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QPMA launches new I Love 5 to 10 Servings a Day campaign

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association announced that a new provincewide I love 5 to 10 Servings a Day campaign will run from May 2 through June 5 in Quebec. The campaign is meant to remind everyone about the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle, and also about the amazing variety of ways we can enjoy their benefits.

First launched in 2004 by the QPMA, the I love 5 to 10 Servings a Day campaign has been given an even fresher look for 2016.

“After more than 10 years, we’ve not only refreshed the campaign logo but decided to give it a much expanded reach and a brand-new image as well,” Marie Gosselin, interim chief executive officer of QPMA, said in a press release.

The campaign features four new visuals that include the well-known heart figures, plus a new slogan Mettez-y du coeur! (or Put your heart into it!). The aim remains simple and straightforward: to remind consumers how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables, and also how easy it is to make them part of our daily lives in all sorts of ways, including recipes, smoothies, snacks and preserves.

“Besides being tasty and good for our health, fruits and vegetables have the advantage of being extremely versatile,” nutritionist Julie DesGroseilliers, the campaign’s official spokesperson, said in the press release. “You can snack on them any time of day, in almost any form you like. As I’ve often said before, fresh or frozen, raw or cooked, in soups or salads, practically any way is the right way to eat 5 to 10 servings a day.”

The new campaign will appear on numerous billboards in Montreal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, and on many websites as well, including lapresse.ca, tou.tv, ricardocuisine.com, telequebec.tv. It will also have a generous helping of social media visibility with Facebook ads.

Since the very beginning, the campaign has relied on a positive, encouraging approach to eating 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

The campaign has also developed and circulated an assortment of simple, practical tips to help Quebecers get interested in eating more fruits and vegetables. These can be found on the “I Love” website along with bushels of information about fruits and vegetables, their particular benefits, what a “serving” means, plus food guides, adaptable information tools and favorite recipes by produce industry professionals.

The campaign also has a lively Facebook page that’s packed with tantalizing food facts and practical advice. Last but not least, the campaign is a colorful attraction at food fairs and trade shows, and is on the scene with several major partners, all designed to help Quebecers eat better.

“We were the pioneers, with the first generic campaign that promoted fruits and vegetables in Quebec, and also got the whole industry on side,” Gosselin added in the press release. “It’s been a major team effort, and we’re very thankful to our members and our valued partners for their trust and support, which are really the basis for the I Love 5 to 10 Servings a Day campaign’s success.”

Justice Department probes Dole’s handling of Listeria reports

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is investigating Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. in connection to a report the company detected listeria before shutting down its Ohio facility, which was later tied to an outbreak, the company confirmed Friday.

Health officials started investigating the multistate outbreak in September 2015, but the source of the illnesses wasn’t known until January 2016 when laboratory results from a packaged salad collected in Ohio linked the illnesses to Dole’s Springfield processing facility.

Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. suspended operations at its Springfield, OH, facility and launched a recall of all salads packaged at that location on Jan. 27. The plant restarted salad production on April 21.

But last week, Food Safety News obtained FDA Inspection Reports that showed Dole detected positive Listeria tests in the Springfield plant more than five times in 2014 and three more times in 2015 but kept producing salads until January 2016.

Dole officials revealed that internal testing in early January showed Listeria on equipment and other surfaces, according to Food Safety News, which is published by William Marler, a high-profile attorney in food-safety outbreak cases and managing partner of Marler Clark, a Seattle-based law firm.

Dole issued an April 29 statement responding to concerns about the FDA observation reports and confirmed the Justice Department had contacted the firm in connection with its own investigation.

“Those FDA reports deal with issues at our plant that we have corrected. We have been working in collaboration with the FDA and other authorities to implement ongoing improved testing, sanitation and procedure enhancements, which have resulted in the recent reopening of our Springfield salad plant,” Dole said. “We understand that these recent news reports may raise questions among our consumers and customers. They should be assured, however, that we have worked in conjunction with the FDA to address those observations and ensure that Dole products are safe.”

Dole added that it planned to cooperate with the Department of Justice on the investigation.

The latest report has caused a firestorm.

“Dole’s failure to stop shipping products and clean up its plant before the outbreak showed a total disregard for its customers’ health,” said David Plunkett, senior food safety attorney at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who has been pressing FDA on the tainted salad investigation, said April 29 that Dole should answer for distributing salads for more than a year after knowing the company had Listeria contamination.

