MFA NEWS SCAN UPDATE FEBRUARY 3, 2014

MFA NEWS SCAN UPDATE FEBRUARY 3, 2014


- Friday, January 31, 2014



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DIV OF STDS ISSUES WARNING ON PRICING CH. 94 SECTION 181

The MA Division of Standards has advised all food stores and food departments that they must continue to comply with pricing requirements under MA General Laws for certain products, even if they have obtained an item pricing waiver for price marking of items.  M.G.L. Chapter 94 Section 181 requires any non-processed, fresh or frozen meat, poultry or edible fish sold in package form to be marked on the outside of the package with the price per pound and the total sales price.  This must continue even with an item pricing waiver.  Examples of processed meat, poultry and fish include items that are coated with breading, such as fish sticks and fried chicken.  Cooked items that are ready to eat (excluding cold cuts) whether fresh or frozen would also be exempted from having to be marked as required.  Please contact the office if you have any questions.

 

MA DEP ANNOUNCES ORGANICS BAN DELAYED

On Friday, January 31, the MA Department of Environmental Protection announced that the ban on organics from the waste stream has been delayed three months from July 1 to October 1 of this year.  The ban, which affects any establishment that produces more than one ton of organic waste per month, was pushed back to allow more time for establishments that are mandated under the ban to have more time to reach compliance.  Most supermarkets and grocery stores in Massachusetts already remove organics from their waste stream.  The press release announcing the regulations is available here: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2014/food-waste-disposal.htmlPlease contact the office if you have any questions.  Other useful links include: Final Regulation Amendments (Note: the full 310 CMR 19.000 regulations posted do not yet reflect the January 31, 2014 amendments.  This document will be updated next week.); Response to Comments; Guidance for Businesses, Institutions, and Haulers; General Waste Ban Fact Sheets; Organics Action Plan (updated January 2014); Complying with the Commercial Organics Disposal Ban; Estimating Food Waste Disposal; Best Management Practices for Food Waste Collection; Food Donation Guidance; Searchable Service Provider Database.

 

cONGRESS REACHES FINAL DEAL ON FARM BILL

On Monday, January 27, a 41 member Congressional Conference Committee completed work on a $500 billion Farm bill after over two years of struggle over the legislation.  The House of Representatives passed the proposal on Wednesday by a vote of 251 to 166.  It seeks to save approximately $24 billion over ten years, with about $8 billion in savings through cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp program, and elimination of the annual $5 billion in direct payments to farmers.  The proposal would increase the number of crop insurance programs available to farmers and require them to follow conservation compliance measures to receive subsidies.  The GOP-led House had been looking for nearly $40 billion in cuts to SNAP while the Democratic-controlled Senate targeted $4.5 billion.  The proposal also seeks to prohibit bottle deposits from being paid for using SNAP benefits in bottle deposit law states.

 

FDA CONSIDERS CHANGES TO NUTRITION LABELS ON PACKAGES

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is considering changes to nutrition labeling on packaged food.  The FDA has sent guidelines for the new labels to the White House for review, but it is not known when they might be released.  FDA claims they have been working on the issue for a decade.  Expected changes include making the calorie count more prominent and adjusting serving sizes.

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MFA NEWS SCAN UPDATE FEBRUARY 3, 2014


- Friday, January 31, 2014



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