Editorial

 

Shareholder Litigation over Chipotle Foodborne Infections Initiated

Aug 24, 2016

    

Details relating to the sequence of foodborne outbreaks from August through December 2015 involving two bacterial and one viral pathogen are becoming apparent from complaints accompanying Federal lawsuits.

  

On Monday August 8th, a bellwether plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court alleging that Chipotle executives failed to exercise their managerial responsibilities with regard to preventing foodborne disease and also that they unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of shareholders.  Co-CEOs Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran and eight other executives are named in the complaint.

The Plaintiffs are also seeking reforms in corporate governance and changes to internal procedures to protect shareholders.

The individual outbreaks and factors relating to their causation included:

  • An August 2015 norovirus outbreak occurred in Hazel Dell, WA.  A worker who phoned in sick was told to report for duty despite vomiting and being clinically unwell.
  • A norovirus outbreak during mid-August 2015 was attributed to two employees in a Simi Valley, CA restaurant who worked while suffering from an acute gastrointestinal illness.  The restaurant was shut down and sanitized before health officials were informed of the situation. The outbreak resulted in 234 diagnosed cases of norovirus infection.
  • In August and September of 2015 cases of salmonellosis were traced back to Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota.
  • A multi-state outbreak of E. coli infection attributed presumptively to contaminated produce in late October was traced to Chipotle restaurants resulting in closure of 43 locations in Oregon and Washington State in early November.
  • A norovirus outbreak occurred in 141students who dined at a restaurant located near Boston College.
  • During December E. coli outbreaks were attributed to consuming food at Chipotle restaurants in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The lawsuit alleges that Chipotle failed to implement effective state-of-the art procedures as used by other restaurants with respect to their supply chain and methods of in-store food preparation which could have limited the possibility of food borne infection.  It was also alleged that the company failed to maintain books and records of restaurant operation and foodborne illness outbreaks.

CHICK-CITE and EGG-CITE have previously commented on the epidemiology and causation of foodborne infections attributed to Chipotle Mexican Grill.  The granting of liberal and frequent share options to Ells and Moran and other executives was highlighted in a posting which quantified the magnitude and frequency of the sale of shares granted by the Board.

The outcome of this and other lawsuits will have a bearing on the fiduciary responsibility of boards of directors and of senior management with respect to application of known principles of food safety.  Given the disclosures in the complaints, and reports from the CDC and business publications the announcements concerning appointment of qualified senior personnel to manage food safety is reassuring.

There have been no reported cases of foodborne disease attributed to dining at Chipotle restaurants in 2016 to date indicating improvements to the supply chain and procedures.

   

Poultry Industry News

 

Sanderson Farms Reports on Q3 of FY 2016

Aug 26, 2016

    

In a press release dated August 25th 2016, Sanderson farms Inc. (SAFM) announced results for the 3rd Quarter of Fiscal 2016 ending July 31st.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)

  

   
 

Job Posting -- National Director, Humane Heartland-Farm Animal Welfare Program -- Humane Heartland

Aug 26, 2016

    

American Humane Association seeks a National Director of Humane Heartland to serve as program head of its national farm animal welfare audit and education services program, working in association with farmers/ranchers, agricultural industry trade organizations, meat, dairy and egg trade organizations, retailers, food service, chefs, farm animal equipment manufacturers, veterinarians and academics specializing in farm animal science, legislators and regulators, media, and consumers.  This position is based at American Humane headquarters in Washington DC.

  

Founded in 1877, American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization.  American Humane created the first third party farm animal welfare program in the United States and the American Humane Certified program is the largest such program, ensuring humane treatment of farm animals.

Position summary:  

Serves as program leader for the first and largest third party farm animal welfare audit program in the nation, the American Humane Certified program, under American Humane Association’s Humane Heartland program. Seeks to educate farmers/ranchers as well as retailers on the value of third party certification of good animal welfare practices and to educate consumers and children on the taste, nutritional and quality benefits of humanely raised food. 

