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Baking mixes recalled nationwide because of E. coli in flour

August 15th, 2016
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A Kansas company has issued a nationwide recall of baking mixes packaged under more than a dozen brands because they were made with flour from General Mills that has been recalled because it has been linked to an ongoing E. coli O121 outbreak.

“The recalled dry mixes were distributed nationwide in retail stores and online sales December 2015 through February 2016,” according to the recall notice from Rabbit Creek Products of Louisburg, KS.

“Please destroy any affected product and return the label to Rabbit Creek, P.O. Box 1059, Louisburg, KS 66053 for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-837-3073.”

The recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration does not indicate when suppliers notified Rabbit Creek officials that they had been sent some of the 45 million pounds of flour General Mills has recalled since May 31.

Because of the long shelf life of the baking mixes — which have best-by dates well into 2017 — company and FDA officials are concerned consumers may have the mixes in their homes.

Consumers can identify the recalled baking mixes, produced by Rabbit Creek under various brand names, by checking for specific labeling information provided in lists posted on the FDA’s website at the following links:

No illnesses had been reported to Rabbit Creek as of Thursday in connection with any of the recalled baking mixes it produced.

However, dozens of people across 21 states are confirmed to have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 that health officials isolated from bags of General Mills flour collected from victims’ homes.

Thirteen of the 46 confirmed outbreak victims have been hospitalized and one has developed a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is often fatal. The first confirmed case began Dec, 21, 2015, with the most recent victim becoming ill June 25, according to the most recent update, which was posted July 25.

Since the initial General Mills recall on May 31, FDA reported, as of July 25, it had “facilitated at least four recalls of firms that received recalled flour.” Those recalls were:

Anyone who has developed symptoms of E. coli infection after consuming any of the recalled products or flour should consult with a doctor.

“People usually get sick from E. coli O121, also referred to as STEC O121, 2-8 days after swallowing the bacteria,” according to the Rabbit Creek recall notice.

“Most people develop diarrhea, often bloody, and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).”

Source: foodsafetynews.com

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General Mills Recalls Its Betty Crocker Cake Mixes

July 16th, 2016
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General Mills Inc. is recalling two flavors of Betty Crocker cake mix sold in the U.S. and one flavor sold in Canada because they use flour that was recalled earlier because it could contain E. coli.

The flavors include Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix, which is called Betty Crocker Super Moist Rainbow Bit Cake Mix in Canada.

In the U.S, the mix carried a Package UPC 000-16000-40997 and “better if used by dates” including 25MAR2017, 28MAR2017, 27APR2017, 28APR2017, 23MAY2017, 24MAY2017, and 25MAY2017.

The U.S. recall also includes Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix with UPC 000-16000-40987 and “better if used by dates” including 12APR2017, 13APR2017, 14APR2017, 28May2017, 29May2017, 30MAY2017, 07JUL2017 and 08JUL2017.

In Canada, the Super Moist Rainbow Bit Cake Mix has a Package UPC of 000-65633-46589 and “better if used by dates” of 27AL2017, 08JN2017 and 09JN2017.

The Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix and the Carrot Cake Mix were recalled on Monday. The company noted that “A General Mills supplier used Wondra flour implicated in the July 1, 2016 recall to manufacture the flavor chips used in [these] recalled cake mix flavor[s].” The July 1 recall was an expansion of a May 31 recall of flours that may have been linked to an E. coli outbreak. The outbreak sickened 38 people in 20 states, half of whom said they had recently been cooking with flour. About half of those people identified General Mills brands, Wondra, Gold Medal and Signature Kitchens.

A full list of products included in the flour recall can be found at www.generalmills.com/flour .

U.S. consumers with questions or requesting Betty Crocker replacement product should call General Mills at 1-800-230-8103.

Canadian consumers with questions about the Betty Crocker products including in the recall, or requesting replacement, should contact General Mills Canada at 1-800-526-4579.

Additional recall information can also be found at www.generalmills.com/flour .

General Mills shares were unchanged at $71.81 after hours.

Source: Abasto

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General Mills files patent on gluten-free pizza dough

June 24th, 2016
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General Mills, Inc. on June 2 filed a patent for ready-to-bake, gluten-free pizza dough formulations.

A gluten-free flour mixture constitutes 45% to 55% by weight of the dough. Other elements are dried egg whites (1.75% to 4.5%), oil (1.5% to 2%), shortening (3% to 7%), water (26% to 33%), ethanol (1% to 2%) and sucrose (less than 5%).

The gluten-free flour mixture includes less than 12% by weight rice flour, and it also may include tapioca starch, sorghum flour, millet flour and combinations thereof, according to U.S. application No. 20160150798 filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The combination of several ingredients in the gluten-free flour mixture provides a ready-to-bake pizza crust having the taste, texture and rheology similar to that of gluten-containing doughs, and it provides a baked pizza crust having the organoleptic properties of a gluten-based pizza crust.

