Beef bits

Aug 19, 2011
by WLJ

Contaminated ground beef recalled

National Beef Packing Company of Dodge City, KS, has recalled 60,424 pounds of ground beef, according to USDA. The recall includes ground chuck, ground beef patties, and meatballs and meat loaf, with a “sell by” date ranging from July 25 through Aug. 12. The problem was discovered during routine testing at the Ohio Department of Agriculture testing facility. Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Publix Super Markets Inc. and Kroger Co. carried the beef, and the recall mainly affects products sold in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wyoming, but it could include more states as meat gets repackaged. No reports of illness due to the beef have been reported. A spokesman for National Beef said the company has never had a problem with E. coli.

Vietnam lifts ban on Canada cattle

Vietnam has lifted its eight-year-old ban on Canadian live breeding cattle, sheep and goats, becoming the first Asian country to do so since a 2003 discovery of BSE, Canada’s trade and agriculture ministers said last week. The move, which takes effect immediately, gives Canada a share in a market worth C$50 million, International Trade Minister Ed Fast said, praising the economic impact of closer ties with Southeast Asia. The 2003 discovery of BSE in a western Canadian herd devastated Canada’s ranchers, slamming export markets shut to the third-largest beef shipper. Japan’s radiation scare hits beef output Japan has extended its ban on beef cattle shipments to four prefectures in the northeast after discovering that some farmers had fed their cattle straw that was left outdoors following the March 11 earthquake and subsequently contaminated with radioactive cesium from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Japanese beef imports in the first six months of 2011 rose 5 percent from the first half of 2010 but were down 11 percent from the second half. Japan’s beef production for January to May inched down about 1 percent from the same period a year ago.

National Beef Cook-Off winners

Organizers for the National Beef Cook-Off, a checkoff-funded program, are pleased to announce the four category winners in their 2011 beef cooking contest. The four category winners, each recipients of a $3,000 cash prize, are: 1. Tedd Smith, Mount Vernon, NY; Asian Barbecued Skirt Steak, Contest Category: 5:30 PM Dinner Crunch. 2. Peggy Calhoun, Portland, OR.; Steppin’ Up Beef Fried Rice, Contest Category: Retro Recipes Revived. 3. Edwina Gadsby, Great Falls, MT; Asian Beef Sandwiches with Slaw, Contest Category: Fuel Up with Beef; and 4. Ellen Verdugo, Gloucester, MA; Flash in the Pan Stir-Fry, Contest Category: Stir Crazy Solutions. A grand prize winner is still to be revealed later this year.

JBS posts second quarter loss

JBS SA, a Brazilian company and the world’s biggest beef producer, reported a second quarter net loss of $113.8 million, down 41.2 percent from last year. The company reported a net income of $2.3 million in the second quarter last year, and a net income of $92.5 million in the first quarter of this year. JBS reported earnings were hurt by the U.S. chicken producer, Pilgrim’s Pride, which JBS controls. High grain prices led to increased costs, and JBS reported the beef segment performed poorly in the U.S. Tyson cuts chicken production Tyson Foods Inc. is poised to extend a recent upswing in its stock on strong export demand for beef and pork and higher chicken prices as poultry producers cut production, BB&T Capital Markets agribusiness analyst Heather Jones said. It’s “very likely” Tyson lowers chicken production by 5 percent to 6 percent in coming weeks amid a broader poultry industry effort to trim excess supplies and boost sagging prices, Jones said. Industry wide, chicken producers are currently losing about 7 cents on every pound produced, though Tyson’s losses are closer to 2 cents. Tyson is the biggest U.S. poultry producer, with capacity to process 46 million chickens a week, and is also one of the nation’s biggest beef and pork processors.

Australian beef exports up 5 percent

Australian beef exports to Southeast Asia and Greater China during July 2011 increased 5 percent, compared with the same period last year, to 13,899 metric tons, Meat and Livestock Australia reported. Beef shipments to Taiwan increased 4 percent year-onyear, assisted by the ongoing strong demand for chilled product as U.S. imports remain restricted. Australia also exported 8 percent more beef to Thailand during July, despite the import tariff quota. Total beef exports to China and Hong Kong decreased 12 percent with lower shipments to the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. The past 12 months saw shipments to the region fluctuate as volume sent to Indonesia, the largest market in the region, was affected by issues surrounding import permits. Despite this, total beef exports over the calendar year to July increased 5 percent year-on-year. Volumes of chilled beef and chilled grain-fed beef also jumped 25 percent and 58 percent year-on-year, respectively.