Responsibilities:

  • Leadership of American Humane Association’s Humane Heartland program and staff
  • National and international spokesperson for the program, reflecting the mission and values of American Humane Association
  • Program expansion across species to additional producers and processors
  • Oversight of independent auditors, ensuring proper credentialing, experience, knowledge of AHA farm animal welfare standards, availability and professionalism
  • Works to differentiate AHA and the American Humane Certified program from other third party certification programs and welfare organizations with food agendas
  • Works collaboratively with directors of other AHA programs
  • Provision of ongoing education, team building and career development for program staff
  • Accountability for fiscal management of the program; responsible for creating, monitoring and possessing a thorough understanding of program budget; controls for variances and cash flow, balancing revenue and expenditures
  • Initiates and oversees all program contractual agreements with certified producers and with manufacturers in the Seal of Approval program
  • Selects annual trade shows and industry meetings to attend to maximize opportunities to meet influential people and companies
  • Meets with major certified producers annually
  • Seeks and delivers public speaking engagements, radio and TV interviews and uses social networking, coordinating public appearances with AHA’s communications strategy and Communications department
  • Provides stories, data and content for use on website, appeals, funding proposals, projects and general public information
  • Monitors national and international farm animal health and welfare trends as well as legislative and regulatory activity and keeps senior management updated on emerging issues
  • Ensures that all program and informational materials and web site are up to date and reflective of best practices
  • Leads by example, adapting to a continually evolving environment and helping others thrive in a results-oriented workplace
  • With veterinary advisors, ensures that animal welfare standards and guidelines reflect new research and technology; directs development of new standards for additional species to be audited and certified; provides for oversight of the Scientific Advisory Committee to ensure judicious use of their expertise, volunteer time and energy

Essential experience, knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Diversity of experience in some or all of the following fields: agricultural animal health and welfare, agriculture industry (including allied groups), food supply chain, marketing and sales, government (state or national), principles and practices associated with animal welfare including animal husbandry, humane education and employee training.
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; active listening
  • Adept at building collaborative relationships and demonstrating diplomacy with diverse constituencies, including farmers/ranchers, trade organizations, retailers, food services and academics
  • Demonstrated ability to provide effective and timely leadership decisions
  • Ability to run a successful business or program, including budget management

Physical demands and work environment:  

  • Extensive travel, often to remote locations
  • Exposure to barns with intensive animal production
  • Exposure to bio secure environments, requiring donning of protective gear

Employees are expected to adhere to all organizational policies and to act as role models, demonstrating American Humane Association’s core values:

  • Compassion
  • Accountability
  • Respect for all
  • Loyalty to mission
  • Sustainability
  • Honesty, integrity, trust

To apply, please email resume and cover letter to humanresources@americanhumane.org

American Humane Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer

   
 

Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

Aug 24, 2016

    

The August 16th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 28.9 million eggs in incubators on August 1st 2016, up 7.0 percent from August 1st 2015. There were 24.8 million poults hatched in July 2016, up 8.0 percent from July 2015. During the past month, 24.4 million poults were placed, 7 percent more than in July 2015.

The August 12th edition of the USDA Turkey Market News Report (Vol. 63: No.32) confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-

  • For the processing week ending August 6th 1.974 million young hens were slaughtered at a live weight of 7.37 kg (7.15 kg last week). During the corresponding week in 2015, 1.793 million hens were processed. Ready-to-cook hen weight for the week attained 11,889 metric tons, 11.8 percent above the corresponding week of 2015 depressed by HPAI losses in the Midwest. Dressing percentage was 80.5. Year-to-date RTC hen production has attained 361,816 metric tons, 13.5 percent above YTD 2015.
  • For the processing week ending August 6th 2.554 million toms were slaughtered at 17.22 kg (17.50 kg last week) compared to 2.410 million toms during the previous week. For the corresponding week in 2015, 2.225 million toms were processed. Ready-to-cook tom weight for the past week attained 37,980 metric tons, 13.8 percent more than in the corresponding week of 2015 depressed by HPAI losses in the Midwest.  Dressing percentage was 80.5.Year-to-date RTC tom production has attained 1,107,212 metric tons, 1.5 percent more than YTD 2015.                                                                                           
 

   
 

Status of 2016 Corn and Soybean Crops

Aug 24, 2016

    

The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday 22nd August indicated a continued favorable trend in corn and soybean crops in 18 states, expressed in the table below:-

                                                                            WEEK ENDING

Crop

August 14th

August 21st

5-Year Average

Corn dough

       73

 81

76

Corn dented

        21

             40

             35

Soybeans Blooming

        95

           100

           100

Soybeans setting pods

        80

89

             85

 

Crop Condition:

Crop

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn

2

 5

18

54

21 slightly changed

Soybeans

2

5

21

55

17 slightly changed

The prospects for corn and soybean growth and yield depend on adequate soil moisture. USDA reported data for 48 contiguous states which shows only minor changes from the previous week, as shown in the table below:-

                                Moisture Classification (%) for Week Ending August 21st.  

