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Food Safety News reports that “Japan, which used to be the largest export market for U.S. beef before the 2003 mad cow scare halted imports, is reportedly reviewing the safety of American beef in an effort to break down trade barriers,” which some estimate cost US meat companies as much as $1 billion a year.

There are multiple published reports that Starbucks has launched its much-hyped new digital network that serves as a landing page/portal for customers who access the internet while in its stores; the coffee retailer has established relationships with a number of media companies - including the New York Times, USA Today, Rodale, Zagat, Yahoo, and Nickelodeon - to provide content for the Starbucks Digital Network.

FastCasual.com reports that “London-based YO!Sushi is entering the U.S. market through an area development program spearheaded by full-service franchise sales outsourcing firm Franchise Dynamics. U.S. expansion will focus initially on the East Coast, as well as other major markets such as Chicago, Dallas and Miami. Projections call for development agreements for five restaurants to be in place by May 2011 and a cumulative total of 45 commitments signed by the end of 2013, including five to 10 locations open and operating in the United States.”

YO! Sushi is an intriguing concept because it embraces theatricality as being part of the food experience, delivering sushi and more than 100 traditional Japanese dishes to patrons via a conveyor built that goes from the kitchen to diners.

• Whole Foods Market has received a Green Power Partner of the Year award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a third time. Whole Foods Market was one of only four organizations and the only grocer to win the award. The competitive Green Power Partner of the Year award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market.
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