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Briefs

Million jars of food sent to landfill

Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.

Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said he had no other choice after Costco Wholesale refused to take shipment of the Sunland Inc. product and declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food to institutions like prisons.

“We considered all options,” Coll said. “They didn’t agree.”

Costco officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment. But court filings indicate the product was made with $2.8 million worth of Valencia peanuts owned by Costco and had been sitting in the warehouse since the company shut down and filed for bankruptcy last fall.

H&M withdraws vest over anti-Semitism

Fashion retailer H&M has pulled a vest from its shelves worldwide after accusations its design, which featured a menacing skull in the center of a Star of David, was anti-Semitic.

The menswear item, which was withdrawn this week following complaints, was also destined for sale in Israel, where the retailer has 14 stores.

H&M, a Swedish company, said in a statement Friday: “We are sincerely sorry if the T-shirt print has offended anyone, it was not our intention to provoke such a reaction.”

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor welcomed the garment’s withdrawal, calling it a “thoughtless and insensitive design.”

Kantor said he hoped “that the symbols of the Jewish People will be given the same care as those of other minority groups.”

McDonald’s offers free breakfast coffee

McDonald’s is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.

McDonald’s said that this is the first time it’s ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.

The Oak Brook, Ill., company is hoping that the coffee giveaway will bring in new customers. It’s also a way to get existing customers to come in more frequently. And it’s likely that those stopping by for a free coffee will be tempted to pick up a breakfast sandwich or other items while there.

Breakfast is an important component of McDonald’s business, comprising about 20 percent of its U.S. sales.

Price of oil up slightly, shows 2 percent gain

The price of oil rose slightly Friday and finished the week with a 2 percent gain amid signs of stronger economic growth in the U.S. and global supply concerns.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for May delivery gained 39 cents to $101.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, oil rose 2.2 percent.

Concerns are growing in energy markets about supply from Nigeria, which produces about 2.5 million barrels of oil daily. There have been reports of sabotage at a pipeline, where leaks have forced Shell Nigeria to halt exports from its Forcados terminal since March 4.

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