 

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil

      8

19

61

12

Subsoil

7

20

64

 9

   
   
 

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

Aug 24, 2016

    

The August 17th 2016 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 172 million  day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending August 13th, one percent more compared to the corresponding week in 2015.

Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 178 million. Average hatchability was 84 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Cumulative placements for the period January 9th through August 13th amounted to 5.70 billion chicks, one percent more than the corresponding period in 2015.

  

For the processing week ending August 13th 162.697 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 2.80kg (2.75 kg. last week) and a yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 0.4 percent lower than the corresponding processing week in 2015 and was 0.2 percent less than the previous week.   Year-to-date (YTD) slaughter of broilers attained 5.101 billion, 1.4 percent higher than YTD 2015.  Processed (RTC) broiler production attained 10.797 million metric tons YTD, 2.7 percent above YTD in 2015 indicating proportionately higher live weights.

   
 

Development of an Imaging System for “Wooden Breast”

Aug 24, 2016

    

Dr. Brian Bowker of the USDA-ARS Russell Research Center has submitted a research report on a completed study to detect “wooden breast” defects in fillets. Research was funded as Project 694 by USPOULTRY.  The investigation involved non-destructive evaluation of fillets applying optical coherence tomography to identify defects.  The study showed that 3D imaging is able to categorize fillets affected by the “wooden breast” condition with 90 to 95 percent sensitivity.

  

The study forms the basis of further research to develop scanning equipment which could identify and segregate affected product on-line to maintain uniform quality.

   
 

Foster Farms Appoints President and CEO

Aug 24, 2016

    

Laura Flanagan has been appointed president and CEO of Foster Farms effective August 29, 2016. Ms. Flanagan succeeds Ron Foster, retiring grandson of company founders Max and Verda Foster.

In announcing the appointment Foster commented “The Board unanimously selected Laura Flanagan as the ideal executive to guide Foster Farms during a time of significant growth.”  He added “She has an impressive record of transforming and growing household consumer brands across an ever-shifting landscape.”

Ms. Flanagan was most recently the president of the ConAgra Foods, Snacks Division and previously the president of the ConAgra Convenient Meals Division from 2008 to 2011.

This appointment clearly indicates the direction for Foster Farms which recognizes product diversity as a future generator of margins and profit.

Based in Livingston, CA Foster Farms has 12,000 employees and operates facilities in California, Oregon and Washington State in addition to Farmerville, Louisiana and Demopolis, Alabama.

 

Laura Flanagan

   
 

Cobb-Vantress Announces Promotion of Mike Pruitt

Aug 24, 2016

    

Mike Pruitt has succeeded Randy Vardemann as Senior Vice President of Support Services and Pedigree Production. 

Joel Sappenfield president of Cobb-Vantress stated “Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role as he has served in senior leadership roles with OK Foods, ConAgra and Foster Farms before joining Cobb three years ago as General Manager for North America.

  

   
 

Free Food Has Variable Promotional Benefit

Aug 24, 2016

    

Recently Shake Shack which has been experiencing diminishing same-store sales initiated a free- burger promotion on August 16th to mark the opening of their 100th Shake Shack at the Boston Seaport.  The company offered a free meal for the first 100 guest at all locations.

Market analysts noted that “free food” promotions have very little long-term impact.  Shake Shack has a 52-week share price range of $30.00 to $56.69 and closed at $35.55 on Wednesday 24th.  In the announcement of second quarter results on August 10th Shake Shack posted an increase in same-store sales of 4.5 percent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2015.

  

In contrast Chipotle Mexican Grill embarked on a series of promotions and the introduction of a loyalty program in 2015 which apparently have not moved the needle on increased traffic, earnings or share price.

   
 

Alltech Offers Positions in Corporate Career Development Program

Aug 24, 2016

    

Alltech Inc. has announced positions for the Fifth Annual Alltech Corporate Career Development Program.  Graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees are invited to apply to the program from August 15th through September 30th.