“News that Dole knew about a Listeria outbreak in their facility, yet continued to push contaminated salads onto the American consumer, is an outrage,” she said. “How could executives at Dole even consider putting products onto store shelves and into American homes when they knew for close to two years that there was a major public health issue?”

DeLauro said the Dole facility should be shut down if its actions are not sufficient to ensure food safety.

Publix Q1 sales increase to $8.7 billion

publixPublix’s sales for the first quarter of 2016 were $8.7 billion, a 4.5 percent increase from last year’s $8.3 billion. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of 2016 increased 3.3 percent. The company estimates sales increased 1.2 percent due to the effect of the Easter holiday being in the first quarter of 2016. In 2015, the effect of the Easter holiday was in the second quarter.

Net earnings for the first quarter of 2016 were $581.9 million, compared to $548.9 million in 2015, an increase of 6 percent. Earnings per share for the first quarter increased to $0.75 for 2016, up from $0.71 per share in 2015.

“I’m pleased that our Publix associates delivered strong results,” Todd Jones, Publix chief executive officer and president, said in a press release. “Unfortunately, these results were not enough to offset the challenges in the stock market.”

Effective May 1, Publix’s stock price decreased from $45.20 per share to $43.95 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.

 

Giant/Martin's Bag Hunger spring campaign raises $632,620

Giant Food Stores and Martin's Food Markets customers donated $632,620 during the annual Bag Hunger campaign, held in March, to support local and regional food banks in four states. Giant/Martin's will conduct a second Bag Hunger campaign during September’s Hunger Action Month.giantmartin

As part of its ongoing better neighbor efforts, Giant/Martin's is committed to supporting the communities that it serves and especially the fight against hunger. In 2015 Giant/Martin's donated $12.3 million to approximately 100 hunger relief agencies through customer, vendor and corporate support. Part of that effort included its signature Meat the Needs program which delivered more than one million pounds of safe, nutritious and much needed meat to regional food banks and pantries for families in need.

“We believe that everyone should have access to healthy, safe and nutritious food,” Tom Lenkevich, Giant/Martin's president, said in a press release. “Our customers have also generously embraced this mission, and thanks to their ongoing support we are helping our regional food banks and local pantries feed our neighbors in need every day.”

Major recipient food banks include the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Maryland Food Bank–Western Branch and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia. 

Frieda’s donates salad bars to three hometown schools

Frieda’s Specialty Produce, through the United Fresh Start Foundation, donated three salad bars to Los Alamitos Unified School District schools in Los Alamitos, CA, where the company is headquartered.

“We’re so pleased to be able to support salad bars for schools in our local community, encouraging healthy choices for children in our hometown,” Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda’s, said in a press release. “These donations are especially meaningful as my sister Jackie [Caplan Wiggins, vice president and COO] and I both attended Los Alamitos schools.” frieeStudents and officials from Oak Middle School in Los Alamitos, CA, enjoying their new salad bar.

The schools receiving salad bars from the Frieda’s donation include Oak Middle School, McAuliffe Middle School, and Los Alamitos High School.

At the start of the school year, the Los Alamitos School District had salad bars in all of its schools; however, the ones at the middle and high schools were old and in disrepair. The Frieda’s donation is providing new salad bars for the district’s middle and high schools, ensuring these students can continue to have access to fresh produce choices every day.

“We greatly appreciate this generous donation from Frieda’s and look forward to stocking our new salad bars with a variety of healthy, fresh produce choices each day," Celeste Calubaquib, director of food services for the school district, said in the press release. "The salad bar helps encourage our students to select fruits and veggies.”

The salad bar donations were coordinated with the United Fresh Start Foundation, supporting the national “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” initiative. To date, salad bars have been donated to more than 4,600 schools nationwide, benefiting nearly 3 million children every school day. This includes 1,060 salad bars for California schools, the most of any state.

Research and experience in schools across the country demonstrate that children significantly increase their fruit and vegetable consumption when given a variety of choices from a school salad bar. When offered multiple fruit and vegetable choices, children respond by incorporating greater variety and increasing their overall consumption. Salad bars empower students to make their own healthy choices and create excitement about trying new fruits and vegetables, ultimately increasing children’s daily consumption.

For more information about the United Fresh Start Foundation and how to support salad bars for schools, visit unitedfresh.org/nutrition/lets-move-salad-bars-to-schools/.