uck Markets announced they will begin selling irradiated ground beef in their stores. In both cases, the beef is irradiated by SureBeam, San Diego. Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh, is offering fresh product in 80% lean and 93% lean, one-pound packages. According to officials, the products will not replace any existing item; rather, they are designed to offer their shoppers an additional choice in Giant Eagle's market divisions, including Pittsburgh, as well as Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. The retailer currently operates 124 corporate stores, with another 89 independently owned-and-operated units carrying the Giant Eagle banner. Meanwhile, St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets will offer fresh ground beef and frozen beef patties at 74 of its 102 stores in Missouri and Illinois. The fresh products are being sold in one-pound packages of 93% and 80% lean, while frozen patties are available in boxes of 90% and 80% lean.
GREELEY, COLO. -- Swift & Co. is implementing $4 million worth of improvements to the former ConAgra processing facility that was blamed in last year's massive 18.6 million-pound beef recall. Among the improvements already in or scheduled for installation are: new procedures that test and hold beef from shipment until results show that it's free of pathogens; irradiation for select products; new training that empowers line workers to halt production if they spot problem carcasses; and improvements in carcass washing to prevent contamination. According to company officials and industry observers, the new test-and-hold program is an industry first, and it takes processing one step above and beyond current federal regulations.
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Supermarkets has begun offering ground ham at its stores in the Miami area after numerous requests for such a product from customers, many of whom are Hispanic. The ham is supplied by Maverick Ranch Natural Meats, Denver, packed under a private label -- called Casa Grande -- specifically for the retailer. The item, which is 95% fat free, has a shelf life of up to 45 days and is merchandised in one-pound, case-ready packages. Master cases are packed with 18 packages per case, according to company officials. Maverick Ranch also supplies Publix stores with three entrees from its Great Gourmet line of heat-and-serve entrees, as well as steaks, roasts and ground beef through its NaturaLite line.
BOSTON -- Environmental Defense has published a business guide that offers corporate seafood buyers options designed to spare certain stocks considered overfished or exploited. Researched and compiled by ED's Alliance for Environmental Innovation, the document provides purchasing alternatives that are high in quality and competitively priced while remaining environmentally responsible, according to officials with the organization. In examples mentioned in the guide, Atlantic cod could be replaced "in many applications" with New Zealand hoki or farmed tilapia, and at substantial cost savings, researchers found. Likewise, Chilean sea bass could be replaced with sablefish, which possesses a comparably flaky white meat and a high oil content, but at a fraction of the cost, they said. Aside from lower costs, the report outlines other potential business benefits to using such substitutions, including good public relations and more predictable supply. Copies of the report are available from ED's Web site, www.environmentaldefense.org/alliance.