  

Dr. Aoife Lyons, Director of Educational Engagement at Alltech commented “This is a life-changing opportunity for recent graduates to interact with colleagues from other countries, to develop both their technical and interpersonal skills, and share innovative ideas.”  She added “Previous Career Development Program members have worked in a variety of areas, including internal auditing, marketing and event promotion.  Alltech strives to match successful applicants’ interests with the Company’s global needs.”

The 12-month, salaried, full-time mentorship program commences with an intensive three-month training period at Alltech’s Global Headquarters in Nicholasville, KY where graduates will study sustainable energy, communications, marketing and international business.  Thereafter they will continue training and development in a designated Company office guided by senior management.   

For further information access the Alltech Corporate Career Development Program website www.education.alltech.com/alltech-corporate-career-development-program.

   
 

Perdue Farms Awards $70,000 in Scholarships

Aug 24, 2016

    

Perdue Farms has announced that $70,000 will be awarded in 2016 from the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation for scholarships to the children of Perdue associates and farm families.  Each of the students will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship to undertake study in a variety of curriculums including pre-veterinary, pre-medicine, engineering, education and agricultural sciences.  Four children of independent contract farmers will also receive scholarships for similar fields of study. 

  

The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation is the charitable arm of Perdue Farms and was established in 1957 by company founder, Arthur W. Perdue and is funded through the estates of Arthur W. Perdue and Frank Perdue.

   
 

Aviagen Delivers Parent Stock to Albania

Aug 24, 2016

    

In a company release dated August 15th, Aviagen Kft., established in Albania to multiply parent stock, delivered the first consignment to Albania Driza Ltd.

Aviagen Kft. will offer producers in the region a high level of technical service to support parent stock production.

  

   
 

Fire at NCSU Poultry Farm

Aug 24, 2016

    

News reports have characterized a fire at the North Carolina State University Poultry Science Farm as occurring in a “laboratory”.  In actuality the fire was restricted to a compost shed.

   

The cause of the conflagration which was easily controlled with no loss to either poultry houses, flocks or any injury to personnel is under investigation but given the nature of the product stored, it may be presumed that spontaneous combustion occurred in the substrate.

   
 

INDUSTRY PIONEER MARVIN JOHNSON PASSES

Aug 24, 2016

Marvin Johnson, Co-founder of the Johnson Family poultry enterprises in Eastern North Carolina has passed at the age of 89.  In 1955, the family interests including Rose Hill Poultry and Raeford Turkey Farms were combined into House of Raeford Farms under the executive management of Marvin Johnson.

For his considerable contributions to the Industry he was initiated into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame in 2003. He was a former president of the National Turkey Federation, the forerunner of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and the North Carolina Poultry Federation. He was an effective entrepreneur and was instrumental in promoting turkey consumption through the entire year and his Company introduced turkey portions and breast products.

Marvin Johnson was known for his fierce independence and involvement in State politics. Later years in his tenure brought him into conflict with regulatory authorities on health and safety issues. In 1998 the USDA-FSIS shut down a South Carolina Plant operated by Raeford Farms resulting in an acrimonious exchange with the Agency followed by litigation leading to resumption of after a two week suspension.

In 2008 the Charlotte Observer ran a series of articles relating to workplace injuries in House of Raeford Plants claiming 130 serious workplace violations in eight years together with allegations that illness and injuries were not adequately recorded.

He was succeeded in leadership by his son Robert in 2010 and was named Chairman Emeritus.

In 2013 House of Raeford closed its turkey production operations including a plant and hatchery in Rose Hill followed in 2014 by closure of a cooking plant. House of Raeford is a significant U.S. broiler producer ranked 8th in the industry, killing approximately 6.0 million birds per week.

   
 

ALDI TO ESTABLISH REGIONAL MID-ATLANTIC DISTRIBUTION CENTER

Aug 24, 2016

    

Aldi announced that it intends erecting a 500,000 square foot distribution center and a regional office near Richmond VA. 

The investment of $57 million will support 30 existing stores and 60 proposed new locations to be erected through 2020.

