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HEB opens first ‘green’ store in Houston market

BY Jenna Duncan

HOUSTON Grocery chain HEB has announced the opening of a new “green” store in the Houston area.

Ground was broken at the HEB Bunker Hill stores at Interstate 10 and Bunker Hill, in the Houston market, on Friday. The company has said that this new location is HEB’s first LEED-certified storefront in the area. The building was crafted using recycled materials and all appliances and hardware installed meet strict energy efficiency standards. Items such as LED light bulbs were used in place of traditional bulbs in places like food freezers. The freezers are also set with devices that trigger the light bulbs only when a customer opens the door.

HEB said that the store was also designed to use 25 percent the amount of water used to run the average HEB store.

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Shamrock Farms launches new product line nationally

BY Melissa Valliant

PHOENIX Arizona-based dairy brand Shamrock Farms is releasing a new single-serve “mmmmilk” line throughout select national markets in October. The company’s popularity has been on the rise recently due to its role as the official milk of SUBWAY restaurants, and its various flavored lines have been increasingly appearing in vending machines all over the country.

Shamrock Farms currently produces portable, 12-ounce containers of whole white, whole chocolate and 2 percent reduced fat white, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. On-the-go Shamrock Farms milk will be available through Kroger and Marsh in Charleston, W.V.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Roanoke and Richmond, Va.

“We have a strong brand with on-the-go functionality, compelling graphics, and even a sassy spokescow, Roxie,”” said Sandy Kelly, direcot rof marketing for Shamrock Farms Dairy Division. “This product delivers fun flavors and the great taste kids love without compromising the nutrition parents demand. Our single serve milk line has proven to be a real stand-out in the dairy case.”

The company plans on utilizing print, radio and in-store POS advertising to gain national interest in the new line, sampling the product at high-traffic locations and promoting it through sponsored sporting events.

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FDA releases draft of final ruling for food importers

BY Jenna Duncan

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration released its final rule and a draft policy guide on compliance for importing food.

The agency said Tuesday that this regulation is part of its efforts to protect the U.S. food supply from contamination, terrorism strikes and other food-borne emergencies.

The final rule follows an previous interim rule in effect since Oct. 2003 which requires that the FDA be alerted as to any and all food products being imported to the United States, the FDA has said. FDA’s new ruling is part of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act created in 2002. The new ruling will stay in place through May 6, 2009.

The new ruling requires that new food import submissions to FDA’s Prior Notice System Interface be submitted within 15 calendar days prior to the anticipated date of arrival in the United States, but no more than 30 days before the planned date of arrival submitted to Bureau of Customs and Border Protection’s Automated Broker Interface of the Automated Commercial System. This is a revision of the interim regulation that submissions be received by 5 days prior to arrival.

The submitter must also present, in addition to the name of the manufacturer, either a registration number of the facility associated with the food’s or the complete address of the facility where the food was manufacturer along with a reason why no registration number could be provided.

The FDA is calling for comments on the draft ruling before it becomes finalized.

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