Supply Scan

News and Trends from Across the Food Supply Chain

The changes are part of a realignment of some of Supervalu's regional operations.

Refrigerated Fleets Adding GPS Tracking System

StarTrak Systems, a provider of wireless GPS tracking, monitoring and two-way control systems for the refrigerated transport industry, added 16 refrigerated trailer fleet customers in December and January.

Collectively these fleets operate 1,500 refrigerated trailers. StarTrak's new trailer fleet customers include:

  • Roehl Transport Inc., Marshfield, WI;
  • Florida Beauty Flora Inc., Miami;
  • Purdy Bros. Trucking Co., Loudon, TN;
  • MC Van Kampen Trucking Inc., Wyoming, MI;
  • Paul L. Floody Inc., Homestead, FL;
  • Heartland Transport Inc., Esterville, IA;
  • International Transportation Services Inc., Miami;
  • Kamble Cos. Transportation Services Inc.; Phoenix;
  • Lara's Trucking, Modesto, CA;
  • Meddler Trucking, Hudsonville, MI;
  • Pegasus Transportation, Louisville, KY;
  • Boaty's Produce Inc., Jackson, GA;
  • Dee King, Amarillo, TX;
  • Solutions 1 Transport Inc., Orlando.

Target To Self-DistributePerishables In Southeast

Target Corp. has announced that it expects to handle perishables distribution completely on its own "within a timeframe earlier than four or five years," notes Gregg Steinhafel, president of the Minneapolis-based retailer.

For the short term, Steinhafel says "we will have a hybrid network for the foreseeable future where we are dependent on our own facilities as well as on Supervalu and other wholesalers."

Target is in the midst of converting a Supervalu facility in Lake City, FL, to a Target-owned semi-automated dedicated perishables center. The retailer is also on track to be shipping out fresh produce as well as frozen and refrigerated foods by August.

The plant will be operated with Eden Prairie, MN-based Supervalu and will supply SuperTargets in the Southeast.

In addition, Target will convert a Supervalu facility in Fort Worth, TX, to its own procedures and Supervalu will continue to manage the plant.

By late summer of 2009, Target will open another facility in Cedar Falls, IA.

Video Sparks Largest Beef Recall In History

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the largest beef recall in history last month after the Humane Society of the United States released undercover video showing workers at a Chino, CA, slaughterhouse shoving sick or crippled cows with forklifts to get them to stand.

Westland Meat, a partner of Hallmark Meat Packing, recalled 143 million pounds of beef. The beef dates back to cattle slaughtered two year ago. Citing the reasons for the recall, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafe noted that "Hallmark did not consistently bring in federal veterinarians to examine cattle headed for slaughter that were too sick or weak to stand on their own."

Thirty-seven million pounds of the meat went to school lunch programs. "Almost all of this product is likely to have been consumed," notes USDA administrator Ron Vogel. Despite this, the USDA says the chances of anyone getting sick are "remote."

Dozens of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp., had to pull product from their shelves from suppliers that got their beef from Hallmark/Westland Meat. Several fast food chains also had to destroy patties that came from the meat packer as well.

The Humane Society filed a lawsuit against the government last month alleging that a legal loophole allows so-called "downer'' cows to get into the food supply.

The lawsuit claims the USDA created the loophole with a rule change in July. The society says the USDA lets cows that fell down after an initial veterinarian inspection be slaughtered if they appeared otherwise healthy.

The largest previous meat recall orders both covered 35 million pounds and came a month apart in 1998 and 1999. Both involved ready-to-eat products contaminated with listeria. Nearly two dozen people died and about 100 fell ill after eating the meat.

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