Beef Bits

Mar 14, 2014
by WLJ

Safeway and Albertsons merge

Safeway Inc. has agreed to be acquired by the investor group that owns Albertsons, and be merged with the latter supermarket chain, the companies said in a press release. The combination will create the country’s second-largest dedicated supermarket chain, behind Kroger. The merged company will be owned by AB Acquisition, which is controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP, at the head of an investor group that also includes Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty LP, Lubert-Adler Partners LP and Schottenstein Stores Corp. As a result of the merger, Safeway shareholders are expected to receive $32.50 per share. Other actions that the Safeway board has approved include the sale of non-core assets. The total to be returned to Safeway shareholders is expected to be about $40 per share, the company said. The merger will create a network of more than 2,400 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 20 manufacturing plants with more than 250,000 employees. No store closures are expected.

LSD found in Florida meat

A review of surveillance video from a Walmart store where a Tampa family purchased beef later found to be tainted with LSD revealed no evidence of suspicious activity before the purchase, a company spokeswoman said. The lack of any obvious wrongdoing within the store leaves open the question of how the beef became contaminated with the hallucinogenic and whether any crime was committed, the Tampa Bay Times reported. A Tampa police investigation remained ongoing. Detectives were receiving assistance with further testing of the store’s meat products from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy. Tampa police were called to investigate after officials at St. Joseph’s Hospital notified them last week about a family of four who suddenly fell ill the night of Mar. 3. The meat was prepackaged on sealed trays by Cargill, police said, but a Cargill spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times that they had not yet been contacted, indicating it is a local incident.

Zoetis donates to SDSU

To honor cattle producers who were impacted by Winter Storm Atlas in October, Zoetis has given a $100,000 donation toward the construction of the Cow/Calf Education and Research Facility planned at South Dakota State University. The money will help fund the facility that will support industry education, research and current and future generations of cattle producers. “This facility will play an integral role in enhancing educational curricula for students, supporting important studies and improving resources and facilities that will benefit students, faculty, SDSU, cattle producers and, ultimately, the beef industry,” said Rob Kelly, Vice President, U.S. Cattle and Equine Operations, Zoetis.

AMI rejects OSHA request

AMI filed comments last week opposing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposal to require employers to electronically submit to the agency injury and illness information because it does not enhance worker safety and would add costs. Under the proposal, each establishment with 250 or more employees would have to report quarterly and establishments with 20 or more employees in certain designated industries would have to report annually. The agency also proposed that it be permitted to require any employer to submit more detailed information about specific injuries and illnesses. OSHA also would provide public online access to the injury and illness records purportedly to allow “the public, including employees and potential employees, researchers, employers, and workplace safety consultants, to use and benefit from the data.” AMI argues the proposal will not improve workplace safety and health, will add costs and infringe on privacy.

ConAgra teams up with Hayes

Multiple Grammy Award nominee Hunter Hayes and ConAgra Foods have teamed up to end child hunger while attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the Most Concerts Played in multiple cities in a 24-hour period. Hayes will kick off the “Hunter Hayes’ 24 Hour Road Race to End Child Hunger,” Friday, May 9 on Good Morning America in New York City. He is attempting to break the record (currently eight shows in 24 hours set by the Flaming Lips who broke the previous record made by Jay-Z) by playing 10 shows in 10 cities in 24 hours. VIP packages for the “24 Hour Road Race” are on sale now. Hayes, who has been working with ConAgra on Child Hunger Ends Here since 2012, said he “was astonished by the statistics” from Feeding America that more than one in five American children “aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.”