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» July 22, 2008 «
The trained nose of a parcel-inspection dog sniffed out a box of improperly labeled Indian mangoes … and the resulting investigation led to a lawsuit against an international shipping company. The state Attorney General's office alleges that the firm regularly shipped mislabeled produce to avoid inspection laws. Officials say those laws protect California from exotic pests. The dog, named CC, detected the mangoes at the Ontario International Airport
Cooler weather in the Sacramento Valley the past few days pleased many people, but prolonged cool temperatures could cause problems for rice farmers. Chilly nights bring particular concern, because extended periods of temperatures below 56 degrees could cause rice plants not to form kernels. To avoid the problem, farmers often add water to their fields before a cool snap. Predicted warmer temperatures later this week should ease the concern.
It's been a good year for cheese. The Nielsen company tracks cheese sales, and says consumers have increased their cheese spending in the past year. For the 52 weeks ending in mid-May, Americans spent almost $10 billion for cheese. That's up nearly 10 percent from the previous year. Nielsen says consumers consider cheese a relative value. California ranks second nationally in cheese production.
Oregano, thyme, cinnamon and clove have been used for centuries to flavor foods … and now could help enhance their safety, too. Federal researchers say those herbs and spices, and others, contain oils that destroy food-borne pathogens including E. coli. Now, they're studying ways to put that knowledge to use. For example, the natural compounds could be added to thin, edible film that would protect fresh produce from pathogens.Top