1. Salmonella, Listeria Are Risks in Ongoing Recalls
This week saw several recalls across multiple sources and food types. The FDA announced a recall of Country Fresh produce—cut or sliced apples, grapes, mangos, pineapples and cantaloupe—sold at Walmart in nine states due to potential listeria contamination. Additionally, cantaloupe from Eagle Produce sold at Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin has been recalled for potential risk of Salmonella. Meanwhile, a recall of wood ear mushrooms linked to a Salmonella outbreak in ten states continues. Seneca is recalling Seneca Cinnamon Apple Chips and Clancy’s Cinnamon Apple Chips after an ingredient supplier reported possible Salmonella contamination.
Read more on Food Safety News here: Food Recalls
2. New Unemployment Initiative to Stimulate Restaurant Spending in Hawaii
A new “Hawaii Restaurant Card” program will give out $500 gift cards for use exclusively at in-state restaurants, including for alcohol and tips. The cards will be distributed automatically to eligible residents who continue to receive unemployment after qualifying for unemployment insurance since March 25. The initiative will be funded by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce with $75 million from the state’s CARES Act money. The restaurant card initiative seeks to support local businesses and save jobs as the restaurant industry continues to struggle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more on Restaurant Dive here: Unemployed residents of Hawaii will receive $500 to stimulate restaurant spending
3. Kroger Brings Ghost Kitchens On-Premise
In partnership with ClusterTruck, Kroger will launch two on-premise ghost kitchens to create meals for delivery and in-store pickup. The new ghost kitchens will transform approximately 1,000 square feet each at Kroger locations in Indiana and Ohio. The companies originally launched Kroger Delivery Kitchen Powered by ClusterTruck as off-site kitchens in 2019, but the new ghost kitchens mark a first attempt at bringing the operation into stores. The new ghost kitchens may offer a path for reviving and increasing food options prepared fresh in-store while strengthening gains in digital sales made by Kroger through the pandemic.
Read more on Progressive Grocer here: Kroger Embraces Ghost Kitchens
4. Sysco Tests All-Electric Freightliner with Aim to Cut Emissions
As part of its ongoing strategy to decrease carbon emissions, Sysco is testing an all-electric freightliner truck. The Freightliner eCascadia comes from Daimler Trucks North America and is a Class 8 tractor designed for regional distribution. Data and feedback from Sysco testing will be used to improve future vehicle design. Sysco is part of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council, which seeks to address barriers to large-scale deployment of electric vehicles in freight, and has said it aims to increase alternative fuel use in powering its fleet.
Read more on And Now U Know here: Sysco Testing All-Electric Freightliner Truck
5. USDA Data Shows Increased Vegetable Imports to U.S.
According to data from the USDA, U.S. imports of fresh vegetables are up 11% between September, 2019, and August, compared to the previous year. Massive gains were seen in garlic imports, with an increase of 58% for the year ending in August. Vegetables including tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, and beans also saw double digit gains. Fruit imports, meanwhile, gained jst 2% over the same period, with the strongest increases made by mangoes and kiwis, which gained 15% and 19% respectively.
Read more on The Packer here: U.S. fresh vegetable imports up 11%
Interested in more industry news? Check back on the iTrade blog as we publish our takes on the most important stories in the food and beverage industry every week.