Filtered by category: Food Council Clear Filter

HHSC Retailer Stakeholders Meeting

Texas leads the nation in technology for both SNAP & WIC.  Every quarter the State agencies hold a call to update the group on the technology. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission met September, 24, 2019 to discuss updates regarding the WIC Program, EBT system and the effects of Tropical Storm Imelda and the Southeast Texas Floods.The meeting notes from the most recent call/meeting are available.  Please review the notes and if you have comments or questions regarding SNAP/WIC technology, shelf tags, compliance, call center, or products, let us know.  Also we will be publishing the time/date of the next call early 2020. Click here to review the minutes of this meeting.

Shurfine to Foodclub brand changes

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

Texas WIC announces the following changes to the FY2020 “Choose These Brands” category:

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Popular Apples Recalled in Texas

Apples distributed to wholesalers and retailers in Texas have been recalled this season. The apples, which are from Michigan, are possibly contaminated with Listeria.

The recalled apples include McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Fuji, Jonamac and Red Delicious apples.

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Food Council: Raw Seafood Policy Change

The TRA and it’s Food Council Members were successful in making a revision to this ordinance in Fort Worth.  Previously the City of Fort Worth required a temperature reading of 34 degrees in fresh seafood cases.  The national guideline is 41 degrees.  Below is the ruling. 

Message from Wyndie Turpen, RS
Consumer Health Superintendent/Code Compliance for the City of Fort Worth

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US and Mexico Sign Tomato Suspension Agreement

On 9/19, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Mexican tomato growers signed a new suspension agreement to prevent the dumping of tomatoes into the U.S. market. The two countries have been in a major tiff over the dumping of tomatoes, which caused the Commerce Department to pull out of the previous long-standing tomato suspension agreement. To reach last week’s agreement, the U.S. agreed to suspend the current Administration’s anti-dumping investigation on Mexican tomatoes. The new agreement terminates a 17.56 percent tariff placed on importers of Mexican tomatoes. 

Source: National Grocer's Association

Texas HHSC comments on SNAP eligibility rule

During a recent call with Texas Health and Human Services Commission, TRA referenced a study noted in the link here.  This study indicated a new eligibility  rule which would impact the number of families eligible for SNAP in Texas.  TRA will continue to monitor the issue and give guidance to food retailers regarding potential SNAP sales impact in 2020. "HHSC is currently reviewing the proposed rules, but has not made available any information on the impact to Texas distribution", says Duane Pietsch, Lone Star Business Services/ EBT. "It is my understanding that because the rules are only proposed at this time, HHSC cannot speak to impacts, and not likely do so until the rules are finalized by FNS."

Information regarding the Government Shutdown and WIC/SNAP Benefits

The State of Texas announced that February food benefits will be provided early to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients. This gives recipients more time to manage their resources during the government shutdown due to the uncertainty about future federal program funding.

SNAP Recipients will see funds on their Lone Star cards by January 20th. While SNAP recipients are encouraged to not make mass purchases and try to space their food purchases throughout the whole month of February, retailers should prepare for both cases. Roughly three and a half million people will be receiving their benefits early and retailers need to be prepared to accommodate mass crowds.

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