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7:20 PM - Aug 11, 2018 #151

Flaming Drink at Gordon Ramsay's Las Vegas Restaurant Sends 2 People to the Hospital for Burns

Much Watch McDonald's Restaurant Commercials From Around The World

The Twilight of the Celebrity Chef
    August 2018
    Having a name like Gordon Ramsay or Emeril Lagasse on a restaurant once was a recipe for success. But rising rents and changing consumer tastes have taken a toll.
    By Christopher Palmeri
    ...His experience is hardly unique. The once-flourishing celebrity chef industry has seen dozens of restaurants backed by some of the top names in the business close over the past year. 
    Some chefs were done in by rising rents, overexpansion, and a shift among foodies toward “authentic” fare that doesn’t depend on having a celebrity in the kitchen. 
    Besides, with locations open for 10 years or more, some restaurants had just grown stale. “As with every other art form, the tastes and the popularity change,” says Shep Gordon, the agent who nurtured the careers of such celebrity chefs as Emeril Lagasse. 
    “The fireworks can only last so long.”The list of high-profile restaurant closures includes Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, which plans to shut down in London after 14 years, as well as Daniel Boulud’s eight-year-old DBGB in New York. Lagasse’s outpost in Orlando closed in July after 19 years. 
    His Table 10 in Las Vegas served its last meal in December. Lagasse declined to comment. 
    A Ramsay spokesperson says the chef will develop a new concept in the Maze space. A spokesman for Boulud said the closing of the Lower East Side eatery was “largely due to the neighborhood not evolving as quickly as we had hoped.”
    Some chefs just took on too much. “Naked Chef” Jamie Oliver closed 12 of his 37 U.K. establishments this year and found a new partner for his Australian business.
     A spokeswoman for Oliver said he still plans to open 10 locations this year and has a “thriving international business.”
    “As with every other art form, the tastes and the popularity change”It’s hard for star chefs to duplicate what they’ve done over multiple locations, according to Malcolm Knapp, a restaurant consultant based in New York. 
    “At some point you’re going to hire the wrong chef, and you’re not there to supervise,” he says. “People expect to get the master’s touch, and they’re not getting it.”
     And as a chef’s globe-spanning web of restaurants grows, the chance of getting even a glimpse of the kitchen magician—a draw for some patrons—also fades.Even broadcast exposure, which has brought so many cooks mainstream attention, hasn’t always helped. 
    Food Network stars Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri closed their Midtown Manhattan restaurants in January, the latter after enduring withering reviews. (Flay hasn’t responded to requests for comment; Fieri declined to.) 
    And ABC this year canceled The Chew, its daytime show whose celebrity chef hosts have included Michael Symon and Mario Batali.Times are also tough at Las Vegas casinos, where celebrity chef-helmed restaurants once thrived. 
    When the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort opened in 2010, it featured three restaurants from Washington-based chef José Andrés. 
    While they’re still there, the resort is adding an upscale food court this year with six restaurants, including District Donuts from New Orleans and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken from Nashville.
     It’s an acknowledgment, says Chief Executive Officer Bill McBeath, that customers want more lower-priced, quick-service options.
    Restaurant consultants also say many hotel deals were too financially lopsided to last, given the hefty license fees paid to some kitchen talent. 
    “A chef-driven or restaurant-owner-driven restaurant in a hotel may make no money for the hotel and lots for the branded name, and the hotel quite likely had to foot the bill for most of—if not all of—the investment,” says consultant Michael Whiteman. 
    “Deals … become far less generous.”
    Nielsen’s estimate of the decline in viewer households for Food Network so far this TV season is 4.7 percent, in line with the overlying decline in ad-supported cable viewership
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flea dip
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8:22 AM - Aug 18, 2018 #152

While I find tarantulas to be creepy looking... and if I understand the photo with the article correctly ... I do not think even big spiders should be burned to death (the pic shows what appears to be a chef burning a spider to death - that is just so effing cruel)

Restaurant busted for serving protected tarantulas on tacos... 