   
   
 

COLISTIN RESISTANCE GENE IDENTIFIED IN PETS

Aug 24, 2016

    

A report in the AVMA Daily Newsletter documents a case of E.coli infection in a pet-store worker in China.  The isolate carried the mcr-1 plasmid-associated gene. The isolate was recovered from 4 out of 39 dogs and 2 out of 14 cats in the store.  All the isolates were resistant to colistin, cephalosporin, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin. 

In addition it is suspected that the infection from the pet-store worker may have been transmitted horizontally by the patient to contacts within the hospital ward where he was treated.

  

Colistin is seldom used for therapy but is regarded as an antibiotic of last resort to treat carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella spp infections which are important in the context of nosocomial (hospital-related) infections.

   
 

Revised USDA-ERS Projected Poultry Production for 2016 and 2017.

Aug 24, 2016

    

The USDA-Economic Research Service released the projected and forecast projections for broilers and turkeys for 2016 and 2017 respectively on August 16th

Metric values are tabulated below:-

Parameter

2016 (projected)

2017 (forecast)

Difference (%)

Broilers

 

 

 

Production (m. metric tons)

18.635

19,118

+2.6

Consumption (kg per capita)

41.1

41.6

+1.2

Exports (m. metric tons)

3.180*

3.180

           nil

Proportion of production (%)

16.6*

16.6

           nil

 

 

 

 

Turkeys

 

 

 

Production (m. metric tons)

2.720

2.789

+2.5

Consumption (kg per capita)

7.5

7.6

+1.3

Exports (m. metric tons)

0.275*

0.304

       +10.5

Proportion of production (%)

         10.1

10.9

+7.9

*Depressed by import embargos due to HPAI

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook – August 19th 2016

  

   
 

CME Prices

Aug 24, 2016

    

At the close of trading on August 19th CME rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal with values for August 12th reflecting the months as indicated in parentheses were:-

COMMODITY
Corn (cents per bushel)                       Sept.   334      (323)       Dec.    344      (334)       
Soybeans (cents per bushel)              Sept. 1,027     (994)      Nov.  1,004     (983)  
Soybean meal ($ per ton)                    Sept    330       (339)      Dec     326      (329)   

September corn up 3.4 percent   (11 cents per bushel)
September Soybean meal down by 2.7 percent ($9 per ton).

For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn :-

  • The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen
  • The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

  • The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen
  • The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

See posting on the August USDA-WASDE Report #556 for an update on quantities and price projections for commodities

   
   
 

Hormel Reports on Q3 of FY 2016

Aug 24, 2016

    

In a press release dated August 18th. Hormel Foods (HRL) announced results for the   3rd Quarter of Fiscal 2016 ending July 24th.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)

   
   
 

Target Reports on Q2 of FY 2016

Aug 24, 2016

    

In a press release dated August 16th Target Corporation (TGT) announced results for the   2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2016 ending July 30th.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)

  

   
 

Ranking of Chicken QSRs

Aug 24, 2016

    

Fast Food Footnotes has ranked the top nine QSRs serving chicken as their major menu item.  The 2015 ranking is:-

  1. Chick-fil-A
  2. KFC
  3. Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen
  4. Zaxby’s
  5. Bojangles
  6. Church’s Chicken
  7. Wingstop
  8. El Pollo Loco
  9. Boston Market

It is noted that Chick-fil-A which is privately held, generated sales of $6.8 billion system wide with $3.98 million in average sales per unit.  The company operated 337 company owned stores and 1,646 franchised units.

 

   
 

TRANSPORT FOCUS OF NC FOOD SAFETY FORUM

Aug 24, 2016

Steve Troxler

    

The program for the 12th Annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum organized by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs was held in Raleigh on August 16th.

In welcoming the approximately 300 attendees, The NC Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Troxler emphasized that “education was the first step to a safe food supply”. 

  

Michael Cornett

He echoed the sentiments of Dr. Andrew C. Eschenbach, a previous Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration who stated, “nothing is more important to health and well-being than the food they eat”.

Michael Cornett of Temperature Control Solutions Inc., a ThermoKing™ refrigeration equipment dealer reviewed the responsibilities of producers and shippers with regard to transport of food products. Conforming to regulations is especially important with the current emphasis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice to bring about criminal prosecutions if food companies deviate from accepted practices and especially with a history of repeated violations. 

