NEW JERSEY ENACTS HALAL LAW

TRENTON -- New Jersey has become the first state in the nation to enact a Halal Food Consumer Protection Act, requiring businesses that package, sell, or prepare halal food to post information authenticating that the product meets halal standards. The new law is similar to existing legislation pertaining to kosher food for Jews, said officials. Halal, which has its roots in the Islamic holy book,

TRENTON -- New Jersey has become the first state in the nation to enact a Halal Food Consumer Protection Act, requiring businesses that package, sell, or prepare halal food to post information authenticating that the product meets halal standards. The new law is similar to existing legislation pertaining to kosher food for Jews, said officials. Halal, which has its roots in the Islamic holy book, the Koran, is similar to kosher in that it rejects pork. More importantly, Muslims eat meat only from animals killed through Islamic ritual slaughter practices.

rs Hormel Division

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart has bestowed its Supplier of the Year award on Hormel Foods' Meat Products Division, Austin, Minn., after the retailer reviewed more than 400 other suppliers that sell fresh meat and deli products to the retail giant. In announcing the award, officials acknowledged Hormel's leadership in such areas as order fill-rate percentage, the introduction of new products and merchandising programs and percentage store-sale increases of meat products from the previous year.

IBP Plant Dedicated to New Line

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- IBP will spend some $60 million to renovate a 600,000-square-foot processing plant in Herman, Texas, dedicated specifically to produce its case-ready line of Thomas E. Wilson brand meats. The old Oscar Mayer plant, dormant since 1998, is expected to manufacture several million pounds of fresh, case-ready beef and pork each week, to be sold to retail grocers primarily operating in the southern United States. Portions of beef and pork products will also be brought to the new plant from other IBP locations for additional processing into individual cuts such as roasts, steaks and chops.

Fish Farms Urged to Change

WASHINGTON -- Wild-fish habitats are increasingly threatened by fish farms, according to a new study of aquaculture released by SeaWeb here. Researchers recommended the booming $6 billion industry take steps to implement best practices such as waste-water treatment and promotion of vegetarian fish and filter feeders, since other species are often fed a diet of ground up wild-caught fish, the researchers said. They also noted that careless farm construction destroys sensitive coastal and wetland wild-fish nurseries. At the same time, the study acknowledged fish farms contribute to the global food supply.