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Peanut butter Salmonella outbreak leads to PCA recall and Kellogg Co.’s removal of products from shelves

BY Melissa Valliant

LYNCHBURG, Va. The FDA has discovered positive samples of Salmonella in peanut butter and peanut paste produced by the Peanut Corporation of America’s Blakely, Ga., facility, the PCA announced Friday. The peanut processing company produces and distributes bulk packages of peanut butter to institutions, food service industries and private label food companies.

The company is recalling all peanut butter produced on or after Aug. 8, 2008, and all peanut paste produced on or after Sept. 26, 2008, at the Georgia plant. The PCA has ceased production at the facility, and customers are instructed to call 1-877-564-7080 or visit peanutcorp.com for further instructions on what to do with the product.None of the potentially Salmonella-infected peanut butter is sold directly to consumers through retail stores. In the past four months, Salmonella has poisoned 410 people in 43 states. The FDA has not yet linked the positive peanut butter samples to the strains causing outbreaks of the illness in several states.Kellogg Co. announced a day after PCA’s recall its removal of its Austin and Keebler branded peanut butter snacks from store shelves, due to the current outbreak. Kellogg discouraged its customers from eating their products until a full investigation is completed. The FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture and state health officials are currently investigating the outbreak and attempting to trace its source. 

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Ocean Spray plans to open New Brunswick cranberry operation

BY Melissa Valliant

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. American cranberry co-operative will be expanding to Canada’s New Brunswick, investing $90 million in a new operation and creating about 100 new jobs. The company, which produces two-thirds of the world’s cranberry supply, plans on developing approximately 3,200 hectares of farmland.

Ocean Spray has submitted an environmental impact assessment registration with the Department of Environment. The cranberry maker says it is experiencing a higher demand for cranberries and needs more fruit.  

Gerald Richard, president of the New Brunswick Cranberry Growers Association, is excited about what Ocean Spray’s new operation may mean for the area. “My hope is that they will also bring expertise and more specialized equipment. We know that Ocean Spray invests a lot of money in research and development,” he said. “I’m hoping with them in the area they’ll be able to share that information with us and make our industry even better.”

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Kellogg releases global corporate responsibility report

BY Jenna Duncan

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. Kellogg Co. Wednesday released its first global Corporate Responsibility Report, offering a schematic of the company’s future plans, challenges and progress in the areas of community, environment, marketplace and workplace, reports said this week.

“Corporate responsibility has always been at the foundation of Kellogg Co. and a key part of our heritage and culture,” David Mackay, president and CEO of Kellogg Co. said in a statement. “More than a century after our founding, we remain a company consumers rely on to provide consistent, high-quality, great-tasting foods. Now more than ever, it’s important to do so while minimizing environmental impacts and positively addressing global challenges. Our customers, consumers, investors, and other stakeholders expect it of us — and we expect it of ourselves.”

Kellogg Co. said that it based the standards for its global responsibility report on the Global Reporting InitiativeG3 Guidelines used to draw a grid for this type of reporting. Kellogg claims a level of B on the GRI-checked application.

The company has made a commitment to being more environmentally friendly and putting an emphasis on sustainable practices, reports said. For example, Kellogg has set a goal of reducing its energy usage, greenhouse gas emission output, water use and waste by 15% to 20% by 2015. The company is also placing a focus on more support for sustainable agriculture.

The entire report can be found at http://www.kelloggcompany.com/corporateresponsibility.aspx.

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