The Food Safety Modernization Act, assigns responsibility for assessing risks and maintaining appropriate procedures and controls for movement of food products.  Transportation is subject to an implied or written agreement between the shipper and producer. The parties should agree on aspects such as specified pre-cool requirements before loading, sanitation including chemical products and their application, training of personnel, design and maintenance of equipment, recording of temperatures and retention of data. A further consideration relating to FSMA requires programs and procedures to prevent intentional adulteration commensurate with risk.

Cornett noted that advances in electronics have made available telematics, GPS location by time, loggers which record door opening, installation of cameras in warehouses and loading bays and related monitoring activities.

Brad Deacon Director of the Office of Legal Affairs and Emergency Management Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development shared his experiences relating to enforcement of transport regulations relating to food.  Recognizing the need for coordination, Midwest states including Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio have developed a combined program relating to inspection of vehicles transporting food.  In 2006, a survey of food transportation was initiated to establish the extent of possible deviations from acceptable practice and to establish a baseline to measure improvements.

Experience has shown that most reputable food producers or contracted common carriers operating semis fitted with refrigeration installations and with trained drivers are generally in compliance with regulations. In some cases ensuring the security of loads and application of seals is still deficient.  Most of the problems encountered are associated with small-scale operations running leased box-body trucks frequently without refrigeration, delivering consignments of prepared ethnic foods to small stores and outlets.  From records assembled by state police, violations include absence of refrigeration equipment, inoperative units or deliberately disconnected cooling systems.  Cross contamination through imperfectly packaged foods is common.  Labeling is frequently deficient or absent preventing trace-back. In some cases foods are adulterated by evidence of rodent or insect pests.

 A specific problem encountered over the past few years has been disposal of consignments of contaminated foods condemned during routine inspection or surveillance.  Special provisions have been made to transport consignments to landfills.  Deacon stressed the need for agencies in adjoining jurisdictions to cooperate in maintaining a safe food supply with interaction between state police motor vehicle enforcement, health departments and the media.

   
 

U.S. POULTRY PLANTS RECOGNIZED FOR SAFETY

Aug 24, 2016

    

For every recent report of deficiencies in safety in plants, there are considerably more operations that are injury-free.  During the 2016 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry organized jointly by USPOULTRY, the National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation and the Georgia Tech. Research Institute, 122 facilities were recognized for exceptional safety performance. Industry organizations collectively employ more than 350,000 workers on farms, feed mills, hatcheries, processing and packing plants. 

  

The recorded illness and injury rate for poultry processing during 2014 was 4.3 cases per hundred full time workers per year. This is a slight reduction from 4.5 in 2013 but 80 percent less than in 1994 with a rate of 22.7 illnesses or injuries per hundred full time workers in that year.

Awards were based on performance over three consecutive years and were judged by a committee of experts.

   
 

Elanco Specialists Reviews Bacterial Enteritis at AAAP Meeting

Aug 24, 2016

    

Dr. Alexandre Cocche senior technical poultry consultant at Elanco Animal Health presented data from the 2015 Bacterial Enteritis Global Impact Assessment Survey at the recent 2016 annual meeting of the American Association of Avian Pathologists in San Antonio. Elanco Animal Health conducted world-wide surveys of bacterial enteritis of broilers in 2005 and 2010.  The 2015 survey involved the contribution of 337 scientists including veterinarians, nutritionists, producers and industry professionals. The survey included the Asia-Pacific rim, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Middle East and the United States. 

  

Bacterial enteritis encompasses dysbacteriosis, necrotic enteritis and cholangiohepatitis all associated with clostridial enterotoxaemia. Bacterial enteritis has declined from 92 percent (diagnostic criteria and incidence rate were not defined) in 2010 to 78 percent in 2015.  Almost two-third of the respondents considered that bacterial enteritis will continue as a problem through at least 2020. 

Withdrawal of growth-stimulating antibiotics which suppress Clostridium spp will obviously have an impact in the U.S. and in other nations where antibiotic-free and drug-free production systems are adopted.

The value of surveying intestinal dysfunction and disease from an international perspective was characterized by Dr. Cocche “As producers look for ways to support animal welfare and minimize the economic impact of bacterial enteritis, data-driven systems can help producers monitor changes in broiler flock health and introduce appropriate intervention.”

