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Listeria Found at Jeni’s Production Facility – Statement Released

614now Staff

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Update: Jeni’s Releases Statement On Third Listeria Discovery

In a report released on 8/22/16 – the Department of Health & Human Services found Listeria at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream between the dates of January 25, 2016 through February 9, 2016.

Jeni's_Splendid_Ice_Cream_provided_by_our_resident_dairy_queen_@hilaryahartman._(14617784337)

The Department of Health acknowledges in the report the changes in Jeni’s has made to their production of ice cream, as Jeni’s no longer manufactures finished ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet in their production facility. Instead, they create frozen flavor bases and ship those bases to co-manufacturers for use in the production of their firm’s ice cream and frozen yogurt.

Positive samples of Listeria were taken from these locations according to the report.

  • The floor of the prep room adjacent to the open entryway to the dish room and approximately 9 feet from the prep table where your firm was processing and packaging Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Base.
  • The floor of the wash room around a drain, which is approximately 2 feet from the three-compartment sink used to wash, rinse, and sanitize equipment parts, utensils, and containers used in production, approximately 3 feet from the shelving unit on which the above items were stored after cleaning, and approximately 3 feet from the(b)(4) used to wash equipment parts used in production.

Along with the Listeria, Jeni’s also had a few other violations in their facility:

  • Your firm failed to operate fans and other air-blowing equipment in a manner that minimizes the potential for contaminating food-contact surfaces, as required by 21 CFR Part 110.20(b)(6).  Specifically, during the manufacture of Buttermilk Yogurt Base, Brambleberry Crisp Base, and Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Base, our investigator observed a dust-like material adhering to the guard over the fan on the west end of the underside of the ceiling-mounted cooling unit located in the dish room, where containers, equipment parts, and utensils used in production are washed, rinsed, sanitized, and stored. This is a repeat observation from our April 2015 inspection  where heavy accumulation of apparent dust and dirt was observed adhering to the guards over the two fans on the evaporator unit located in the dish room where tubs, equipment parts, and utensils used in production were washed, rinsed, sanitized, and stored.
  • Your firm failed to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source, as required by 21 CFR Part 110.80. Specifically, our investigator observed an employee in the prep room placing  “skinned” bags of sugar on a cart in the prep room, then moving these bags beside a prep table where they were picked up and manually poured from the bags into clear plastic containers such that the outside of the sugar bags came into direct contact with the inner food contact surface of the plastic containers. This is a repeat observation from our April 2015 inspection, where a bag of cocoa powder was observed being handled by an employee in a similar manner.

The FDA said these findings from January demonstrate that “sanitation procedures have historically been inadequate to control, reduce, or eliminate this pathogenic organism from (the Jeni’s) facility.”

“Listeria is so widespread in the natural world, it will inevitably find its way into otherwise clean environments,” said Mary Kamm, Jeni’s quality leader to The Wall Street Journal.

Does this excuse three separate Listeria incidents? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo by Arnold Gatilao via Wikimedia Commons

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Food & Drink

Food Fight: With festivals postponed, food trucks are coming to a neighborhood near you

Wayne T. Lewis, Publisher

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Columbus has a certain love affair with food trucks. We must, since there are over 200 of them in the metro area. Ranging from international flavors to local staples, these mobile kitchens bring slices of diverse cuisine to our parks, favorite bars and sidewalks.

It’s a challenging business in good times, with most trucks having just a few hours each day to log a success. Of course this is Ohio, so weather brings its own challenges to the table. While the entire restaurant industry has been hit hard by closures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, food trucks are now facing an economic snowstorm. 

“It’s devastating. Some are making 10 percent of what they did. The spots they have on a daily basis, 90 percent cancelled,” said Nik Gandhy, founder of Streetfoodfinder.com, a website that helps the public locate their favorite food trucks.

On top of their daily walk-up business, a significant portion of business is catering parties and events. Those too, have been virtually
all cancelled.

“Here at Pitabilities, we are working hard to keep our staff employed as much as possible. Our sales have dropped nearly 90 percent, with some new opportunities coming up that may help us save a few jobs. As of today, we are making some really hard decisions as to who and how many of our staff to lay off. This has been the most difficult decision of my entire life, I have never laid off anyone in over 35 years of having employees,” Jim Pashovich, founder of Pitabilities trucks, said.

Despite these hardships, there is a certain resilience and scrappiness that makes up the food truck community. Leading the charge is the Central Ohio Food Truck Association (COFTA). 

Last week, COFTA introduced its Neighborhood Pickup program. This program is offering the opportunity for local food trucks to continue to serve their community, while practicing appropriate social
distancing measures. 

In the coming weeks, food trucks are scheduled to serve at designated locations around Greater Columbus. These locations have been selected with ample parking and immediate access to residential neighborhoods. Residents can view live, updated truck schedules online and place their order in advance. A designated pickup time will be provided, eliminating the need to wait in line to order. Payment can also be made online, so cash and cards do not need to be exchanged at the order window.

