August 2, 2013

Briefcase

Risk of E. coli leads to recall of 50,000 pounds of beef

A western Kansas company is recalling more than 50,000 pounds of ground beef products because of concerns that they could be tainted with E. coli.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said Wednesday that National Beef Packing Co., based in Liberal, produced the meat.

The products carry the number "EST. 208A" inside the USDA mark. They were produced July 18 and shipped in 40- to 60-pound cases across the country. The department said no illnesses related to the meat have been reported.

Quarterly profit at Kellogg's rises even as cereal sales fall

Kellogg Co.'s profit rose in the latest quarter, but its revenue fell short of expectations as its flagship cereal unit struggled.

The maker of Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts and Eggo waffles said Thursday that items such as frozen breakfast sandwiches and the acquisition of Pringles chips helped lift overall sales for North America. But the U.S. morning foods unit that includes cereals saw a 3.3 percent decline.

"The breakfast occasion is growing, but there are a lot more choices. Within that, we need (cereal) to stand for something more clearly," Kellogg CEO John Bryant said in an interview.

The company cut its revenue forecast for the year, citing slower growth in the U.S. and other developed markets, as well as the impact of a stronger dollar.

Plane builder, fresh out of bankruptcy, gets big order

Newly reorganized Beechcraft Corp. said Thursday that it has received a nearly $1.4 billion order, believed to be the largest propeller aircraft order by value in general aviation history.

The Wichita-based plane maker won a contract to build up to 105 King Air 350i aircraft, valued at $788 million, from Wheels Up, a New York City-based private aviation membership company. Beechcraft also was named comprehensive maintenance provider for Wheels Up in North America and Western Europe, a contract worth $600 million.

The first 35 planes, built in Wichita, will be delivered between now and mid-2015, with nine scheduled for this year, Beechcraft said in a news release. The deal includes options for 70 more aircraft as Wheels Up expands over the next two to three years.

Highest possible fine paid by Ford for delaying recall

Ford has paid the top penalty of $17.35 million to settle government allegations that the company was slow to recall nearly a half-million SUVs last year.

The fine announced Thursday is linked to the July 2012 recall of nearly 485,000 Ford Escape SUVs from the 2001 to 2004 model years. The SUVs, equipped with 3-liter V-6 engines, were recalled to fix sticking gas pedals that could cause crashes. It's the maximum fine that safety regulators are allowed to levy against an automaker.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contends Ford knew about the problem in May 2011, but failed to take action until the agency began investigating the Escapes in July 2012. The probe was started after a teenage Arizona girl died in an Escape crash in January of last year.

Regulators felt Ford's delay violated the law, although Ford denied any violations in a June 28 settlement agreement posted online by NHTSA.

-- From news service reports

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