   
 

Wendy’s Joins the Antibiotic-Free List

Aug 24, 2016

    

Wendy’s Company, the fifth-ranked QSR in the U.S. will cease sourcing chickens raised with antibiotics of human health significance by 2017.  This announcement reported in the San Diego Union Tribune on August 5th follows the lead of Chick-fil-A®, McDonald’s and other restaurant chains. 

  

Wendy’s purchases 250 million pounds of chickens annually. By mid-year 2016, half of Wendy’s requirement was purchased from suppliers that have phased out antibiotics of human health significance with the remainder complying by 2017.

 In compliance with FDA directives, effective January 1, 2017, antibiotics may no longer be used for the purpose of growth promotion and any other administration must be subject to veterinary prescription applying prudent use principles.

   
 

International Poultry Council to Consider Antibiotic Resistance

Aug 19, 2016

    

Antibiotic resistance will be a significant topic at the scheduled October 12 – 14 meeting of the International Poultry Council.

Dr. Randall Singer, Professor of Epidemiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota will be the principal speaker based on his expertise and experience in the field.

  

The use of antibiotics in the production of broilers is an important commercial consideration and legislation against the use of antibiotics has been introduced by more than 50 nations and will obviously impact world trade to the detriment of non-compliant producers and nations.

   
 

Allen Harim Re-opens Harbeson, DE. Plant

Aug 19, 2016

    

On August 8th, Allen Harim arranged a ceremony to mark the reopening of the Harbeson, DE processing plant.  The company invested $30 million in renovation and anticipates committing another $10 million to the project. 

Allen Harim Foods LLC employs 1,750 in the U.S. and contracts with 230 independent growers across Delaware.

 

 

 

The company operates a breeding operation in Liberty, NC, a hatchery in Dagsboro, DE and a second hatchery and feed mill in Seaford, DE.

   
 

Studies on Reducing Bacterial Contamination on Ground Chicken and Parts

Aug 19, 2016

    

Project F058 sponsored by the USPOULTRY Foundation has been completed by Dr. Sacit Bilgili and Dr. Shelly McKee of Auburn University. Trials were conducted in a pilot processing plant equipped with a continuous online decontamination tank to evaluate antimicrobials.

  

Compounds applied comprised 0.07 percent and 0.10 percent peracetic acid; 0.35 percent and 0.06 percent cetylpyridinium chloride; 0.1 percent acidified sodium chloride and 30 ppm chlorine.

Both the peracetic acid and cetylpyridinium compounds can be effectively applied in a decontamination tank to reduce levels of Salmonella Typhimurium and Campylobacter jejuni.  Treatments with the compounds extended shelf life without consumer perceptible organoleptic changes.

   

Shane Commentary

 

OSHA Fines Tyson for Workplace Hazards

Aug 24, 2016

    

According to an August 16, 2016 release from Region 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Tyson Foods plant in Center TX was fined a total of $263,000 for two repeated and 15 repeated violations as determined by OSHA.  The precipitating factor leading to an inspection was the amputation of a finger of a worker in an unguarded conveyor belt. 

  

Following all serious accidents, OSHA will conduct a detailed inspection of implicated plants leading to possible discovery of additional workplace hazards.  In this case, an audit revealed defects including improper safety guards on moving machine parts, allowing carbon dioxide to exceed permissible exposure levels in work areas and failing to provide personal protective equipment and training on hazards associated with peracetic acid.

In commenting on the inspection and proposed fine, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary for Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated “Tyson Foods must do much more to prevent disfiguring injuries like this one from happening.”  He added “as one of the nation's largest food suppliers, it should set an example for workplace safety rather than drawing multiple citations from OSHA for ongoing safety failures.”  Repeated violations related to failure of the company to ensure that employee used appropriate eye and face protection when exposed to hazardous chemicals.

Violations were noted in 2012 at a Carthage, MS plant and failure to separate compressed gas cylinders of oxygen and acetylene while in storage resulted in a citation during 2013 at a Tyson Foods Albertville, AL facility.

CHICK-CITE has previously noted that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is operating under a Regional Emphasis Program for poultry processing facilities and that fines have recently increased. Accordingly integrators are advised to ensure that both plant and farm personnel are suitably trained, that machinery and installations are guarded against hazards, lock-out procedures are followed during cleaning and maintenance and suitable personal protective gear is provided for supervisors and employees.

   
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Dr. Simon M. Shane
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