In some embodiments, the gluten-free pizza dough is capable of being stored for a long period of time in the refrigerator without the need for hermetic or pressurized sealing. In some embodiments, the gluten-free pizza dough can be packaged in a form that is ready to bake.

Ready-to-bake products must be capable of being stored under refrigerated conditions for an extended period of time, such as at least 75 days up to 120 days, according to the patent.

Source:  foodbusinessnews.net

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General Mills Changes Policy on GMO Labeling

April 2nd, 2016
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American food manufacturer General Mills announced   that it will begin labeling all its products in that have genetically modified organisms as ingredients. The changes will hit grocery stores over the next several weeks. The move was prompted by a new state law in Vermont, which requires companies to put such information starting July 1.

However, the company cannot label products for only one state without driving up costs for consumers, said General Mills Vice President Jeff Harmening, so the company’s response is to put up labels nationwide.

Still, Harmening said one thing is needed to tackle the issue of genetically modified food is a national solution.

“All sides of this debate, 20 years of research, and every major health and safety agency in the world agree that GMOs are not a health or safety concern,” said Harmening. “At the same time, we know that some consumers are interested in knowing which products contain GMO ingredients.”

The Senate recently blocked a bill that would invalidate state and local efforts that require manufacturers to label products with genetically modified organisms. The bill would have given food makers the choice to disclose GMO ingredients.

Another spokesperson for General Mills said the company’s move does not indicate that it is backing away from its call for a national standard on GMO labeling.

The company has added a search tool on its website, which will provide GMO ingredient information for its United States products.

Other Companies Follow General Mills

Incidentally, General Mills is the maker of products including Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Nature Valley granola bars, Cheerios cereal, and many others. The labels will hit grocery stores over the next several weeks.

Other companies such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Whole Foods Market Inc., and Campbell Soup Co. have started requiring GMO labels or have abandoned the use of GMO ingredients.

Source:  abastomedia.com

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General Mills Moves Closer to Removal of Artificial Ingredients From its Cereals

January 23rd, 2016
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As part of a commitment to remove artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources from all of its cereals by the end of 2017, General Mills is releasing its first wave of new cereal recipes in the US, which includes Trix, Reese’s Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams, Chocolate Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios and Fruity Cheerios.

These seven cereal varieties highlight no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources on the front of each box. They arrive on store shelves as the new US 2015 Dietary Guidelines outline a growing need for consumers to add more whole grains in their diet, an area General Mills Big G cereals has been working on since 2005. This has resulted in whole grains as the first ingredient in all of its cereals.

“We are thrilled to see the 2015 Dietary Guidelines continue to recommend making half of your grains whole and recognizing 16 grams of whole grain as a serving, which wasn’t in the previous Guidelines,” said Lesley Shiery, RD, senior nutrition scientist, Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition at General Mills. “All of our Big G cereals contain at least 10 grams of whole grain per serving and many also deliver underconsumed nutrients for specific populations like vitamins A, C, D, calcium and iron.”

The updated General Mills’ cereal recipes now include fruit and vegetables juices, as well as spice extracts such as turmeric and annatto to achieve the fun red, yellow, orange and purple colors in Trix and Fruity Cheerios. Reese’ Puffs and Golden Grahams will incorporate natural vanilla flavor to achieve the same great taste that adults and children have come to expect.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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General Mills’ 301 Inc partners with CircleUp to launch investment fund for food startups

November 7th, 2015
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US-based food company General Mills’ new venture capital arm 301 Inc., has partnered with CircleUp marketplace to launch an investment fund to aid food startup businesses.

CircleUp is an online platform which helps connect consumers and retail brand entrepreneurs to certified investors. With its team of experienced private equity personnel, CircleUp identifies brands with a promising future during their early lifecycle stages and posts their profiles on its site to notify investors in order for them to research and understand the investment potential of the brands.

General Mills claims to be the first Fortune 500 company to have introduced an investment fund via CircleUp online platform.

301 Inc. vice president and general manager John Haugen said: “We are very pleased to join CircleUp as an active, hands-on investor. As we look to partner with and foster emerging food brands, the CircleUp marketplace will enable us to quickly connect with mission-driven brands actively seeking early-stage funding.”

With the new fund, 301 Inc will have a strategic funnel for sourcing the most promising consumer food brands. Apart from capital for brand development, 301 Inc will also provide the portfolio companies access to General Mills’ expertise across supply chain, research and development, finance and marketing to augment their businesses.

