Supply Scan

News and Trends From Across the Food Supply Chain

Henningsen's business has been rapidly expanding. The company was recently selected by the Port of Benton, WA, to manage a new freight Transload Center in Richland, WA, and plans to build a 5million cubic foot temperature-controlled distribution center in Portland, OR.

FDA Approves Irradiation For Spinach, Lettuce

Amid increasing outbreaks of foodborne illness tied to produce, the government said it will allow growers to begin treating fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce with irradiation, to kill any present E. coli and other dangerous germs.

It is the first time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed any produce to be irradiated at levels needed to protect against pathogens. The agency says it determined that modern irradiation techniques can kill food-poisoning germs without compromising the safety or nutrient value of raw spinach and lettuce.

The FDA also is reportedly assessing the possible use of irradiation on other types of produce.

Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says while the process "may be safe and effective in treating some pathogens, it is not--and should not--be mistaken for a silver bullet. CSPI has urged FDA to adopt a series of preventive measures starting at the farm that could control foodborne pathogens.

The Washington-based Grocery Manufacturers of America supports the FDA's action.

"This decision by FDA is a significant step forward in helping to improve the safety of fresh produce.This technology is simply one more tool that industry will have at its disposal to provide consumers with safe food products," says GMA's Robert Brackett, chief science officer.

"However, the adoption of this technology cannot in any way serve as a substitute for industry adherence to good agricultural and sanitary practices that are so essential to maintaining a safe food supply. GMA has been an outspoken advocate for making these good agricultural practices mandatory and today's announcement in no way alters that position."

ATA Introduces Line Of Trucking Solutions

The American Trucking Associations has launched ATA Business Solutions, a line of information products, business tools, services, training programs and conferences specifically designed to address the critical issues affecting trucking- related companies.

"We are bringing together some of the top minds in the industry to tackle the most pressing business issues, such as fuel efficiency, state taxes, driver safety training, security and much more," says Bill Graves, president and CEO of the Arlington, VA-based trade group.

"ATA Business Solutions are an ATA service designed to help make trucking-related companies more profitable and efficient in today's difficult economic times."

ATA Business Solutions are developed and approved by top trucking-industry professionals and they are tailored to all segments of the industry, from large fleets, to owner-operators, to companies whose business depends on trucks to deliver their goods.

Initially, ATA Business Solutions will focus on the following areas:
• Accounting, tax, finance and risk:
• Safety;
• Technology and maintenance;
• Fuel economy/efficiency;
• Economics;
• Security and loss prevention;* Information technology and logistics.

A few of the ATA Business Solutions being launched include:
• ATA Safety on Demand, a revolutionary web-based system that will help companies provide critical driver safety training any time, any where there is an internet connection;
• ATA Online State Tax Guide, a trucking-specific state tax guide available for all of the 48 contiguous states;
• ATA Fuel Crisis Survival Kit, which will provide trucking-related companies with a comprehensive approach to reducing fuel consumption and costs.

In addition, ATA Business Solutions will include the complete line of the industry-standard ATA Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) products and services, as well as ATA's industry economics reports.

Anheuser-Busch To Brew With Renewable Fuel

By the end of 2009, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. says that one-in-seven beers it produces will be brewed using renewable fuel. This will account for 15 percent of its sourced energy.

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