LOBLAW's FARMERS' MARKET CRITICIZED
BRAMPTON, Ontario — Shortly after Loblaw Cos. here announced plans to bring “the farmers market to Canadian neighborhood grocery stores — all in one convenient location with bushels of variety,” the supermarket company was criticized in The Canadian Press for trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of the farmers' market format, without actually hosting local farmers. “We plan to introduce demonstrations in many of our stores where at least the shopper will have someone to talk to,” Frank Pagliaro, Loblaw's vice president of produce, explained to the paper. “Our staff will hopefully provide insight into where the product comes from and who the grower is.” However, Anita Stewart, founder of Food Day Canada, argued that “the interaction between consumers and growers at a true farmers' market — one where the person who plants, cares for and harvests the ingredients … goes far beyond videos and shelf stockers.” Last month, a Safeway location in Kirkland, Wash., was similarly criticized for setting up a “farmers' market” style produce display in its parking lot, staffed by the store's employees. The Washington State Farmers Market Association responded by sending a letter to Safeway, informing them that the state legally defines the term “farmers' market” as a place where at least five growers sell directly to consumers.
228 MILLION EGGS RECALLED
GALT, Iowa — The Wright County Egg Farm here has issued a voluntary recall of 228 million eggs, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week linked to an ongoing outbreak of salmonella that has sickened hundreds in California, Colorado and Minnesota since May. State and local authorities are also investigating infections in Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. The recall covers in-shell eggs packed between May 16 and Aug. 13, in cartons ranging from six to 18 eggs, sold under 13 brand names, including Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boomsma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemp. Plant numbers on the affected eggs are P-1026, P-1413 and P-1946. Until the investigation is concluded, the FDA recommended that restaurants and other foodservice establishments should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe that calls for raw eggs, such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing.
RESTAURANT SALES, PRICES FLAT
WASHINGTON — July was the eighth consecutive month in which U.S. restaurant menu prices were flat or rose 0.1%, according to a report last week from the National Restaurant Association, citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and the association's own Restaurant TrendMapper service. Sales at foodservice establishments increased for the first time in four months in July, up 0.2% from June. “On a seasonally adjusted basis, industry sales last month totaled $39.4 billion. In comparison, grocery store sales fell for the fifth consecutive month,” the report states. Full-service menu prices were unchanged in July; quick-service restaurant prices rose 0.1%. However, during the past year, full-service restaurants have tended to have more pricing strength than QSRs. Regionally, the Northeast has shown the strongest rebound in menu prices during the past 12 months, posting a 1.6% gain.