Tyson seeks waiver from FSIS to modernize Kansas beef plant – Food Safety News

­The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is learning that if you want something, you should ask for it. FSIS wants a beef plant to explore modernization through a waiver process, and Tyson Foods has offered its Holcomb, KS, beef operation as a candidate.

While FSIS reportedly has been working “at a high level” on beef slaughter modernization, there is no 25-year history of pilot projects in beef as there was with poultry and swine.

According to the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), FSIS leadership and the beef industry want to take knives away from inspectors, reduce overall inspection staffing, and support freedom for innovation and flexibility by “letting HACCP work.”

Tyson Foods has submitted a waiver request that involves evaluating slaughter inspection based on its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for the Holcomb production plant.

FSIS is reviewing the waiver request. It cannot adversely affect the safety of the product, FSIS personnel, interfere with inspection procedures, or conflict with the Federal Meat Inspection Act or its associated regulations.

Tyson’s letter to FSIS mentions the lack of a HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) for beef. If granted the waiver, Tyson said its employees could take over postmortem, pre-sort activities, including identifying and trimming out isolated defects and identifying conditions for additional review by a public health veterinarian.

Opponents of these efforts say it amounts to privatizing some of the inspection process. The FSIS insists its personnel are the only people doing inspections required by law.

The FSIS had two roundtable meetings in May 2018 to collect feedback on how the agency could modernize beef inspection. With its final rule on poultry modernization adopted and its swine modernization final rule pending, beef is next up on the agency’s list of tasks.

Tyson operates 12 beef plants, 9 hog facilities and 50 poultry plants.  During 2018, on average Tyson’s beef slaughter was 133,000 head per week.

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China Boosts Beef Imports as Killer Hog Virus Blights Pork – Yahoo Finance

China Boosts Beef Imports as Killer Hog Virus Blights Pork

(Bloomberg) — With African swine fever carving a big chunk out of China’s hog herds, the world’s biggest meat consumer is turning to other types of locally produced and imported protein.

Hefty beef shipments from Australia signal that people in China are already switching away from pork to cattle meat, according to Alyssa Badger, director of global operations at HighGround Dairy in Chicago. And Ireland may increase beef exports to the country as well, she said.

Chinese beef imports have surged, with the world’s largest pork market buying 128,920 tons in April, 75% more than a year earlier. Meanwhile, the price of beef has risen, with one kilogram of meat costing 60.23 yuan, 6% higher than in August when the country reported its first outbreak of the hog disease.

With the increasing cost of beef, people have been shifting to other protein-rich foods such as chicken and eggs. Wens Foodstuffs Group, the biggest pork breeder, has agreed to buy a majority stake in a local chicken producer on expectations that demand will expand given poultry’s relatively lower cost.

At the same time, China’s farmers may be starting to slaughter their own dairy cows for beef, Badger said, noting that the country’s fluid milk and cream imports reached a record high in April.

“With the lower availability of pork and rising chicken prices, culling domestic cows seems sensible,” she said.

(Adds beef imports and prices in third paragraph.)

–With assistance from Niu Shuping.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lydia Mulvany in Chicago at lmulvany2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net, Reg Gale, Joe Carroll

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Beef thieves allegedly packed $100's worth of coveted Japanese Wagyu beef inside a purse, ran from Berkeley store – KGO-TV

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) — Shoplifters in Berkeley allegedly stole hundreds of dollars’ worth of high-quality Japanese beef.

The owner of the Tokyo Fish Market caught one of the suspects stuffing the beef inside a purse.

Looking around and moving fast these alleged thieves were was caught stealing around $300 dollars’ worth of pristine Japanese beef, also known as Wagyu.

The Japanese A5 Wagyu is hard to come by and the owner of Berkley’s Tokyo Fish Market believes the alleged thieves knew this.

“This piece of meat right here is $89.99 a pound,” said Guy Crims from The Butcher Shop in San Francisco.

