In the last five days, Italian buffalo mozzarella has become the talking point in European food circles with concerns over its safety. Elsewhere, French retailers Leclerc and Intermarché quit as associate members of the country's grocery trade association, while European food group Uniq tried to conquer the doubters with its annual results. In the US, ConAgra Foodssold its commodity arm for US$2.1bn, while a retail row is brewing down in Australia. Here are the most popular stories on just-food this week.

ITALY: Italy moves to quell mozzarella crisis
The Italian government has moved to quell fears that buffalo mozzarella is not safe to eat. With concerns over the safety of the soft cheese intensifying, Italian trade groups and the Agriculture Ministry today (26 March) looked to calm the situation.

UK: Uniq returns to profit
Uniq revealed today (25 March) that it returned to profit in 2007 on the back of increased group revenues and an improved performance at its UK and French businesses.  Revenues rose 2.9% to GBP736.1m (US$1.465bn), while operating losses dropped GBP7.3m to GBP3.6m. Pre-tax profit increased to GBP1.9m, up from a loss of GBP21.9m last year.

(For further analysis on the problems at Uniq, click here.)

US: ConAgra to offload commodity trading business
ConAgra Foods has decided to sell its commodity trading operations in a deal worth US$2.1bn. The US food group said today (27 March) that commodity fund Ospraie Special Opportunities would buy the business, which has proved lucrative in recent months.

AUS: Indie retail chief slams Woolworths, Coles
Food manufacturers in Australia are being "done over" by the country's two supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles, according to the head of local independent retailers. John Cummings, chairman of the National Association of Retail Grocers of Australia, yesterday (26 March) a bitter attack on Woolworths and Coles, which account for around 80% of the country's food retail sector.

FRANCE: Leclerc, Intermarché quit trade body
French retailers Leclerc and Intermarché have quit as associate members of the country's grocery trade association. The independent operators blamed strategic differences with retail giants such as Carrefour and Auchan.