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Food and Cuisine

California May Ban Five Food Additives

It is being reported by CBS news that California may be the first state to prohibit the selling, making, and dispersing of food items that contain certain chemical components associated with cancer risk, reproductive damage, and behavioral complications.

These are the five noxious elements: red pigment 3, titanium dioxide, potassium bromate, bromated vegetable oil, and propylparaben. The use of titanium dioxide and potassium bromate has already been abolished in Europe due to health concerns. Interestingly, these chemicals have been outlawed in China and India, with the latter banning the usage of potassium bromate. Many candies, including Skittles, and some breads have employed the use of these chemicals, respectively.

The U.S. has prohibited the use of Red dye number 3 in cosmetics, despite appeals from business groups asserting that the federal government’s food safety protocol has reviewed and confirmed the security of the five additives. Erik Millstone, an expert in food additives from the University of Sussex in England, made a remark to the press, noting that the majority of Americans are unaware of the risky substances they are consuming.

He emphasized, “People assume that if it is in a store, it must be safe.” The whole account. The expenses for small businesses remain high; Chipotle ceases their legal dispute with Sweetgreen.

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Food and Cuisine

H-E-B Breaks Ground on New Location

H-E-B revealed Wednesday that it has started construction on a new store in Pflugerville, Texas. The 127,000-square-foot location is expected to open in the fall of 2024.

“We are thrilled to start construction on our third store in Pflugerville, a growing community we’ve proudly been a part of for 35 years,” said Cathy Harm, H-E-B’s SVP of central Texas, in a statement. “We look forward to serving our dedicated customers in this part of Travis County with a new store that offers a wide assortment of quality products, innovative services, and the best of what H-E-B has to offer.”

Among the store’s highlights are a True Texas BBQ restaurant, a full-service Pharmacy with a two-lane drive-thru, Curbside and Home Delivery pickup and delivery services with dedicated parking for Curbside customers, and a new fuel station and car wash.

The new location will emphasize fresh, top-quality food options at low prices, according to the retailer.

Location amenities will include:

• Full-service Bakery and Tortilleria that offers a selection of artisan breads, tortillas made in-house, and desserts, pastries, and cakes.

• Deli featuring a large assortment of cheese and charcuterie.

• Wine and Beer department with sampling stations and local, national, and international labels.

• Organic foods and an expanded Healthy Living department.

• Full-service meat market and seafood counter.

• Meal Simple area with chef-inspired ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat options.

• Cooking Connection with live demonstrations and samplings for easy recipes to make at home.

• Sushiya offering handmade sushi selections made in-store daily and an Asian grill with rice bowls, teriyaki, and more.

• Expansive selections in grocery and general merchandise departments.

To give back to the community H-E-B donated a total of $25,000 with gifts of $5,000 each to American Legion Kerlin-Lyerly Post 154, Circle of Hope Community Center, For the Children Inc., Horse Empowered Learning Programs, and Pflugerville Education Foundation.

Related: Florida Winn-Dixie Reopens; Aldi to Open Louisiana Store


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Food and Cuisine

Chipotle Pilots Sustainable Restaurant

Chipotle Mexican Grill recently unveiled the plan for an eco-friendly eatery that takes maximum advantage of energy-efficient tools and systems and have taken initiative to use renewable energy from wind and solar energy sources by purchasing certified renewable energy credits.

Chipotle tested out some new features in eateries located in Gloucester, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida, with the intention of adding a third site in Castle Rock, Colorado in the summer. In order to strive towards the company’s goals of decreasing carbon emissions by 50 percent before 2030, in comparison to its 2019 achievement, the different restaurant format will soon be found in 7,000 locations in North America.

Chipotle has a goal of reducing environmental impact in all of their restaurants, and to reach it, they are aiming to implement all-electric equipment and elements from their new design in over 100 of their locations by 2024. Laurie Schalow, chief corporate affairs officer at the company, made a statement that they are strongly committed to this target. Our goal is to include aspects of our sustainable restaurant design in many of the new restaurants we are opening.

The distinguishing aspects of Chipotle’s design involve: Using solar panels on rooftops where it is possible. Replace gasoline-powered equipment and systems with all-electric ones. • Water Heaters that use a heat pump.

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Food and Cuisine

FDA to Increase Formula Market Resilience

​The FDA has outlined actions it will take to help ensure infants continue to have access to safe, nutritious formula and to increase the resiliency of the U.S. infant formula market and supply.

