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Reuters reports that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to “increase testing parts of steaks and other meat cuts used to make ground beef as the government steps up efforts to reduce the spread of E. coli bacteria in food.

“USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) said it was issuing guidance for meat inspectors to begin testing of so-called bench trim for E. coli, which the department has not routinely done in the past.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “state attorneys general and health advocacy groups are urging the federal government to more closely regulate caffeinated alcoholic drinks, a small but fast-growing category popular among younger drinkers. Proponents of tougher regulation are calling for everything from outright bans to warning labels stating that mixing caffeine and alcohol could carry health or safety risks. A primary concern of the groups is that caffeine and other stimulants may mask feelings of drunkenness, which could lead users to act recklessly, such as driving while intoxicated.”

• The Boston Globe reports that Friendly Ice Cream Corp. has developed a new, smaller format that has just 40 seats, a more limited menu and a larger emphasis on take-out foods – an approach that it hopes will help it compete more effectively with other fast casual chains such as Panera Bread and Chipotle as well as with fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s.

• Coinstar Inc announced that it has struck a deal that will put its Redbox DVD rental kiosks in 2,600 Kroger stores – a dramatic increase from the 200 Krogers where it currently has kiosks. The deal will cover all of Kroger’s various banners.
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