“We have transitioned from serving our guests at their place of employment and now going to the neighborhoods where they live. Our lunch service is nearly nonexistent and we hope that we can build a dinner service in the neighborhoods,” Pashovish said.

Gandhy added there are also efforts to use Nextdoor.com to identify neighborhoods that would like to see a food truck stop by.

“It’s hard, but we’re trying to get better finding new spots. We’re actually trying to go to apartment complexes instead of the streets, so we can get some business,” Abimael Ruiz, owner of two Taquitos food
trucks, said.

Food safety has always been a high priority for the food truck industry, and with the new social distancing measures in place, they are working on methods to serve carry-out while keeping customers safe.

“A lot of the trucks have signs out that say “please respect social distancing.” So customers can still walk up to order. But other trucks are requiring all orders be placed online,” Gandhy said.

Gandhy has been working day and night to get as many food trucks as possible set up with online ordering so they can better compete in the new reality. Customers can find a truck, place an order, and pay on the site, and walk-up to the truck when it’s ready for pick-up.

Despite the massive challenges facing these small business owners, many of whom toil in their trucks day-in, day-out, the guy who builds many of the trucks thinks the industry will survive, and perhaps even grow as a result of this economic storm.

Michael Gallichio is the owner of Titan Trucks—a Central Ohio custom food truck builder and founder of the annual Food Truck Fest.

Gallichio says the latest food truck boom was created in the wake of the last economic collapse when everyone lost their jobs. “People figured, hey I don’t have a job, and for a relatively small investment I can be in business for myself.” 

Starting a truck can be done for as little as $75,000, according to Gallichio. For now though, those dreaming of a new mobile business will need to wait, as the current food truck operators figure out ways to navigate a world with far less demand and virtually no access to crowds.

“Some of the food trucks are shutting down and hoping to ride it out. But these guys are innovators. They’re gonna find a way. That’s what’s so cool about this industry. They’re constantly evolving,” Gallichio said.

As for the Food Truck Festival, it’s still scheduled for early August, but like many things these days, that’s subject to change as the state and nation combat the coronavirus threat. Until then, we can all daydream of being next in line, wearing our flip-flops, hot sun on our back, cold beer in our hand, waiting to experience something special.

Find food trucks headed to your neighborhood on streetfoodfinder.com

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Food & Drink

Get your Fox in the Snow fix with this step-by-step recipe video

Mitch Hooper

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If social distancing and working from home has made your days of going to your favorite coffeeshop and café something of the past, Lauren Culley of Fox in the Snow wants to bring the café to your kitchen.

Culley, co-owner of Fox in the Snow, has put together this step-by-step recipe for the biscuits the café uses in many of its popular sandwiches and pastry items. As this recipe doesn't require many fancy ingredients, she said this should be an easy recipe for folks at home to make during shelter-in-place.

In the video below, Culley shows how to she creates the menu item buttermilk biscuits with house made jam.

https://vimeo.com/402332940/5229743f01
Video provided by Fox in the Snow.
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Food & Drink

Burritos To-Go: Six spots with carry-out or delivery for National Burrito Day

614now Staff

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It's always great to support local, but when you can do so and enjoy a burrito? That's a win-win.

While COVID-19 has made going to restaurants almost non-existent, carry-out and delivery still remains an option for many places. And to celebrate National Burrito Day, we wanted to send you in the direction of six spots that are offering the beloved-burrito through carry-out and/or delivery.

Señor Antonios Mexican Restaurant | Carry-out | 8617 Columbus Pike

Everything a traditional burrito should be; grilled chicken, fajitas, and smothered in cheese sauce.

https://www.facebook.com/SenorAntonios/photos/rpp.138883582788520/468001616543380/?type=3&theater

Dos Hermanos | Carry-out and delivery | 59 Spruce St.

Though their hours are restricted now—11 a.m. to 5 p.m.—you can still snag one of these at the North Market, or through apps like UberEats, PostMates, and GrubHub.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtEJocWAi5w/

Brekkie Shack | Carry-out and delivery| 1060 Yard St.

It's never too late in the day for a breakfast burrito!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Cvtjfn8fi/

Chile Verde | Carry-out and delivery | Varies

Its best recommended to attack a Chile Verde burrito with a knife, fork, and loads of extra napkins.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7lyLlJA9Xa/

Northstar Cafe | Carry-out and delivery | Varies

Northstar keeps the vegetarians in mind with this burrito featuring tofu, brown rice, and greens.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8HUrKODiyP/

Cuco's Taqueria | Curb-side pick-up and delivery | 2162 W Henderson Rd.

Cuco's makes sure you have enough burrito to last you at least two meals. Plus, what's National Burrito Day without some chips and salsa?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsN_SYGlTHI/

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