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http://www.ajc.com/news/content/business/0105/31flowers.htmlAtlanta Journal Constitution, GAFlowers Foods settles kosher caseStaff reportsPublished on: 01/31/05 Flowers Foods Inc. said Monday it reached a final settlement in a case involving the sale of non-kosher pie shells as kosher. The Thomasville-based maker of the Nature's Own and Cobblestone Mill brands agreed to donate $1 million in cash and $1.5 million in bread products to charitable organizations. In the case, filed in Wake County, N.C., and granted class-action status, Flowers officials said the company ran some non-kosher products on its kosher pie shell line at its Pembroke, N.C., plant in 2000 and 2001. Flowers Foods no longer manufactures pie shells, and the Pembroke plant closed in 2001.
1)Georgia Co. Settles Kosher Pie Crust Suit December 17, 2004Associated Press NewswiresRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A food company accused of putting pig fat into what were supposed to be kosher pie crusts has agreed to give $2.5 million to charity to settle a lawsuit. Flowers Foods, a Georgia-based company that once owned a Mrs. Smith's Bakery in Pembroke, N.C., didn't admit to passing off pie crusts containing pork lard as kosher, but the company agreed Thursday to a settlement to end a class-action lawsuit filed this spring. The company issued a letter of apology for what it calls an embarrassing incident. The plant in Pembroke has closed and Flowers no longer owns Mrs. Smith's bakeries or makes pie crusts. If the allegations are true, Orthodox Jews who ate the crusts inadvertently violated their religious principles while eating Mrs. Smith's pie crusts in 2000 and 2001. Jews who follow kosher diet rules are strictly prohibited from eating pork products. The Mrs. Smith's plant made regular pie crusts with pork lard. It also baked crusts without milk or meat products. Those crusts were stamped kosher by the Orthodox Union, a New York organization that certifies kosher foods. In 2001, Raleigh lawyer Marvin Schiller heard the allegations of a plant employee that workers often substituted regular crusts for kosher ones when the plant ran out. Schiller doesn't observe kosher rules, but he said he agreed to become the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit out of respect for his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. The lawyers in the case said it was impractical to find every Jewish person who had eaten a Mrs. Smith's pie crust, so they decided instead to give the settlement money to charity. Schiller gets $2,000 from the settlement, but he said he will donate it to the neurology department at the University of North Carolina. Flowers, which makes baked goods at 34 plants throughout the country, will divide $1 million in cash among five groups, including the Orthodox Union. The neurology department will get a $100,000 share, in addition to Schiller's contribution. The company will donate $1.5 million worth of bread products to America's Second Harvest, a national charity that helps the needy get food.2)Flowers Foods Announces Settlement Pending Court Approval September 9, 2004PR Newswire (U.S.)THOMASVILLE, Ga., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Flowers Foods today announced that it has reached an agreement to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit, Schiller, et al. v. Flowers Foods Inc., which was filed in Wake County, N.C. Plaintiffs allege that Flowers failed to ensure the kosher status of certain pie shells manufactured between 2000 and 2001 at a former subsidiary of Flowers located in Pembroke, N.C. The Pembroke plant ceased manufacturing in 2001. Flowers Foods no longer manufactures pie shells. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, litigation will be terminated and Flowers will donate $1 million in cash and $1.5 million in bread products to charitable organizations. The settlement is subject to a number of conditions, including notice to class members and final court approval following completion of a fairness hearing. Flowers settled this matter to avoid further protracted litigation, expense and distraction. The terms of the settlement include no admission of liability. For 85 years, Flowers has made producing quality baked foods that meet consumers' needs a top priority. Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods is one of the nation's leading producers and marketers of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers. Flowers operates 34 bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery products marketed throughout the Southeastern, Southwestern, and mid-Atlantic states via an extensive direct-store-delivery network and nationwide through other delivery systems. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own, Cobblestone Mill, Sunbeam, BlueBird, and Mrs. Freshley's. For more information, visit http://www.flowersfoods.com/ . Web site: http://www.flowersfoods.com/CONTACT: Marta J. Turner, Senior VP-Corporate Relations of FlowersFoods, +1-229-227-2348
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