Beef Bits

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Apr 18, 2005
by WLJ

Sausage recall
Roger Wood Foods in Savannah, GA, is voluntarily recalling approximately 10,700 pounds of sausage products that may be contaminated with listeria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. Products subject to recall include: 1-pound packages of preferred recipe, BEEF Smoked Sausage, 2.5-pound packages of GREAT GRILLERS, smoked sausage, made with chicken, turkey, pork and beef, 5-pound packages of FAMILY PAK, Chicken, Pork and Beef Wieners, 3-pound packages of FAMILY PAK, Chicken, Pork and Beef Wieners, 4-pound packages of FAMILY PAK, Chicken, Pork and Beef Wieners.
The sausage was produced on March 10, 2005, and was distributed to retail stores in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The problem was discovered through regulatory sampling conducted by the state of Georgia. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

Processing plant moving to SD
A change in contractors will delay the construction of a Ridgefield Farms beef processing plant
scheduled to be built in Huron, SD. Ridgefield is relocating from its Connecticut home to South Dakota, but cost overruns by its original contractor caused the company to delay construction. The $42 million plant, originally scheduled to open in January of 2006, will now debut four to
six months late. It will employ about 300 in the slaughter and processing facilities.

New BSE case in Japan
Japanese officials revealed April 8 that they have found a new case of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE), the seventeenth since the first case was identified in the country in September 2001. The victim this time was a female Holstein, about 54 months of age. It was found on the island of Hokkaido and was identified when it became unable to stand or walk.

Tops closes three stores
Tops Markets, a division of Dutch grocer Ahold, will close three more stores in Ohio and lay off
450 employees in that market. In addition to the employees at the three locations (Cleveland,
Solon and Sandusky), the grocer plans to lay off butchers and bakers in other Ohio stores. The
chain will keep at least one butcher in each location, but ramp up its case-ready assortment to
keep labor costs down. It will also outsource some of its baking. The Williamsville, NY-based grocer closed six Ohio stores and laid off 390 in January.

Smithfield undecided
Responding to published reports that it plans to build a new beef plant in the near future, Smithfield, VA.-based Smithfield Foods said it has had "early, exploratory discussions concerning the feasibility of constructing" such a plant, but has made no decision as yet.

State bill favors antibiotic-free meat
A bill being heard by the Maine legislature's agricultural committee would order all public school systems, including universities as well as all state institutions, to give preference to suppliers who could provide antibiotic-free meat. The bill concedes that costs for foodservice would rise considerably, about 11 percent at the University of Maine and by undetermined amounts elsewhere. The Maine Farm Bureau opposes the bill, while organic groups favor it.

Partnership possible
Elected leaders of National Meat Association (NMA) and the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) met in Chicago last week to discussing how each organization could benefit from a partnership. The presidents, Tom Campanile Jordan Dorfman, said in a joint statement that they have two aims: “To better enable our members to successfully operate in the rapidly changing and challenging business environment of the 21st century; and to preserve the culture of both organizations that have each served the industry for 60 years.” They added: “We are excited about the opportunities that this partnering will provide our respective memberships. They will be the first to learn of our progress as more information becomes available.”

State Fair Revives Open Beef Show for 2005
The State Fair of Virginia Open Beef Show returns September 26-29 during the Fair at the Richmond Raceway Complex in Richmond. The State Fair Open Beef show will complement the long standing State Fair Youth Beef Show, which in 2004 featured 601 head and 193 4-H and FFA youth participants. The Open Beef Show returns after a ten-year absence for two reasons: to showcase this very important segment of Virginia agriculture and to present more animals for Fair customers during the event. Information is available at www.statefair.com.


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