CircleUp has aided more than 120 companies to raise more than $135m. It has also helped growth of emerging brands by facilitating retailer and distribution partnerships.

CircleUp CEO and co-founder Ryan Caldbeck said: “General Mills has been a valued partner since CircleUp’s inception, and we’re excited to deepen our relationship through this investment fund — which marks the first time a major consumer packaged goods company has used an online marketplace to find consumer brands.

“From the beginning, we’ve been committed to helping our brands access capital and resources to help them scale, and now they will benefit from more access to General Mills.”

General Mills launched 301 Inc., last month to focus on building partnerships with emerging food brands to come up with groundbreaking innovation in food sector. The company has derived the name of the new unit from the address of the original Pillsbury A Mill in Minneapolis. The company seeks businesses that have showed promise in the marketplace with product offerings and strong brand potential.

301 Inc., was initially a business development team created by General Mills in 2012, which worked on developing and launching new business models for growth of the company. Within the company boundaries, the team worked as entrepreneurs innovating products such as Progresso and Nature Valley Bistro Cups, the first products made with a single cup coffee brewer, Pillsbury Pancake Batter, that can be put in the refrigeration section in grocery store, and nibblr which is a subscription-based snack delivery service.

Source:  food-business-review.com

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General Mills launches new cereal

June 25th, 2010
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Food giant General Mills, which is the sixth biggest food manufacturer in the world, has announced it is launching a new cereal.

The manufacturer is bringing out Total Plus Omega-3s Honey Almond Flax cereal, with the aim of helping adults consume enough Omega-3s.

According to the brand, around 50 per cent of adults are looking for ways to boost their intake of the mineral.

General Mills claims the Total Plus cereal contains the daily value of 12 essential minerals and vitamins, as well as 10 per cent of the daily value of Omega-3s in every serving.

“With the new Total Plus Omega-3s cereal, health-conscious Americans who have long trusted Total to deliver superior nutrition can also reap the benefits of Omega-3 ALA from flax,” said Dan Stangler, marketing manager for Total cereal.

Omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in helping maintain a healthy body.

Last week, General Mills was the victim of a hoax press release which claimed Barack Obama had ordered a full investigation into the whole of the General Mills supply chain following product recalls.

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Strike called off at Nestle/General Mills cereal factory

June 25th, 2010
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Workers at a UK factory which produces breakfast cereals for Nestle and General Mills have called off their strike action.

The strike at Cereal Partner’s UK factory in Staverton, Wiltshire, was due to start from 5:00BST yesterday (June 24th).

Nestle announced a national pay-freeze earlier this year and the strike was to be the first of three walkouts aimed at showing staff anger over the pay restrictions.

If an agreement has not been reached by July 8th, the next strike will go ahead. The third one is scheduled to take place on August 26th.

“Following the threat of strike action we have managed to secure certain improvements to our members’ terms and conditions.

“Therefore, strike action planned for this week will no longer take place and the new offer will be put forward to the workforce,” said Jim D’Avila, Unite the union’s regional officer.

Unite is the biggest union in the UK. It represents the interests of around two million members in various workforce sectors.

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General Mills is ‘top ten UK employer’

May 28th, 2010
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Cereals manufacturer General Mills is one of the top ten UK employers, according to a new survey.

The report, called UK’s Best Workplace, was published by Great Place To Work Institute.

Dairy manufacturer Danone is also in the top ten, while beverage giant Coca-Cola and confectioner Cadbury ranked in the top 25 employers.

Since the inception of the best workplace programme, more than 500 UK workplaces have been recognised by the institute.

As well as this, the institute has worked with UK organisations to measure their workplace climate and help them assess their own space, Tom O’Byrne, chief executive officer of the Great Place To Work Institute, wrote in the report.

Recently, Cadbury’s new owner, Kraft Foods, said it may cut up to 600 jobs in the UK.

Kraft plans to close its headquarters in Cheltenham and move operations to Cadbury sites in Uxbridge and Bourneville in other part of the UK.

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General Mills wins Edison Best New Product award

May 7th, 2010
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GeneralMillsAtlasFood giant General Mills has won an Edison Best New Product award for its Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes.

The products took home at gold award at the ceremony, which was held in New York, US, last week.

Betty Crocker was the first nationally recognised brand to launch gluten free brownie, cookie and cake mixes aimed at people with specific dietary requirements.

“We are thrilled that Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes won gold and are honoured to have one of the strongest brand icons in the food industry associated with one of America’s greatest inventors,” said Jodi Benson, baking research and development and transformational business development director for General Mills.

“It has been extremely rewarding to welcome gluten free consumers back to Betty Crocker through this innovative line of products.”

Other winners in the awards’ food segment included Con Agra’s Healthy Choice Mixers which received a silver accolade.

Source: Ingredients Network

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