The owner of Tokyo’s Fish Market said his employees confronted the alleged thieves, but they denied the allegations. Minutes later they were caught on camera running out of the store and handing off the purse with the beef to a third person.

The store owner who did not want to be identified said he filed a police report and confirmed other thieves also tried to steal Wagyu beef this week but left empty-handed.

“He ordered like $250 worth of stuff and then we gave him that and ice and it was easy to spot it because it was pretty big. 5-10 minutes later someone else was holding it,” said Tokyo’s Fish Market

“The Butcher Shop” in San Francisco is the largest retailer of Japanese A5 Wagyu in the Western Hemisphere. Guy Crims is the managing partner of the coveted beef shop and says this type of beef is like fine wine.

“The reason why is so expensive is because it’s imported over from Japan. It’s flown into the United States and the amount of production is very low. This particular type of Wagyu is only about 100 animals who are sold for export every year,” said Crims.

After this incident, Tokyo’s Fish Market changed its policy and now customers have to pay for the beef before picking it up from the deli. Some employees believe the thieves might have not even enjoyed the beef the right way.

“I mean the only thing is that if they didn’t bring ice it probably melt it by the time they ran away with it,” said Wong.

Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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E. Coli Beef Outbreak Hospitalizes Hundreds – Fatherly

Nearly 200 people have been infected by the E. coli outbreak that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes is linked to ground beef, spurring a massive nationwide recall.

“A total of 196 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from 10 states,” the CDC explained in an update on Monday. “Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground beef is the likely source of this outbreak… Some ground beef has been recalled, but more product contaminated with E. coli O103 may still be on the market or in freezers.”


The outbreak, which began on March 28 when E. coli was detected in a restaurant in Tennessee, has affected the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.

So far, no deaths have been reported but 28 people have been hospitalized due to the outbreak, two of which had a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. Officials urge people who have consumed ground beef to contact their healthcare provider if they exhibit symptoms of E. coli which include stomach cramps and diarrhea.

While the CDC has yet to identify the specific source of the contamination, two companies have announced recalls to date:

  • Grant Park Packing recalled 53,200 pounds of bulk raw ground beef products which were shipped to Minnesota and Kentucky.
  • K2D Foods (known as Colorado Premium Foods) recalled 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef products which were shipped to cities in Florida and Georgia for use in restaurants.

For more information on the recalls or the outbreak, customers can visit the CDC’s website or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.


The CDC said that it is continuing to investigate the outbreak. However, in the meantime, the agency advises people to make sure they’re handling and storing ground beef properly and never eating raw or undercooked meat.

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McDonald's Drops Signature-Crafted Burgers In Favor of Fresh Beef – Drovers Magazine

Say goodbye to McDonald’s Signature Crafted burgers, including Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon and Maple Bacon Dijon, as the restaurant focuses on providing fresh beef options to its customers.

“Our customers have said they love our fresh beef. With our new Quarter Pounder Deluxe and Quarter Pounder Bacon, we’ve introduced even more ways to enjoy the classic burger toppings they know and love, now on the fresh beef Quarter Pound patty. Based on their feedback, we’ll move away from the Signature Crafted Recipes line on our national menu. Our fresh new Quarter Pounder lineup brings customers more of the craveable, customizable and delicious tastes they love,” according to a statement on McDonald’s website.

The Signature Crafted line was introduced two years ago. The move to focus on core products with updated ingredients is intended to appeal to millennials and help the restaurant compete with other premium burger chains.

Livestock producers have watched the chain closely to see how it plans to move ahead with recent sustainability goals. In December, McDonald’s announced a policy to reduce the overall use of antibiotics important to human health, which applies across 85% of the company’s global beef supply chain. Read more from Drovers: “McDonald’s Announces Antibiotic Policy For Beef.”

“They’ve had success with fresh beef,” Robert Derrington, a senior restaurant analyst at the Telsey Advisory Group, told USA Today. “It appears they don’t need to supplement the higher end of their menu. Instead, they can do that successfully with their core products with updated ingredients.”

