Tag Archives: e-coli

Central’s Week in Brief: September 30

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more. It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1.) Usually when you go to a baseball game, common beverage options are water, soda and beer. Well, it looks like there’s another beverage that’s become quite popular at ballparks–wine! Andrew Shipe of Aramark told the Houston Chronicle, “Five years ago, wine was mostly limited to the premium seats.  But these days, it’s more likely to be on the main concourse.” Read the full story here.

2.) When it comes to advertising, sometimes looking into your company’s archives may hold the key to success, or at least is a good shot! Wendy’s latest marketing campaign answers the 1984 question, “Where’s the beef?” by simply, well, answering it!  “Here it is!” they say.  To address it, Wendy’s has thrown in snippets of the now decades old commercial into new commercials for their line of “Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburgers.” Check out more information on the New York Times website.

3.) In the last few weeks, a listeria outbreak from cantaloupe has claimed at least 13 lives and has infected over 70 people, according to statistics from the Center for Disease control.  Then just this week, Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. has recalled 131,000 pounds of ground beef under the suspicion it may be contaminated with E. Coli.  An ABC news article reported that so far, no one has reported being ill from the beef  and the recall was voluntary.  With two major recalls, now is a good time to review standards and procedures at your restaurant. Click here to view ABC’s article, which includes tips.

4.) Is your restaurant using social media or mobile apps? At this year’s MUFSO (Multi-Unit Foodservice Operator) conference, which was held September 25-27, NY Times Columnist David Pogue stressed the importance of using these methods of communication.  He noted many restaurants are leery of social media and apps but, “if you use it right, there are some incredible things you can do.” Read the full story here from Nation’s Restaurant News.

5.) Exciting news from Central! We’ve recently rolled out our Monthly Customer Newsletter which includes the latest from our blog, foodservice news, tips, questions, a Twitter topics and more. This month’s @CRPRestaurant Twitter topic is “What is/was your favorite school food and why?” Answer it on Twitter by using the hashtag: #crplunchfaves.  Then enter in #crplunchfaves in Twitter’s search tool to see what others are saying.  Feel free to get creative and dig deep to remember some of the neat things you ate as a kid!  Also, be sure to check out the newsletter here!


Food Safety: How to Stay E. coli Free

In recent months E. coli has been a hot topic of conversation due to recent outbreaks in Germany, many other parts of Europe and even a few cases here in the U.S.  The cause of this potentially deathly affliction?  Overall the answer has been something as small and simple as contaminated sprout seeds from Egypt according to the International Business Times.   While these latest occurrences have brought the infection back to the top of everyone’s minds, it’s imperative for every restaurant to know the background on it and more importantly how it can most often be prevented.

hamburgers, image from morguefileWhat is E. coli and who does it affect?

Commonly known as E. coli, the technical name for the bacteria is Escherichia coli.   On a day to day basis, a certain strain of the bacteria is already inside your stomach to help you digest food.  However, there is another strain of the germ, usually found in raw/undercooked meat, that when ingested can cause the severe illness we usually associate with the bacteria.

While E. coli can affect anyone, it is most aggressive in children and the elderly.  This is mostly due to a weaker immune system along with a larger opportunity for these two groups to be in close proximity (schools, day cares and nursing homes) with others who may pass along the germ.

How can E. coli be prevented?

There are several ways to help prevent E. coli from spreading.  Here are just a few tips compiled from familydoctor.org, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and ecolifoodpoisoning.net.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.   This makes sure to remove any dirt or fertilizer that the produce has been grown in.  The closer the item is grown to the ground (i.e. lettuce, cabbage, sprouts) the more likely it is to have been affected.
  • Make sure to avoid cross-contamination.   Always use separate knives and cutting boards for raw meat and other items when preparing them.  It’s also important to use separate plates for raw and cooked meat.
  • Ensure that all meat is cooked to the appropriate/suggested temperature.  In terms of E. coli, this is especially important with red meat.  Here’s a great guide to knowing what the right temperature for each meat is.
  • Do not drink unpasteurized milk and juice.
  • Last but not least, make sure you always wash your hands and keep all surfaces wiped down.  While this may be a no-brainer after a trip to the restroom or after taking out the trash, it’s also extremely important after touching meat or other products that could possibly be a contamination issue.

washing hands, image from morguefileIs it possible to permanently get rid of the threat of E. coli?

As the answer to many future dining nightmares, this could happen (to some extent) in the future.  The Huffington Post reports that by using irradiation on food, eating could be a much safer endeavor.  The article continues by saying, “Irradiation zaps food with electron beams, like the kind long used to run TVs, or with gamma rays or X-rays. It’s the same way numerous medical products are sterilized.”  However, because many consumers have a fear of this method, this process continues to be the exception with foods requiring labels when the process is used.

What methods do you and/or your restaurant use to prevent the spread of E. coli?  How have you handled scares and/or outbreaks in the past?  Please leave your comments below.

Central’s Week in Brief: June 3

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more.  It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

New Food Pyramid

Last week we told you the well-known food pyramid was getting a change–and indeed it did! This week, the USDA released the new version of the food pyramid, which isn’t a pyramid at all.  It’s now a food plate! On it, you will find a plate which shows you how many fruits, vegetables, grains and protein you should be eating.

Image: ChooseMyPlate.gov

European E-Coli Outbreak

Europe is experiencing a new “super-toxic” E-coli outbreak of an unfamiliar bacteria that has left at least 18 people dead and over 1500 sick.  The source of this outbreak is still unknown and has spread to at least ten countries in the EU.

Burger King Revamping its Image

Burger King is saying sayonara to their King mascot and this Miami Herald article says the chain will be getting a dramatic makeover in advertising, menu items and even in the restaurants themselves.  By upgrading, they will be joining several of chains who have already done so.  No worries though, the famous Whopper isn’t going anywhere but they will be adding in more healthier items to the menu.

National Donut Day

June 3 is National Donut Day! There’s still some time left, both Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme are using social media to promote special offers. If you love donuts, be sure to take advantage of the occasion!

Summer Recipe

Since we just kicked off summer, which is also a kick off for grilling season, check out these tips for safe grilling from the Patch website.