Food Safety

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

KC's Health Department finds the city's cleanest kitchens

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Never underestimate the value of a clean sink.
  • Flickr: peapod labs
  • Never underestimate the value of a clean sink.
A restaurant is a keeper if after touring the kitchen, you still want to eat there. Absent a chef's table, the next best thing to seeing a kitchen is the Kansas City Health Department's annual list of Grade A Food Excellence Awards for 2013 (which recognizes restaurants, convenience stores, schools, airport vendors, and stadium food-service operations for outstanding cleanliness in 2012).

The rankings are based on the results of Health Department inspections. The establishments that make the list are up-to-date on permits, they didn't give anybody a food-borne illness and they were below the minimum threshold of violations. The Health Department only gives out A's, so Fat City thought we would wade through the results to tell you where to dine if cleanliness is next to tastiness in your book.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Shatto voluntarily recalls all of its milk on shelves

Shatto voluntarily recalls all of its milk on shelves.

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

You wont find Shatto on shelves this week.
  • You won't find Shatto on shelves this week.
Shatto milk bottles are flying off the shelves, just not in the manner to which Leroy Shatto is accustomed. The Osborn, Missouri, dairy voluntarily pulled all its milk from area stores after being contacted Wednesday by the Missouri Milk Board that several milk samples had elevated phosphate levels.

"I want to express the reason we pulled the milk is that we worry about our customers. We want to deliver nothing less than a quality product," Shatto said when reached at his farm Thursday afternoon.

He spent most of yesterday with inspectors from the Milk Board looking at the farm's practices and operations to try and ascertain what led to the elevated phosphates, which can indicate that milk has been improperly pasteurized or can occur if milk isn't kept cool enough after pasteurization.

"They looked over our charts and said, why don't you bottle up a little bit of each milk," Shatto says. "Everything looked good. We do tests on our milk, too, and none of our tests showed anything."

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  • Shatto voluntarily recalls all of its milk on shelves.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cirque d'Alex, Christopher Elbow get top marks from KC Health Department

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 10:10 AM

You're safe eating at Pizza 51.
  • You're safe eating at Pizza 51.

The Kansas City Health Department has released its annual Grade A Food Excellence Awards for food safety, and tucked in among the stadium stands, theme-park kiosks, and school cafeterias of the world are a few local, independent restaurants.

The list, based on health inspection reports from 2010, includes 160 locations (up from 95 last year) that have consistently outperformed health department standards. The institutions recognized have permits in good standing, came in below a set number of violations, and were not the source of any food-borne illness in the city.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The first rule of E. coli: Don't talk about E. coli

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Don't mess with another man's lettuce.
  • Don't mess with another man's lettuce.

Recently, Fresh Express salads compared its new way of washing lettuce to the iPad. While trying to sound cool and trendy (spoiler alert: fail), Fresh Express apparently broke some supersecret business pact not to speak about the 2006 E. coli outbreak in the salad industry.

"Food safety should never be a competitive advantage," Tom

Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association, tells trade paper The Packer. "If a

new product improves food safety, we should share it with the whole

industry."


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Friday, July 30, 2010

Letter Grade Health Ratings come to NYC, how about KC?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 9:00 AM

171716792_308a69f68a_m.jpg

When I got to visit my brother-in-law in Los Angeles, he has a simple rule for picking a restaurant for dinner.

"Nothing below a B," he says.

A "B" is the letter grade that a restaurant has received from the city's health department based on the number or lack of health code violations. And now when I go to visit my brother in New York City, I wonder if we're going to have the same rules. New York just adopted the letter grade system, rolling out grades for 24,000 restaurants.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It came from the office fridge

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 11:30 AM

office.fridge.jpg

The office refrigerator is like a bad practical joke. At first, you can get enjoyment out of watching a new employee stagger from the yawning mouth of the stench box. But all too quickly that smell can pervade the often tiny lunchroom and turn your guffaws into gags.

The Wall Street Journal reports that as more employees bring brown-bag lunches, the forgotten office fridges of the world are descending further into funkdom. According to the WSJ, fewer than half of all fridges are cleaned once a month.

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Kauffman, Arrowhead vendors flagged for violations

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM

It's hard to cheer for the performance of vendors at Kauffman Stadium.
  • It's hard to cheer for the performance of vendors at Kauffman Stadium.

It's not just the performance on the field for local sports teams that is hard to swallow.

While the good news is that Arrowhead Stadium has less critical violations for vendors than Kauffman Stadium. The bad news is that it was 56 percent of vendors with critical violations as compared to 62 percent. So, listen up Blanc, we're looking to you to elevate the game during your time at Arrowhead.

ESPN issued a roundup of stadium health inspection reports on Sunday that covers stadiums around the country for the major sports leagues: NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. And the facilities at the Truman Sports Complex didn't fare so hot.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gulf seafood: safe?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:00 AM

frozenshrimp.jpg

We're more turf than surf here in Kansas City, which means we don't have a lot of fresh seafood options. Many Kansas Citians are wondering if the seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat.

AOL News -- along with the rest of the country -- was wondering the same thing. Last night, the site published the results of a two-week investigation into who is responsible for determining the safety of the seafood and just how the food is tested.
 

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Flying the peanut-free skies?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Airplane peanuts and a bad paperback are a classic combo.
  • Airplane peanuts and a bad paperback are a classic combo.

I've been on flights from three separate airlines in the past month. When the flight attendant offered me snacks, I was amazed that peanuts were still among the choices.

There are nut-free rooms at my daughter's day care. Food labels are peppered with warnings that packaged goods may have come into contact with peanuts or other tree nuts. But I can still struggle to tear open that tiny foil-sealed container of peanuts while my elbows are pinned to my sides in a middle seat.

Back on the ground in Kansas City, I learned that the classic airline bag of peanuts may be going the way of free checked luggage. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that it was considering restrictions or a ban on airlines serving peanuts, in part to allay the concerns of those with peanut allergies.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Why hand washing just may not matter any more

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Should this sign say wash hands...and phone?
  • Should this sign say wash hands...and phone?

Are smart phones eliminating the safety net provided by "employees must wash hands" signs in bathrooms? That's the scary suggestion from the Barf Blog, which notes that all too many people continue to text or respond to e-mail while technically indisposed.

The issue with "dirty thumbers" is that even if they wash their hands, the potential for bacterial transfer is still intact because they haven't washed their phones. That's a real problem. While the social taboo (thankfully) of calling someone from the bathroom is still in place, texting carries no such stigma. Our short attention spans carry some real health risks. 

So the next time you see a cashier briefly check his cell before taking an order -- either get out the Purell or consider a different line.

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