food Continues to Grow Flexitarians Now 30% of the Market

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What was once considered a fad is here to stay.  Enter a Burger King franchise and enjoy the Impossible Burger or try a Beyond Meat patty at McDonald’s. Consumers can now find plant-based meat alternatives in their favorite grocery store or fast-food chain. Burger King just introduced the “Impossible Whopper” in Ontario, Canada on March …

Food Safety

Working Closely Together The U.S. & Mexico Strengthen Food Safety Ties

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The FDA is hard at work in collaborative efforts with the Mexican government and food producers of Mexico in order to strengthen food safety measures.  And it’s no wonder since “about one-third of all agency-regulated human food imported into the U.S. is from Mexico, including 60% of our fresh-produce imports.” The agencies in Mexico responsible …

Crop News

U.S Planting Begins for New Season Peas and Potatoes

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United States Potato and pea planting should commence this week or next.  Grower negotiations are still ongoing.  Grower prices for raw material sweet corn is expected to increase about 10% to 15% this year in the Northwest while we have heard Midwest region expecting increases of as high as 20%. USDA predicts farmers will plant …

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Japanese Blueberry Variety KUNISATO NO. 35 May Play Important Role in Fighting COVID-19!

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Most people today are aware of the basic benefits of blueberries…they’re extremely high in nutrients, delicious to eat and low in calories.  One cup of blueberries contains 24% of the RDI of Vitamin C, 36% of the RDI of Vitamin K, 25% of the RDI of Manganese as well as 4 grams of fiber.  When …

Food Safety

The Cause of Covid-19 Investigation Continues As China Still Blames Frozen Food and Refuses to Reveal Critical Data to W.H.O.

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If China has nothing to hide, why do Chinese scientists continue to refuse to share data that could shed light on the origin of the coronavirus? Recently, a group of independent investigators visited Wuhan, China on behalf of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) in an effort to learn more about the early days of the …

Food Safety

Smarter Food Safety: It’s More Than Just Technology

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One of the most important and necessary focuses for food manufacturers in 2021 is their commitment to a strong food safety culture. This has become even more evident due to the challenges faced during this covid-19 pandemic. Food Safety Culture has been included in the most recent standards of the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) …

Crop News

Water Chestnut Season Underway in China

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United States Potato market conditions still uncertain due to covid.  While retail sales for frozen potatoes has surged by about 19%, foodservice sales are still looking dim compared to a year ago.  U.S. frozen product production declined by about 8% during the 12 months ending November 30th.   There could be some processing supply constraints for …

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Shipping Costs at Record Highs As Bottleneck Problems Continue

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There’s no doubt about it. Shipping both internationally and domestically continues to pose significant problems. It doesn’t matter if you are importing or exporting, orders are delayed and it’s not without good reason.  Recently, at the port of Los Angeles, there were forty-two ships waiting to unload their cargo. And it’s not just the west …

Crop News

Challenges Face European Potato Growers and Processors

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United States With sweet corn shortages in the Midwest region and Europe, coming into season with lower than usual inventories, plus some loss of yields here in the Pacific Northwest, expect for a tight sweet corn market with prices firm going forward.  Most Northwest suppliers are officially off market, for the time being. Carrot harvest …

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Cultured Meat Just Approved for Human Consumption Are you ready to eat lab-grown meat?

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The first lab-grown meat was just recently approved for human consumption in Singapore.  This is a big deal, especially exciting for the San Francisco based company “Eat Just” – the first ones to get it to market.  You may also know lab-grown meat by its more official title, cultured meat or by other descriptive terms …

Food Safety

China Claims Evidence of COVID-19 on Imported Frozen Foods Crackdown on Imports Draws Criticism Worldwide

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“COVID19 did not start in central China’s Wuhan but may come through imported frozen food and packaging” experts said on November 24th Facebook post by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily. It is clear from this statement and a recent stepped-up media campaign by the Chinese government that they will do whatever is necessary …

Crop News

U.S. Inventories Of Frozen Fruit Low

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United States With sweet corn shortages in the Midwest region and Europe, coming into season with lower than usual inventories, plus some loss of yields here in the Pacific Northwest, expect for a tight sweet corn market with prices firm going forward.  Most Northwest suppliers are officially off market, for the time being. Carrot harvest …

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The Return of the Automat, A Modern Solution to “Contactless” Eating

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In the early 1900’s the residents of Philadelphia experienced a new kind of dining – the first Automat called “Horn and Hardart” (named after its founders) had just opened.  It was a huge success. Food was chosen by the customer from a wall of cubbies that were coin-operated, and the quality of food couldn’t have …

Food Safety

Food Safety Becomes Political in Taiwan

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Just a few weeks ago Taipei’s streets were filled with thousands of protestors gathered for the “Autumn Struggle”, an annual march organized by various Taiwanese labor groups.  The anger of the marchers was fueled by a recent decision of the current government to allow the importation of U.S. pork that contains the additive ractopamine. This …

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Robots Gain Popularity in Retail Grocery Stores

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Have You Met Marty? He’s made by Badger Technologies and only one of five robotic systems currently in place in grocery stores throughout the U.S.  He checks inventory, alerts staff to spills on the floors and directs customers to various store locations.  As of April 2020, 172 Giant Stores and 325 Stop and Shops have …