May 2012 News

Durbin calls for FDA probe of enery drinks following death

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to investigate the caffeine content in energy drinks after learning about a 14-year-old girl from Maryland who died last December of a cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity after drinking two 24-ounce Monster energy drinks in a 24-hour period.

“Consuming large quantities of caffeine can have serious health consequences, including caffeine toxicity, stroke, anxiety, arrhythmia, and in some cases death,” Durbin wrote. “Young people are especially susceptible to suffering adverse effects because energy drinks market to youth, their bodies are not accustomed to caffeine, and energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and stimulating additives that may interact when used in combination. The glossy marketing tailored to youth has worked – 30 to 50 percent of adolescents report consuming energy drinks.” A 2011 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that emergency room visits due to energy drink consumption increased 10-fold between 2005 and 2009. The report also found that of these emergency room visits, 45 percent were young people between the ages of 18 and 25, and 56 percent were due to energy drinks alone, and not energy drinks used with alcohol, drugs or medications.

NRA releases new ServeSafe food safety book

The National Restaurant Association introduced the next generation of its ServSafe Food Safety manager program to meet the evolving needs of the foodservice industry. The new ServSafe Manager Book, 6th Edition (formerly ServSafe Essentials) training materials include optimized, recalibrated and focused content created by the industry, for the industry. In addition, the website has been redesigned to ease navigation by multiple audiences and reflect the improvements in the 6th Edition.

The new ServSafe 6th Edition contains the latest FDA Food Code updates and is based on a new job task analysis developed exclusively by foodservice operators across segments, academic bodies and regulatory experts for real-life situations. The edition focuses more intently on the preventative measures to keep food safe, leading to stronger food safety practices and a better trained workforce.

New York vendors fight to raise vending sales tax exemption

The New York State Automatic Vending Association continues to fight for tax fairness after the legislature failed to include a vending sales tax exemption increase from $.75 to $1.50. The association’s lobbyist spoke to Assemblyman Bill Magee, the sponsor of the bill, who indicated that he will try to introduce the bill as a stand-alone bill in the new legislative session.

Massachusetts vendors rally against machine fee hike

The Massachusetts Vending Association has asked Massachusetts vending operators to sign a petition against a proposal to increase license fees for vending machines by 567 percent per machine. The association will also provide stickers to place on machines to urge customers to oppose the increase. To sign the petition,  go to:

Dart Container to buy Solo Cup Co.

Dart Container Corp., based in Mason, Mich., and Solo Cup Co., headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., have signed a definitive agreement under which Dart Container will acquire Solo in a transaction valued at approximately $1 billion. Both companies are in the consumer and foodservice disposable packaging business. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by the third quarter of this year.

Anpesil changes name to Thayer Distribution

Anpesil Distribution Services, the Gibbstown, N.J.-based products distributor has changed its name to Thayer Distribution. The new name is taken from the company’s original location on Thayer Street in Philadelphia, Pa. The company has distribution centers in Gibbstown, N.J. and North Bergen, N.J. 

Kraft Foods to change corporte name to Mondelez International

Kraft Foods Inc. will change its corporate name to Mondelez International, Inc. (pronounced mohn-dah-LEEZ’), a newly coined word that evokes the idea of “delicious world.” As previously announced, Kraft Foods is dividing to create two public companies before the end of 2012: a global snacks business and a North American grocery business. The North American grocery company will become Kraft Foods Group, Inc., retaining the Kraft brand. 

ZeeCooper & Co. to rep Heritage Coffee Co.

ZeeCooper & Co., the Lusby, Md. coffee service products brokerage, has agreed to represent London, Ontario-based Heritage Coffee Co. in the U.S., initially focusing on expanding the private label program.

Starbucks, Green Mountain expand partnership

Starbucks Coffee Co. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. announced the expansion of their strategic relationship for the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of Starbucks-branded Vue™ packs for use in GMCR’s recently introduced Keurig® Vue™ Brewer.

Applications available for John Boyle and Alan Plaisted scholarships

Applications are being accepted for both the John Boyle Memorial Scholarship sponsored by the Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council, serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the Alan Plaisted Scholarship sponsored by the Southeastern Vending Association. Both scholarships cover costs for attending the 2012 Michigan State University/NAMA Executive Development Program, Oct. 21 to 25, 2012. For information, contact the respective associations.

Cuisinart, illycaffe will partner on espresso pod machines

Cuisinart and illycaffè announced a partnership to develop a new line of espresso machines designed and manufactured by Cuisinart. The collection, co-branded Cuisinart for illy, will feature illy’s proprietary espresso capsule system.

General Mills buys natural foods maker

General Mills Inc. acquired Food Should Taste Good, a natural snack foods company in Needham Heights, Mass. that will become part of Small Planet Foods, General Mills’ natural and organic products business.