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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

800kg Of Fresh Meats For Vacation Confiscated From Chareidi Group At The Swiss Border

August 15, 2019 from Yeshiva World:

"A group of chareidim from England and Belgium on their way to vacation were apprehended at the border crossing between Switzerland and Germany with 800kg (1,763 pounds) of fresh meat. The meat was intended for their bein hazmanim vacation. They were compelled to pay tens of thousands of euros in fines, and the meat was confiscated and destroyed."

"Thousands of Jews from around the world will be heading to Switzerland during bein hazmanim, taking advantage of one of the many vacation venues offered. Chareidim often bring along food for a number of reasons, mainly due to the high price one is required to pay in Switzerland."

"Two full buses of chassidim from London and Antwerp were heading to their vacation destination in Switzerland. They brought food for the two-week vacation. When they arrived at the border crossing, the inspector requested to open the baggage compartments of the buses. To the surprise of the inspectors, they found 800kg of fresh meats and poultry. According to the law, they may not bring them into Switzerland."

"The meats and poultry were confiscated, and the travelers were fined tens of thousands of euros. The names of the heads of families were recorded as well, and it is likely that they will be charged with trying to illegally smuggle illegal meats into the country."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W935

StarKist to Court: Fine Will Break Us

August 9, 2019 from Food Processing News
"StarKist’s lawyer says it can’t afford the criminal fine and other financial consequences of its price-fixing, and may go bankrupt if it tries to pay."
"StarKist agreed last fall to plead guilty to price-fixing charges brought by the U.S Justice Department against it and competitors. The suit charged that the companies planned “to fix, raise and maintain” the cost of canned tuna and other seafood, but the charging papers did not give details."
Starkist's lawyer "Lynch complained to the federal judge overseeing the case that the government was inflexible in its demand for the $100 million maximum fine. He asked that the fine be reduced to $50 million to help StarKist avoid bankruptcy and pay potential creditors in the civil cases."
"A Justice Department lawyer suggested that StarKist could sell or borrow against a packaging subsidiary owned by its parent company, but StarKist maintains it is unable to do so."
"Bumble Bee Foods, a StarKist competitor caught in the price-fixing case, is having trouble paying its fine of $25 million. The company has hired a turnaround firm to help it restructure its debts."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W934

San Francisco International Airport banning plastic bottle sales

August 03, 2019 from https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/456069-san-francisco-international-airport-banning-plastic-bottles-sales" target='th'>The Hill:

"The San Francisco International Airport, one of the largest airports in the country, announced it will ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles later this month."

"Starting Aug. 20, tenants, vendors and permittees will be prohibited from providing or selling “bottled water in containers that contain plastic or aseptic paper packaging, including in vending machines."

"Reusable water bottles, recyclable aluminum, glass and certified compostable water bottles can instead be provided or sold

"The airport added that the ban will apply to purified water, mineral water, carbonated water and electrolyte-enhanced water but will exempt flavored water." The airport hopes to expand this ban to teas and juices and other flavored beverages.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W933

Kashrus Updates for the 9 Days from Mehadrin Kashrus, NYC

August 02, 2019 from Mehadrin Kashrus

New Amsterdam Burger has just opened under Mehadrin Kashrus supervision. They have a special 9 days menu.
West Side Wok/ Konata (at the location that was formerly Gan Asia) has a 9 days menu.
Kosher Marketplace has an enlarged menu of pareve items for the 9 days.
Boru Boru has closed permanently.
Talia’s has a special fish and parev menu.
Alibaba falafel and salads are pareve and made in separate utensils
Grill 212 has an enlarged pareve selection for the 9 days.
Fairway 74th Street baguettes are under Mehadrin Kashrus supervision and the abelling now indicates that they are certified kosher.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W932

Glatt Meat & Poultry Shortage Expected In Israel During And After The Nine Days

August 2, 2019 a repost from the Yeshiva World:

"A shortage is expected in glatt meats and poultry in Israel in the coming weeks because of two reasons; the decision of the kashrus network not to shecht during the Nine Days and the five days of a Muslim holiday during which the many Muslim workers in slaughterhouses will not be at work."

"The marketing networks have been expecting and fearing a shortage of glatt shechita; both poultry and meats, due to the lack of shechita from the ‘chareidi’ badatzim and the upcoming Muslim holiday which lasts for five days and begins on 10 Av, the day Tisha B’Av is observed this year."

"No shechita will be carried out during the Nine Days, affecting the various ‘badatz’ hechsherim, in line with the ruling of the Rema that one should not shecht during the Nine Days as poultry and meat are not eaten by ashkenazim."

"For most badatz hechsherim, the policy is not new, but one that has been in place in past years. In addition, the Muslims observe the 'Feast of the Sacrifice' and combined with the Nine Days, there will be a shortage of meat and poultry in the coming weeks. The Feast of the Sacrifice is observed from Sunday, August 11, 2019 until Thursday, August 15, 2019."

