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FMI announces executive changes

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute announced that one of its former executives is rejoining the organization, while another will be retiring.

FMI announced last Friday that Patrick Davis has rejoined the organization as its VP state government relations, where he will serve as the principal liaison between FMI and state associations. Prior to rejoining FMI, Davis served as president and founder of Alliance Consulting.

"We know from his previous work at FMI that Patrick is a proven and successful leader, and we are delighted to welcome him back to the team," FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. "His extensive knowledge of food industry operations provides solid grounding for his task of establishing, promoting and communicating state-level legislation as an advocate for the food retail and wholesale industry."

Meanwhile, FMI also said that Jill Hollingsworth, SVP food safety programs, is retiring after 15 years of service. During her tenure, FMI developed "a complete spectrum of food safety resources for retailers and wholesalers, including the Safe Quality Food Institute and SafeMark training programs,” Sarasin said. 

"Jill has been an extraordinary advocate on behalf of supermarkets," Sarasin added. "She has spent her entire career dedicated to ensuring food safety for consumers. She will be greatly missed, but we wish her a wonderful retirement."

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Winn-Dixie caters to kosher sect in Miami

BY Gail Hoffer

MIAMI — Winn-Dixie has completed the remodeling of its Miami-area store in Aventura that will better cater to the community’s Jewish residents with expanded kosher offerings.

The remodeled store also features a cleaner, more modern and attractive setting, hardwood flooring throughout the produce, deli and bakery departments, and a dedicated area offering free Wi-Fi access and complimentary coffee, the company reported.

“We are excited to deliver on our promise of providing our guests with a fresh, new shopping experience at their Aventura Winn-Dixie Store,” said Randy Rambo, Winn-Dixie Southern regional VP. “This store exemplifies our fresh and local strategy and serves as a one-stop grocery destination catering to the needs, tastes and preferences of the surrounding community.”

The expanded kosher offerings include bigger kosher departments, kosher-certified products and such freshly prepared foods as Israeli foods, pareve snacks, kosher meats and cheeses, freshly-baked breads and customized specialty cakes. All kosher departments will be operated under the supervision of the Orthodox Rabbinical Board.

With one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States, which includes many who are transplants from the Northeast where several supermarkets provide robust kosher offerings, Miami is a key market for kosher products, and other area supermarkets likely will follow Winn-Dixie’s lead.

Winn-Dixie Stores currently operates 484 retail grocery locations, including 379 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.

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A.FEIN says:
May-31-2011 10:40 pm

sect? Very poor and inappropriate choice of words

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Researchers find link between flu, asthma

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have discovered the reason why influenza may induce asthma attacks among children.

A team led by senior investigator Dale Umets found that the flu can activate a newly recognized group of immune cells called natural helper cells, which prompts asthma attacks to occur. An infection, the team found, stimulates production of a compound called IL-33, which activates natural helper cells, which in turn secrete asthma-inducing compounds.

This discovery also may imply that existing asthma medications aren’t effective enough, especially when a child is diagnosed with the flu or some other viral infection.

"Virtually 100% of asthmatics get worse with a viral infection," Umetsu said. "We really didn’t know how that happened, but now we have an explanation, at least for influenza. Without these cells being activated, infection did not cause airway hyperreactivity, the cardinal feature of asthma. Now we can start to think of this [biological] pathway as a target, IL-33, the natural helper cell itself or the factors it produces."

The findings were published in the journal Nature Immunology.

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