Technology is transforming restaurant ordering

If you’ve not been to McDonalds lately, you might also see some changes to how you can order your burger. Customers can choose directly interaction with employees, individual self-ordering kiosks, or the company’s mobile app.

McDonalds just announced a partnership with Dynamic Yield, Ltd., that will enable drive-thru menu displays to show menu options based on the time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending items. The technology can also suggest and display additional menu items for the customer, based on their current selections.

McDonalds plans to add this technology to drive-thru restaurants this year, and then expand the technology to other top international markets.

Related Articles:

McDonald’s Announces Antibiotic Policy For Beef

McDonald’s Flips to Fresh Beef in 3,500 U.S. Restaurants

$8 McDonald’s Wagyu Burger Underwhelms in Australia

McDonald’s Introduces ‘McVegan’ to International Menu

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Ground beef likely cause of 6-state food poisoning outbreak, officials say – WDSU New Orleans

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  1. Ground beef likely cause of 6-state food poisoning outbreak, officials say  WDSU New Orleans
  2. Food-poisoning outbreak that has sickened over 100 people in 6 states is likely from ground beef  NBCNews.com
  3. CDC blames ground beef on mystery E. Coli outbreak that sickened dozens of people in 6 states  Washington Post
  4. E. coli mystery solved: Ground beef is source of outbreak, CDC says  CNN
  5. View full coverage on Google News

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Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper is 0% beef. That’s a big deal. – Vox.com

Plant-based meat just went mainstream.

Starting April 1, Burger King is selling a new kind of Whopper that it claims is identical in taste to its traditional beef patty, with just one difference: It contains zero beef.

No, that’s not an April Fools’ joke (though some people, including in the Vox newsroom, wondered if it might be).

The new beefless burger is a partnership with the startup company Impossible Foods, which will supply patties made with heme, a protein cultivated from soybean roots that mimics the texture of meat — convincingly, by the sounds of it.

“People on my team who know the Whopper inside and out, they try it and they struggle to differentiate which one is which,” Fernando Machado, Burger King’s chief marketing officer, told the New York Times.

This is a huge deal for those who want to see meat alternatives replace actual meat because of concerns over animal cruelty or climate change. If this scales up, it could help save hundreds of thousands of animals from suffering on factory farms, and it could fight global warming by reducing the number of methane-producing cattle. It could also combat other problems like antibiotic resistance.

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Burger King is giving the Impossible Burger a trial run in 59 restaurants in the St. Louis area, and if that goes well, the fast-food chain will make the product available in all its 7,200 branches across the US, according to Machado. That could signal the start of a noticeable drop in meat consumption nationwide if other chains follow Burger King’s lead. Which they are reasonably likely to do.

White Castle has already begun selling a slider version of the patty produced by Impossible Foods. And in January, Carl’s Jr. restaurants started offering a veggie burger made by another plant-based meat company, Beyond Meat.

It may seem counterintuitive for meat-focused chains to get in on the alternative meat movement (which is part of why Burger King’s announcement struck some as a prank). But it’s just good business sense. Consumers are increasingly seeking out meat alternatives, and if a chain can provide alternatives that are both delicious and cheap — the Impossible Whopper will cost $1 more than a regular burger — it stands to turn a big profit.

Burger King is not alone in trying to corner the protein market this way. Some of the country’s biggest meat companies are investing in meat alternatives, as my colleague Kelsey Piper has written: “The meat industry has to some extent ceased to regard them as a competitor and started considering them a possible future for meat. … As Tyson’s then-CEO Tom Hayes told Fortune last summer, ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?’”

For a startup like Impossible Foods, the benefit of partnering with Burger King is obvious: The chain can sell Impossible’s plant-based product at scale and help normalize the practice of going meatless.

But by working with such a chain, Impossible Foods may also be courting controversy.

Because Burger King is by no means going to stop producing beef burgers, some might argue that teaming up with it wrongly gives it the sheen of moral legitimacy. This is the argument some made when Tyson teamed up with Beyond Meat.