"While the shortage will primarily impact fresh supply, some stores may have a quantity of frozen products in storage for the coming weeks."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W931

Settlement wines cannot be labeled ‘Made in Israel,’ Canadian court rules

July 29, 2019 - from TimesofIsrael:

"Canada’s Federal Court on Monday ruled that wines produced by Israelis in the West Bank can no longer be labeled as 'Made in Israel.”'

"Challenging a previous decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Judge Anne L. Mactavish determined that labels describing wines made in the settlements as Israeli products are 'false, misleading and deceptive.' "

In her ruling, she did not take a position on how exactly such wines should be labeled, saying this was for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to decide."

"Mactavish also noted that settlements are not considered part of the State of Israel, as Canada does not recognize Israeli sovereignty beyond the pre-1967 borders."

"The Canadian case started in early 2017, when David Kattenburg, a Winnipeg-based university lecturer and self-declared “wine lover,” filed a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency about the fact that wines made in Israeli settlements were labeled as 'Products of Israel.'"

"Kattenburg, who is Jewish, reasoned that since Canada does not recognize the settlements as part of sovereign Israel, labeling wines produced there as Israeli violated consumer protection laws.

"The Food Inspection Agency initially agreed and removed wines produced by the Shiloh and Psagot companies from store shelves. But after pressure from B’nai Brith Canada, which was recognized by the court as an “intervener” on behalf of the settlements, the decision was rescinded and the wines were made available again. One of the arguments from the decision underlined that the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement applies in “the territory where the customs laws of Israel are applied,” including the West Bank."

"Kattenburg appealed the agency’s decision, and the case was brought to the Federal Court in Ottawa."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W930

Bumble Bee loan default forces restructuring

July 29, 2019 - from SeafoodSource:

"U.S.A.-based Bumble Bee Foods has defaulted on its major operating loan."

"Bumble Bee has been in technical default since the end of March 2019, but its lenders have agreed to a forbearance period, allowing the company to continue its efforts to restructure itself to regain its profitability."

"Bumble Bee has struggled to abide by the terms of the loan as it pays off a criminal fine and additional millions in civil settlements for its involvement in a conspiracy to fix the prices of canned tuna sold in the United States between 2011 and 2013. The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to lower the amount of the criminal fine to USD 25 million (EUR 22.8 million) to protect the company from insolvency."

"Bumble Bee refinanced 100 percent of its debt in August 2017, after its guilty plea in the criminal case. At the time, it held a five-year, USD 200 million (EUR 169 million) asset-based revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance acting as the administrative agent, as well as a six-year, USD 650 million (EUR 550 million) loan with Brookfield Principal Credit as the administrative agent."

"The company faces further financial constraints in the form of an agreement with the DOJ that its criminal fine will increase in the event it is sold. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W929

Manischewitz to be Acquired by Kenover Marketing

July 29, 2019 - from Kosher Today:

"Two of the leading US kosher food companies announced today that they “have reached an understanding for a transaction whereby Kenover Marketing Corp. (d/b/a Kayco) will acquire all of the kosher food business of Manischewitz.” The transaction will exclude the Season brand of products that Manischewitz had acquired many years ago. Both companies acknowledged that they are operating business as usual and will honor outstanding commitments. According to a statement released on Monday, the companies look forward to concluding this transaction in the near future at which time they will issue a public announcement with further details."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W928

Tainted bottled water is being sold at supermarkets throughout New England

July 29, 2019 - from the Boston Globe:

"Nearly a month after spring water from a Haverhill company was found tainted with toxic chemicals, its gallon-sized jugs are still stocked on supermarket shelves across New England, despite a health advisory from state health officials that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and infants should not consume the water."

"Last month, as officials in New Hampshire were completing new standards to reduce exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, part of a national push to tighten their regulation, they decided to conduct a random sampling of bottled water sold at supermarkets in the state, something rarely done."

"The results showed that water from Spring Hill Farm Dairy in Haverhill had sharply elevated levels of the human-made chemicals, known as PFAS, which have been linked to kidney cancer, low-infant birth weight, and a range of diseases."

July 2, 2019 Bottled Water Consumption Advisory and list of recalled water from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W927

Canada’s food inspection agency cracks down on fake honey

July 25, 2019 - from CP24 and CFIA:

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) published earlier this month the results of a 14 week-long investigation of honey products sold in the country."

"Out of the 240 samples, 52 imported honeys contained some foreign sugars. Meanwhile, all locally-produced honey passed the test." he samples were collected across the country from importers, brokers, distributors, domestic processing facilities and retailers between June and September 2018. The products sampled include bulk honey intended for processing, retailed packaged honey and products presented as containing only honey or blends of honey from multiple sources. The agency stated that selling and misrepresenting fake honey is considered food fraud. "All foods in Canada, including honey, must be safe for consumption and truthfully represented. Some of the samples that had foreign sugars came from countries like India, Vietnam, Greece, Pakistan, and Germany. As of January 2019, the CFIA has prevented an estimated 12,700 kilogram of fake honey valued at more than $76,000 from entering the Canadian market. The CFIA noted the data might not represent the full Canadian marketplace. The honey products targeted due to their history of non-compliance, gaps in preventive controls, or unusual trading patterns.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W926
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