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Report: Costco calls for more attention to cantaloupe safety

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Costco Wholesale is calling on the farms that grow cantaloupes and the companies that ship them to be more vigilant in preventing contamination amid one of the deadliest outbreaks of foodborne disease in recent history, according to published reports.

The New York Times quoted Costco food safety head Craig Wilson as saying the cantaloupe industry needed to change its ways, noting that Costco is regarded for its expertise in food safety. Wilson said the Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer would probably require testing of melons for pathogens and that the industry should find new ways to remove contaminants.

On Sept. 14, Granada, Colo.-based Jensen Farms recalled its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes following a multistate outbreak of listeriosis, a deadly disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. On Sept. 19, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed the presence of the bacteria in samples of the cantaloupes. Since then, 72 people have become sick and 13 have died.

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Yoplait celebrates New York with sample giveaway

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Yogurt brand Yoplait announced that, as part of its new campaign that celebrates New York, the company will host sampling efforts of its Yoplait Original yogurt.

Yoplait said it plans to give out about 50,000 free cups of Yoplait Original yogurt with help from New York fashion students that will serve as Yoplait New York “style and substance samplers,” beginning the morning of Oct. 4. Yoplait samplers can be found from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the following locations:

 

  • Oct. 4: Broadway at Fulton St., W. Houston St., and W. Broadway at Broome St.;

  • Oct. 5: Columbus Circle, Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal;

  • Oct. 11: Grand Central Terminal, Union Square East at 4th Ave., and Greeley Square; and

  • Oct. 12: Lexington Ave/59 St., Lexington Ave/53 St., and Penn Station.

“At Yoplait, we realize that a New York woman is a special kind of woman. She embodies strength and style in all that she does,” said Seth Pederson, integrated marketing communications manager at General Mills. “With this campaign we salute New York women and hope to make their lives just a bit easier with a cup of Yoplait Original, an easy and delicious way to get the 50% of the calcium and vitamin D they need each day.”

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Fresh & Easy caters to gluten-intolerant customers with new products, mobile-accessible list

BY Allison Cerra

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy announced that it has doubled its gluten-free product range, the supermarket chain announced Wednesday.

To help customers find these gluten-free items — including cereals, oatmeal, baking mixes, grab-and-go snacks, pretzels, cookies, crackers, soups, pastas and condiments — Fresh & Easy has added a QR code to in-store signage so that customers may view a mobile-friendly version of the chain’s gluten-free products list once the code is scanned on their mobile device. In addition, Fresh & Easy maintains a "Gluten-Aware Product List" on its website.

"As more and more shoppers seek out gluten-free options, we are happy to expand our offering and become more of a destination for gluten-free items," Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason said. "We understand it can be a challenge to locate gluten-free products, so we’ve created an easy, one-stop shopping experience for our customers."

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