And lest anyone be confused by the “0% beef” label affixed to the new Impossible Whopper, it’s important to note: This meal isn’t vegan. That’s because Burger King douses it in the same mayo it uses on its regular Whoppers.

The unlikely alliance of Burger King and Impossible Foods, like the alliance of Tyson and Beyond Meat, is a strategic choice to prioritize scaling up, even if it means making some compromises along the way. The implicit wager is that this gambit will ultimately prove worthwhile because it’ll help alternative meat take off way faster than it could’ve done without a boost from big players.

With the Impossible Whopper now on offer, we’ll see whether that bet pays off.

Sign up for the Future Perfect newsletter. Twice a week, you’ll get a roundup of ideas and solutions for tackling our biggest challenges: improving public health, decreasing human and animal suffering, easing catastrophic risks, and — to put it simply — getting better at doing good

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Beef + Lamb New Zealand Unveils Multi-Million Dollar U.S. Campaign – Drovers Magazine

A campaign has been launched in California by farmers from New Zealand to promote grass-fed, pasture-raised beef and lamb.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand, an agriculture group supporting beef and sheep raisers in New Zealand, announced on March 20 it is kicking off its U.S. advertising campaign in California. The producer-led initiative will feature online advertisements, internet video commercials, social media, public relations and a website with recipe information. Beef + Lamb New Zealand plans to spend several millions of dollars on the campaign. 

The campaign will feature grass-fed meat under New Zealand’s Taste Pure Nature labeling. The program includes a partnership with New Zealand retail brands:

  • Atkins Ranch, the largest North American supplier of lamb.
  • First Light, grass-fed Wagyu beef brand that was recently crowned the gold winner at the World Steak Challenge in London.
  • The Lamb Company, 100% grass-fed and finished lamb that is Non-GMO Project Verified.

“We are delighted to partner with leading brands and companies from New Zealand to increase consumer excitement and drive discovery for the incredible quality and taste of our grass-fed beef and lamb products,” says Andrew Morrison, Chairman, Beef + Lamb New Zealand. “New Zealand sheep and cattle are raised in a farming paradise with rolling green hills surrounded by an expansive ocean and fresh, clean air, and we believe this results in the best grass-fed meat.”

New Zealand is a significant importer of beef and veal to the U.S. sending 572,313,000 lb. of beef and veal to the U.S during 2018, according to data from USDA. During that time New Zealand ranked third in beef and veal imports to the U.S. behind Australia and Canada, respectively.

For lamb and mutton, New Zealand ranks second for import totals to the U.S. sending nearly 53 million lb. during 2018. Australia has nearly triple that number in lamb and mutton imports with 149 million lb. last year.

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Trump Starts Twitter Beef With Ann Coulter – Rolling Stone

It appears as though the divorce is final. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday and blasted former ally and extreme right-winger Ann Coulter.

Trump reverted back to a tried and true diss method of his that has come to signal there is no going back–the dreaded demeaning nickname. For Coulter he used: “Wacky Nut Job,” tweeting, “Wacky Nut Job Ann Coulter, who still hasn’t figured out that, despite all odds and an entire Democrat Party of Far Left Radicals against me (not to mention certain Republicans who are sadly unwilling to fight), I am winning on the Border. Major sections of Wall are being built…”

The president continued in another tweet:

….and renovated, with MUCH MORE to follow shortly. Tens of thousands of illegals are being apprehended (captured) at the Border and NOT allowed into our Country. With another President, millions would be pouring in. I am stopping an invasion as the Wall gets built. #MAGA”

The political relationship hit the rocks in January when Coulter did not agree with the president reopening the government without getting funding for the border wall. At the time, Coulter blasted Trump on any outlet that would have her, including during an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. She also took to Twitter calling the president a “wimp” writing, “Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.”

We likely should have known it was over because not long after Coulter scolded the president everywhere she could, he unfollowed her on Twitter. And we all know how important that social platform is to this president.

In This Article:
Ann Coulter, Donald Trump

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