“Safety and supply go hand-in-hand. We witnessed last year how a safety concern at one facility could be the catalyst for a nationwide shortage. That’s why we are looking to both strengthen and diversify the market, while also ensuring that manufacturers are producing infant formula under the safest conditions possible,” said FDA commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., in a statement. “Now, with this strategy, we are looking at how to advance long-term stability in this market and mitigate future shortages, while ensuring formula is safe.”

Key elements of the immediate strategy include:

• Ensuring the industry is aware of requirements to develop and implement redundancy risk management plans.

• Enhancing inspections of infant formula manufacturers and improving infant formula training for investigators.

• Expediting review of premarket submissions for new infant formula products.

• Monitoring the infant formula supply.

• Engaging with U.S. government partners who play a role in mitigating factors that may influence the infant formula supply.

• Collaborating with the USDA to support efforts to build resiliency within its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

• Helping prevent cronobacter sakazakii illnesses associated with the consumption of powdered infant formula.

• Improving consumer education materials relating to infant formula on FDA’s website.

“The events that led up to and ultimately resulted in the voluntary recall of certain infant formula products in February 2022 shocked the infant formula supply in the U.S., creating an unparalleled challenge for parents and caregivers,” said Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in a statement. “Since then, the agency has had ongoing and extensive engagement with the infant formula industry to identify and implement opportunities to strengthen preventive control practices. The immediate strategy released today will play an important role in increasing the resiliency of the infant formula market as the agency continues its critical work to improve industry’s processes and programs for the protection of those who rely on infant formula while incentivizing additional infant formula manufacturers to enter the market.”


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Food and Cuisine

Southeastern Grocers, Relocalize Partner on Ice

Southeastern Grocers has partnered with Relocalize, an automated food production service, to pilot ice manufacturing in an autonomous micro-factory, designed to help eliminate middle-mile logistics to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, water waste, and plastic pollution.

The micro-factory is managed by an AI-powered software platform and uses robotics for all production labor. This manufacturing process allows the grocer to scale production and create waste reduction solutions throughout the full lifecycle of the product while lowering its economic and environmental cost.

Through this partnership, SEG has also introduced Party Cubes, a certified plastic-negative, packaged ice that is produced on-site and on-demand at the micro-factory. The product is available at two Jacksonville, Florida locations, including the Lakewood Winn-Dixie store and the grocer’s stand-alone liquor store, WDs Wine, Beer, and Liquor, with plans to expand to the broader market.

 “Our partnership with Relocalize meets at the intersection of sustainability and innovation and provides a unique opportunity to offer our customers better ice, in a better package, at a better price – that’s also better for the planet,” said Anthony Hucker, president and CEO for Southeastern Grocers, in a statement. “We plan to pilot ice manufacturing in the world’s first autonomous ice micro-factory in our hometown of Jacksonville, and we are excited to now offer Party Cubes in select local stores as we test and learn with the industry’s first hyper-local, certified plastic-negative, packaged ice.”

Party Cubes cost less for consumers compared to traditional bagged ice, and the leak-proof packaging is recycle-ready. For every pound of plastic used in packaging, Relocalize will remove and recycle two pounds of ocean plastic. Additionally, the process produces zero water waste and reduces trucking carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent, according to the company.

 “Two years ago, we set out on a mission to decarbonize food supply chains. Today, fully autonomous hyper-local food manufacturing becomes a reality through our partnership with Southeastern Grocers,” said Wayne McIntyre, CEO and co-founder of Relocalize.


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Food and Cuisine

Time Running Out to Enter sofi Awards

The sofi Awards competition hosted by the SFA is now taking entries up until the end of this week, Friday 31st March. In order to take part in the sofi Awards contest, you must be a current, approved member of the Specialty Food Association in good standing. Go in.. The SFA initiated the Sofi Awards more than fifty years back to identify and reward the outstanding and first-class unique food and beverage products from its members. Today, more than 40 distinct categories of sofi Awards honor the best and most innovative products in the industry. Being chosen for a sofi Award can lead to increased exposure for the product, increased sales and new opportunities for business growth. Check out the accompanying video to hear from sofi Award winners about their experiences and the impact of their victories, plus the Maker Q&A for further insight into the value of the awards.


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