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FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of Listeria in Dole Leafy Greens Products Produced in the Dole Facility in Springfield, Ohio
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
What was the Problem and What was Done About It? The FDA, CDC and state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis.
According to CDC, 15 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from eight states since July 5, 2015. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (5), and Pennsylvania (1).
According to the CDC, WGS (whole genome sequencing) has been performed on clinical isolates from all ill people and has shown that the isolates are highly related genetically. Listeria specimens were collected from ill people between July 5, 2015 and January 3, 2016. Ill people range in age from 3 years to 83, and the median age is 64. Seventy-three percent of ill people are female. All fifteen (100%) ill people reported being hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis. One of the illnesses reported was in a pregnant woman. Of eight ill people who were asked about packaged salad, all eight reported eating a packaged salad. Four ill people who were able to specify the brands of packaged salad eaten reported various varieties of Dole brand packaged salad.
Although the investigation began in September 2015, the source of these illnesses wasn't known until January 2016 when the laboratory result from the packaged salad collected in Ohio linked the illnesses to the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.
On January 21, 2016, Dole reported to FDA and CDC that it ceased production of all packaged salads at its processing facility in Springfield, Ohio. Additionally, the company reported that it is withdrawing all packaged salads currently on the market that were produced at this facility.
On January 27, 2016, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., announced that it was recalling all packaged salads produced in its Springfield, Ohio, facility.
On January 28, 2016, the FDA completed its analysis and confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a packaged salad produced at the Springfield, Ohio, facility.
Consumers should not eat, and restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio. As pictured below, these products can be identified by the letter "A" at the beginning of the manufacturing code on the package.
These packaged salads are sold under these brand names:
Source: Georgia Department of Public Health
The Georgia Department of Public Health recently recognized a Wild mushroom identifier course known as the
Mushroom Mountain Wild Mushroom Identifier Course for wild mushroom foragers who are planning to forage and sell wild mushrooms to food service establishments in GA.
All wild mushroom foragers who successfully pass the course will need to provide the following information on a tag or label to food service establishments in Georgia that offer their wild mushrooms for sale and service to ensure traceability:
Roswell, GA - April 16-17, 2016
Savannah, GA - August 6-7, 2016
Due to the recent heavy rain and flooding, people in Georgia may have had to leave their homes. Aetna is making it easier for their members in affected areas to refill prescriptions. They are also are offering customers in affected areas additional time to file appeals. The affected counties include:
Aetna has modified the prescription refill policies to meet the prescription drug needs of their members in the affected areas:
Additional assistance for our members
These deadlines have been extended for affected commercial plan members to submit level I and level II appeals.
Commercial plan members should contact Aetna if they believe their ability to appeal a situation has been impacted by these local conditions. Additionally, authorization and pre-notification requirements will be waived during the 30 day duration as well for commercial members in the affected areas. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lisa Misick at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 954-423-8262 Ext 213.
Source: National Restaurant Association
TREASURY DEP'T EXTENDS ACA EMPLOYER-REPORTING DEADLINES--Employers with 50 or more full time employees now have until March 31--two months beyond the Affordable Care Act's original Feb. 1 deadline--to give individual employees forms that report offers of 2015 health coverage and the coverage provided. These are the Form 1095-B, Health Coverage (http://1.usa.gov/1TCPBEL), and the Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage (http://1.usa.gov/1JW3XdL). The Treasury Department also gave affected employers more time to file information returns with the IRS on 2015 health care coverage. The new deadlines for reporting to the IRS are May 31 for employers who file returns on paper, and June 30 for electronic filers—three months later than the original deadlines of Feb. 29 and March 31. The IRS announced the extensions last week in Notice 2016-4: http://1.usa.gov/1ZM2zDN
IRS EXTENDED THE DEADLINES AFTER FEEDBACK FROM EMPLOYERS AND INSURERS struggling with the ACA's new paperwork and reporting requirements. These rules take effect for the first time this year for all "applicable large employers" as well as for employers, insurers and others who provide minimum essential coverage. The NRA and its allies in the E-FLEX (Employers for Flexibility in Health Care) coalition have played a critical role in providing feedback to the Treasury Department about the difficulty employers have had setting up processes to collect, analyze and report new data to employees and the IRS.
DEADLINE EXTENSIONS DON'T GET TO THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM, THOUGH. We need Congress to streamline and simplify the reporting rules. This is one of our top health-care legislative priorities for 2016, along with getting Congress to pass bipartisan bills that would increase the "full-time" definition under the ACA to 40 hours a week, rather than 30.
