HEINEN'S EXPANDS ‘CERTIFIED HUMANE’ FOODS
WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — Heinen's Fine Foods recently announced plans to expand its selection of Certified Humane meat, poultry, dairy and egg products. The Certified Humane Raised and Handled program is administered by the Herndon, Va.-based nonprofit group, Humane Farm Animal Care, and products carrying the Certified Humane labels maintain the Humane Farm Animal Care standards. Under the standards, animals must receive a nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones and must be raised with shelter, resting areas and space sufficient to support natural behavior. Earlier this year, Heinen's became the second U.S. food retailer to formally support Certified Humane products, following New York City retailer D'Agostino, which embraced the Certified Humane program. The Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works to rebuild local and regional farming and food systems in northeast Ohio, and Blue Hen Farms have also endorsed the HFAC initiative.
ORGANIC TO GO ACQUIRES CORPORATE CATERING FIRM
LOS ANGELES — Organic To Go, operator of 11 certified organic cafes in Seattle and Los Angles, announced the acquisition of Vinaigrettes Full Spectrum Catering here. Clients of Vinaigrettes include several major film studios and talent agencies, as well as Boeing Corp. and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The two-year-old company separately announced the recent closing of $4.2 million in private equity financing, which it said it will use to expand into new cities and open additional cafes in Washington and California.
HUNDREDS TURN OUT FOR SPINACH LUNCHEON
WASHINGTON — More than 300 congressional leaders, staff and administration officials ate fresh spinach salads at a luncheon at the U.S. House Longworth Building, organized by two lawmakers who were trying to help the hard-hit spinach industry recover from the E. coli outbreak. U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md., hosted the “Spinach is Back” luncheon to raise awareness that spinach has returned to store shelves and is safe to eat. Mike Johanns, the U.S. secretary of agriculture; Robert Brackett, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; and several lawmakers were among those who helped themselves to a spinach salad bar, which featured mushrooms, eggs and assorted toppings, along with the leafy green. The United Fresh Produce Association, the American Mushroom Institute and the United Egg Producers helped coordinate the event in conjunction with Farr.