News Watch

FRESHDIRECT ADDS NEW INDIAN LINE CREATED BY CHEF NEW YORK FreshDirect, an online, fresh foods home-delivery company serving the New York Metro area, has added a line of Indian cuisine with the help of Chef Floyd Cardoz of the upscale Tabla restaurant in Manhattan. FreshDirect's director of research and development, Tina Bourbeau, collaborated with Cardoz to create seven proprietary four-minute meals,

FRESHDIRECT ADDS NEW INDIAN LINE CREATED BY CHEF

NEW YORK — FreshDirect, an online, fresh foods home-delivery company serving the New York Metro area, has added a line of Indian cuisine with the help of Chef Floyd Cardoz of the upscale Tabla restaurant in Manhattan. FreshDirect's director of research and development, Tina Bourbeau, collaborated with Cardoz to create seven proprietary four-minute meals, seven ready-to-cook entrees and four sides. The four-minute meals, perfected earlier by FreshDirect, are packed in special containers that allow fresh-cut vegetables and other raw ingredients to cook in the same length of time, four minutes, in a microwave oven. The new Indian menu includes such entrees as chicken tikka masala, lamb shank, salmon, halibut and pork ribs vindaloo, all prepared with authentic Indian spices. Meal prices range from $8.99 to $12.99. Prices for ready-to-cook entrees range from $2.99 for a spiced half chicken to $12.99 for an Indian version of Berkshire pork medallions. “Chef Cardoz's passion for India's diverse regional cuisines makes this a very exciting project,” said Steve Michaelson, FreshDirect's president and chief executive, in a statement to the press. Previous partnerships with renowned chefs have proven successful for both FreshDirect and the respective restaurants, FreshDirect officials told SN earlier. Last year, a team-up with award-winning Chef Roberto Santibanez of New York's Rosa Mexicano restaurants added upscale Mexican meals to the company's menu. That venture followed on the heels of a successful partnership with Terrance Brennan, chef and owner of several upscale restaurants, including Manhattan's Artisanal.

WAL-MART'S PRIVATE-LABEL MILK NOW RBST-FREE

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here has announced that its Great Value private-label brand milk is being produced by cows that have not been given artificial growth hormones. The company also said that its Sam's Club division will offer milk exclusively from suppliers that have pledged not to use these hormones. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, in dairy herds — noting that there is no scientifically discernible difference between milk produced by treated cows and untreated cows — customer concern over rBST has led many major dairies to discontinue its use during the past two years. Representatives from Wal-Mart said that the company's milk has always been safe, but that they wished to offer their customers the option of rBST-free milk. “We value our customers' opinions and understand how important variety is in all aspects of the business,” Pam Kohn, senior vice president, general merchandise manager for Wal-Mart, said in a statement. “We've listened to customers and are pleased that our suppliers are helping us offer Great Value milk from cows that are not treated with rBST.”

SPARTAN STORES BECOMES NSF FOOD SAFETY-CERTIFIED

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — NSF International announced that Spartan Stores here has become the largest chain in the United States to receive NSF Shop Fresh certification, a program that integrates microbial sampling, regular on-site inspections and voluntary, unannounced audits in an effort to prevent and reduce food-related risks while improving food shelf life. “The NSF microbial reports provide Spartan Stores with a means to view the invisible,” said Chuck Behrend, food safety director for Spartan Stores. “These reports have created a heightened sense of awareness on behalf of the store associates and provide a sense of assurance to our valued customers that the food they purchase is the freshest, safest available.” All Spartan locations, including Glen's Markets, Family Fare Supermarkets and D&W Fresh Markets, are certified and will have a certified food manager working during every shift when food is being prepared or served.