NRA ALSO HAILS CHANGES IN ACA TAXES--We’re very pleased that the spending bill enacted into law last month (the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016) included ACA tax changes we strongly support. First, it suspends the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) on fully insured health plans for calendar year 2017. We’ll continue to press for repeal, since it’s widely expected that insurers will pass this tax along to small businesses that buy in the fully insured market. The spending law also delays for two years the 40 percent excise tax (a.k.a. “Cadillac tax”) on employer-sponsored health plans. The delay pushes the effective date back from plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018, to plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Additionally, the excise tax can now be deductible as a business expense.
Atlanta, GA – The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) has announced the 2016 Chairman of the Board for the association, Paul Baldasaro, current executive committee member for the GRA and Chief Operating Officer of Home Grown Industries of Georgia, d/b/a Mellow Mushroom, a 40 year-old Atlanta icon brand featuring craft pizza, hoagies, salads and munchies.
Prior to Home Grown Industries of Georgia, Baldasaro was at the helm of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group team as Chief Operating Officer. This allowed him to lead the Zero Waste Zone initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of Atlanta restaurants. He oversaw the marketing, human resources, operations and purchasing departments and helped expand the company, opening several high profile locations.
Previously, Baldasaro spent ten years as Vice President of the Specialty Restaurant Division of the Landry’s Restaurant Group in Houston, Texas. During that time, he was responsible for overseeing the company’s expansion into mixed use entertainment properties. He has also served as Regional Director of Operations for Levy Restaurants, heading up their Disney operations and restaurants throughout the Midwest and East Coast.
As Chairman of the Board, Baldasaro will serve as the chief spokesperson for the industry as well as for the association and will lead the GRA Board of Directors, protecting industry operators and their interests. The Chairman of the Board also partakes in several GRA functions throughout the year including the Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception in February, the GRA Golf Tournament in June, the Chairman’s Reception in September, and the GRACE Awards gala in November.
The deadline to nominate a chef or foodservice professional for United Fresh’s Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program is quickly approaching!
This special awards program recognizes chefs and foodservice leaders for their exceptional use of fresh produce in the culinary arts. One winner will be selected in each of the following seven categories: Business in Industry, Colleges & Universities, Casual & Family Dining, Fine Dining, Hotels & Healthcare, K-12 School Foodservice and Quick Service Restaurants. Winners and an accompanying foodservice executive will receive complimentary travel, hotel accommodations and registration to United Fresh’s 2016 Convention, which will take place June 20-22, 2016 in Chicago, IL.
More information about this year’s program can be found here, and nominations can be submitted using this form. All nominations must be received by January 15, 2016.
Don’t miss this opportunity to recognize an outstanding chef or foodservice professional! If you have any questions about the program or United Fresh more broadly, call 202-303-3410 or email email@example.com.
Source: Ligaya Figueras - AJC
2016. Food. Trends. Do an online search using these keywords and you’ll find voices galore forecasting the flavors that will surface this year: more chef-driven fast-casual, veggies overtaking meat on the plate. …
There’s no question that Atlanta chefs are aligned with national trends. Lately, it’s been porridge for dinner at Ticonderoga Club, Staplehouse, One Eared Stag and White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails.
The latter two are also among those aboard the hot chicken train, that Nashville manner of dousing fried chicken in hot sauce and serving it over a piece of white bread. While it’s been a fixture on the menu atLadybird Grove & Mess Hall since Day 1, now even home cooks can get chefy using recipes from newly released “The Hot Chicken Cookbook” by Timothy Charles Davis.
What other trends will hit Atlanta in 2016? Some anticipate this year being the one when we wake up to African food. If so, credit restaurateur Justin Anthony for leading the charge locally. He brought South African cuisine to Buckhead with 10 Degrees South and Yebo. Anthony recently opened upscale Cape Dutch, where South African braii steak (a style of barbecue) is coming out of the kitchen in the former Woodfire Grill space on Cheshire Bridge Road. Soon to make its debut is Anthony’s Biltong Bar at Ponce City Market, with a menu of jerky, savory South African-style hand pies, cheese and charcuterie, plus South African wines.
The artisanal bread movement is another that I’m keeping an eye on, especially after biting into sourdough potato rolls at Staplehouse. At this new spot in the Old Fourth Ward, chef Ryan Smith and his team make the bread by hand, using a sourdough starter that is more than eight years old, to which they add hard red wheat flour from Day Spring Farms near Athens. You can taste the wild funk and denseness of the red wheat.
The opening of Billy Allin’s Bread & Butterfly means we’ve got yet another place to enjoy the high-quality carbs coming out of Proof Bakeshop. And Jan. 4 marks the opening of Todd Ginsberg’s TGM Bakery. Located next to the General Muir in Emory Point, the bakery will provide the bread for the General Muir, Fred’s Meat & Bread, Yalla and sister restaurant West Egg Cafe, as well as wholesale and retail customers. Think of TGM as a stage for head baker Rob Alexander, who first attracted attention when he ran the baking operations at Holeman & Finch Public House and Alon’s Bakery & Market.
Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market were hot, hot, hot in 2015. That’s unlikely to stop (Urban P18 is about to open in the former and there are a handful of PCM eateries opening in 2016), but the Atlanta dining scene is bigger than those two food hall phenoms.
Consider Avalon, a $600 million mix of shops, restaurants, offices and residences at Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 400 in Alpharetta.When Avalon opened in the fall of 2014, nearly a dozen restaurants were on the directory, including heavy-hitters like Ford Fry’s El Felix. True, Asian fusion quick-serve eatery Bantu closed, but it has been reconceived as Branch & Barrel, which just opened and features an upscale Southern menu by Todd Hogan. Other restaurants coming to Avalon in 2016 include Farm to Ladle, Cafe Intermezzo … oh, and a Chick-fil-A . Three to five additional restaurants are expected to fill spaces in Phase II, which begins in early 2016.
Source: Georgia Trend Magazine
Here in Georgia, we have a lot to be proud of: a strong economy, top-rated universities, nationally recognized restaurants – the list goes on. And while it can be easy to take all this for granted, it’s because of many of this year’s Most Influential Georgians that we are happy to call Georgia home.
Some work behind the scenes and some wield their influence in the limelight, but every one of the 100 people you’ll find on the following pages have an enormous impact on the daily lives of Georgians.
At Georgia Trend, they do not take the task of selecting the most influential people in the state lightly. It’s pretty much a year-round process and entails lots of meetings and discussions. The original list is always more than 100, and we think the final group – subject to retirements, course corrections and shifts in power, not to mention late-in-the-year hirings and firings and a controversy or two – represents the realities of leadership, power and influence in Georgia.
Here are the top 100 Georgians who are making an impact in the state or have made an impression on the Georgia Trend staff this year. Individual profiles were written by Stan Awtrey, Candice Dyer, Lori Johnston, Karen Kirkpatrick, John McCurry, Tom Oder, David Shivers, Christy Simo and K.K. Snyder. – The Editors
Georgia Restaurant Association
Inducted this year into the Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame, Bremer represents one of the largest industries in the state, reporting annual total sales of $17.1 billion and representing more than 420,000 jobs. She has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including 18 years as president of Atlanta-based Peasant Restaurant Inc. Bremer is also credited with helping to create the Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week. – KKS
By: Libby Lussenhop, Michigan Restaurant Association
You might have the speaker system, the music streaming service, and the auxiliary equipment to play songs in your restaurant, but are you missing one crucial element? Music licensing can’t be seen, heard, or locked away in a back office filing cabinet…but if you’re playing music in your bar or restaurant, it should be a part of your daily operations.
For restaurants, music can be your customer’s first impression of your establishment. Your service and products are important, of course, but music can support and shape your business by setting an atmosphere and a pace of life.
Jessica Frost is senior director of industry relations for Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI). She works on sales and customer relations with a focus on business relations, which means she works with many restaurant associations to make sure their members understand the need for a music license.
There are three key things to keep in mind about restaurants, the music industry, and the value of a songwriter’s craft.
Source: Georgia Grown
Leaders within the agriculture and education sectors joined together recently to discuss a plan to increase the presence of more nutritious, local foods within the school cafeterias in Georgia. The “2020 Vision for School Nutrition” was announced during a meeting led by Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods and Dr. Kathy Peavey, Assistant Director of School Nutrition Program for the Georgia Department of Education.
The vision cast by the team for the 2020 project is to have at least 20 percent of every meal in every Georgia public school every day to be comprised of Georgia products by the start of the 2020 school year. In addition, 20 percent of schools will be challenged to reach the 50 percent mark for their menu content. “Today is the day that we drive the stake into the soil of Georgia to change the paradigm of school nutrition for students throughout the state,” Commissioner Black said.
The team is represented by a wide array of Georgians from suppliers to growers, students and parents to education and school nutrition leaders, government officials to concerned citizens, and leaders in communities throughout the state. “Each and every part of the community is equally important to the success of our students,” Superintendent Woods said. “Our students must have proper, nutritious meals in order to learn, and that’s why I’m excited to help make the ‘2020 Vision for School Nutrition’ a reality. We have a great opportunity to create a movement in Georgia for more local and highly nutritious foods in our school cafeterias.”
The 2020 Vision is a part of the Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program, which encompasses the Feed My School for a Week initiative, currently in its fifth year. “We desire and appreciate your commitment to us with the 2020 vision plan,” Dr. Kathy Peavey said. “We are excited to see what opportunities we will make for our farmers and businesses in Georgia, but, most importantly, for our students.
The kickoff meeting for the “2020 Vision for School Nutrition” was held December 11, 2015 at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington, Georgia.