SAFEWAY, Pleasanton, Calif., said last week that its subsidiary, Vons Cos., Arcadia, Calif., settled all claims against it by San Diego-based Foodmaker Restaurants (parent company of Jack in the Box) and various Jack in the Box franchises, stemming from a five-year legal dispute. The restaurateurs filed suit against Vons in 1993, alleging that meat patties supplied by Vons were responsible for an E. coli outbreak in the Pacific Northwest and a resulting loss in business. Vons filed a countersuit against Foodmaker and the restaurants, alleging that the outbreak could have been prevented if the meat patties were cooked properly. Safeway, which acquired Vons in 1997, said it will make payments to various insurance carriers to, by, and on behalf of, Vons. Foodmaker said the settlement was for $58.5 million. However it will realize a net gain of about $30 million after taxes and litigation costs. Safeway said taking into account payments received from its countersuits, plus contributions from insurance companies and other parties, the net amount paid by Vons "is a small portion of the total settlement."
of common stock of Buttrey Food & Drug Stores Co., Great Falls, Mont., until April 30. The previously announced merger must also clear the Federal Trade Commission review process. However, Albertson's said it is confident that the merger will be completed.
KROGER CO., Cincinnati, said last week it had completed the sale of $200 million of 6-3/8% senior notes due 2008. The company said the proceeds would be used to refinance its debt.
FOOD INDUSTRY CRUSADE AGAINST HUNGER, Washington, raised $75,000 at the sixth annual FICAH/Carillon Golf Invitational, which was held last month at the Food Marketing Institute Midwinter Executive Conference.