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FDA projects are under way to combat outbreaks of foodborne illnesses by quickly tracking down contaminated foods, reports UPI. Two pilot projects, one for processed foods and the other for produce, will be conducted to explore how the FDA and the food industry can rapidly trace foods back to a source of contamination during an outbreak of disease. A proposed product tracing system would involve overseeing the production and distribution chain so a product can be traced back to a common source or forward through distribution channels if there's evidence of contaminated food, the FDA said. The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), will carry out the pilot studies for the FDA ... Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would widen the definition of "adulterated" food and criminally penalize food makers that knowingly sell contaminated food, reports FoodSafetyNews.com. "Improving federal oversight of food safety requires a modern food safety mandate and clear authorities to effectively protect the public from foodborne diseases associated with the products that the Food Safety and Inspection Service regulates," according to the bill ... Hostess Brands Inc., which emerged from bankruptcy protection in February 2009, has hired the law firm Jones Day and financial services firm Perella Weinberg Partners amid continued struggles with high ingredient, fuel and labor costs, reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). No restructuring appears imminent for Hostess, and adequate cash is available to operate in the near term. Previously known as Interstate Bakeries Corp. (IBC), Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2004 before emerging in February 2009. At that time, the company announced it would operate as a private company, and in November 2009 I.B.C. changed its name to Hostess Brands Inc. ... Fortune Brands plans to spin off its home and security business in October, reports the Chicago Tribune. The remaining business will be renamed Beam Inc. Beam's sales are up 14 percent this year with strength in Jim Beam, double-digit growth for Maker's Mark and solid growth for Skinnygirl, which is relatively small but the fastest-growing brand in the spirits industry ... With $1,580 million in debt, Moody's de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., has confirmed the Baa2 unsecured rating of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., reports Food Business News. Expanding on the rating, Moody's said Bimbo enjoys a number of positives, including its position as the largest baked foods company in Mexico and in the United States, its sustained free cash flow generation, geographic diversification, experienced management team and prudent financial policies. The confirmation completes a review that began in November 2010, when Bimbo announced plans to acquire the fresh baking business in North America of Sara Lee Corp. At the time, Moody's was considering Bimbo for a downgrade. Moody's said the credit outlook for Bimbo is stable ... Christopher J. "CJ" Fraleigh, CEO of Sara Lee North America, has resigned from the company to pursue other opportunities.  The company has begun a search for Fraleigh's successor, with the objective of making an appointment as soon as possible. In the interim, Sara Lee Corp. CEO Marcel Smits will also assume responsibilities for leading the North American business ...  WILD Flavors GmbH (WILD) announced the acquisition of certain assets of the A.M. Todd Group Inc. (A.M. Todd), a leading provider of mint flavors and ingredients based in Kalamazoo, Mich. ... New Zealand-based Fonterra and UK-based First Milk will joint venture to produce premium whey proteins for Fonterra's growing food ingredients business ... In a deal valued around $339 million, Nestle is holding talks to acquire Progress, a Russian juices and baby food producer, reports Reuters ... Frutarom reports its fifth acquisition of the year, Flavor Systems International Inc. for $35.3 million ... Google is buying restaurant-review company Zagat for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help Google expand its offerings for local businesses, reaching beyond Web searches and search ads, in addition to becoming a trustworthy content provider.

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