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Performance Food Group First in U.S. to Use DNA based meat Traceability System for Hamburger

PFG’s Braveheart® Black Angus Burgers Now Fully Traceable with IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack®

Richmond, Va., and Lawrence, Kan., (Nov. 30, 2011) - Performance Food Group (also known as PERFORMANCE Foodservice) one of the nation’s largest foodservice distributors, and Kansas-based IdentiGEN, a leader in meat traceability systems, have developed the first commercial solution to trace ground meat back to its origins using DNA technology.

Thousands of U.S. restaurants from coast to coast, including Blackstone Bar and Grill (Yorkville, Ill.), Oakes Farms Market (Naples, Fla.) and DeRango The Pizza King (Kenosha, Wis.), will serve Braveheart Black Angus Burgers from Performance Food Group (PFG) that are traceable by DNA TraceBack® technology.

The collaboration marks the first time DNA TraceBack, previously used to trace cuts of meat, has been used to trace ground beef to its Black Angus origins. This deployment follows a collaborative effort, begun in January 2010, between IdentiGEN and the manufacturers of PFG’s Braveheart Black Angus Beef hamburgers.

“This is an exciting development in meat traceability systems, because it enables us for the first time to trace a batch of ground beef back to its origins,” said Steve Sands, PFG’s vice president of protein. “Our Braveheart customers demand the highest quality Angus beef that has been raised in the Midwest. DNA TraceBack is a critical tool to verify that Braveheart Black Angus ground beef is what they’re getting.”

IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack system captures the unique DNA of the Black Angus cattle as they move through the production chain. Robust analytical and statistical techniques are employed, making it possible for individual beef patties to be traced back to their origins with precision that is unachievable with conventional tracking systems, said Dr. Ronan Loftus, CEO of IdentiGEN North America.

“This new aspect of our PFG partnership marks the first U.S. use of DNA technology to trace ground beef back through the production chain. PFG is an innovative and progressive organization on the cutting edge of offering traceability to their customers,” Loftus noted.

PFG’s adoption of DNA TraceBack for Braveheart Black Angus Burgers follows the company’s adoption of DNA TraceBack for its steaks, roasts and other beef cuts in May 2011. PFG turned to DNA TraceBack to assure its thousands of Braveheart Black Angus restaurant customers, food service outlets and grocery retailers that all of its beef – from steaks to hamburger – comes from Angus cattle, Midwest-raised on an all-vegetarian, corn-based diet optimized for flavor and tenderness and processed under Braveheart’s standards to produce a consistent, safe and superior eating experience.


Media Contact:
Michele Wells, Wells Communications
mwells@wellscommunications.net
303-417-0696

About IdentiGEN North America

IdentiGEN North America, Inc., is a leading provider of DNA-based solutions to the agriculture and food industries based in Lawrence, Kansas. Through IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack® system, retailers, meat processors, producers and local governments, for the first time, have the tools to unequivocally trace meat back to its source. Additional information can be found at www.identigen.com  and www.dnatraceback.com.

About Performance Food Group:
Through its leading family of foodservice distributors – Performance Foodservice, Vistar and PFG Customized Distribution, Performance Food Group, Inc. (PFG) delivers over 150,000 national and proprietary-branded food and food-related products to the locations of more than 150,000 independent and national chain restaurants, quick-service eateries, pizzerias, theaters, schools, hotels, health care facilities and other institutions. The company currently employs more than 12,000 people throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.pfgc.com.

Media contact:
Joe Vagi
Manager, Corporate Communications 
(804) 484-7737
jvagi@pfgc.com