August 2018
    MEXICO CITY (AP) - Fancy a tarantula taco for a cool $27? Not so fast, Mexican authorities say.
    A Mexico City market restaurant recently put the arachnids on its menu and posted a video on Facebook showing a chef torching one until blackened.
    The only problem: The Mexican red rump tarantula is a protected species.
    The federal environmental protection agency said Tuesday it was alerted to the situation via social media and seized four tarantula corpses that were ready to be served up on tortillas.
    The tarantula tacos were apparently on offer for 500 pesos, or 50 times the price of a basic street taco.
    The restaurant's menu also features other creepy-crawlies such as grasshoppers, worms and ant eggs, which have a long ]tradition in Mexican cuisine, and scorpions, which are less common.
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flea dip
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2:31 AM - Aug 20, 2018 #153

McDonald's Is Spending $6 Billion To Play Catch-Up

August 2018

For years, you've been able to drive up to California Pizza Kitchen and have someone run your order out to your car. At many Panera Bread outlets, there are parking spots for people running inside to pick up mobile orders.

Now, McDonald's is swiping these ideas and more from fast casual restaurants in a bid to remake its fast-food image.
It plans to spend $6 billion at its 8,700 restaurants in the United States and Canada to implement new ideas. 

The renovations will run through 2020. And if the speed of innovation in the industry is any indication, McDonald's probably won't stop there.

But the fast-food giant is way late on many of its concepts, which have been widely applied at fast casual chains, not to mention independent restaurants and other fast-food competitors. Still, McDonald's is giving them a try, knowing it has to get more modern, or lose more customers.

Last year, when it implemented mobile ordering, McDonald's acknowledged that it has lost half a billion potential transactions, aka guests, since 2012. That's as many customers as it had from 1955, the year it was founded, through 1961.

The ideas unveiled on Tuesday include an expansion of the mobile ordering kiosks that McDonald's has already installed in a number of its outlets. McDonald's also plans to modernize its dining rooms and adapt them to local tastes. 

Some will get table service and bigger areas for McCafe beverages, and it plans to install digital menu boards inside and in its drive-through areas. 

That presumably will allow McDonald's to update more easily when it adds menu items, and to change prices to match any special deals that it offers.

McDonald's is going to implement the curbside pickup offered by numerous places, from CPK and Applebee's to regional chains such as Olga's Kitchen, based in suburban Detroit.

The improvements will not be cheap. The most expensive will be in Texas, where McDonald's is spending $840 million. The renovations will cost $550 million in California, $410 million in its home state of Illinois and $400 million in Michigan.

At least at the outset, the face-lift won't put McDonald's ahead. It will only help it to catch up with features available in many places.

And, it can take a long time to change perceptions, if its experience in Chicago is any example. 

Last week, McDonald's opened a futuristic new outlet on the Near North Side that some people have compared in appearance with an Apple store. It has solar panels helping power the restaurant, all manner of technology and a tree-lined setting. The store replaced one long known as the Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's, which had musical memorabilia and a retro theme.
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flea dip
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5:02 AM - Sep 07, 2018 #154

This is from a UK paper:

Over fifth of meat samples in supermarkets and restaurants contains DNA from animals not on label
  • Sept 2018

    In one case, a supposed ostrich burger was found to be 100 per cent beef

    by R. Hosie

    More than a fifth of the meat samples from restaurants and supermarkets across the England, Wales and Northern Ireland contains DNA from animals not mentioned on the labelling, an investigation has found.

    145 items out of 665 which were tested by local authorities in 2017 were found to include “unspecified meat” in some quantity.

    Although the specific restaurants and brands selling the products have not been named, 487 were tested - affected products include pizzas, ready meals, curries and various restaurant dishes.

    According to a Freedom of Information request submitted by the BBC to the FSA, 73 of the contaminated meats came from retailers, three of which were supermarkets. 50 were from supermarkets and 22 from food processing or manufacturing plants.

    Some meats tested were found to contain DNA from as many as four different animals, and others contained no DNA from the animal they were supposed to be.

    Lamb was found to be the type of meat most likely not to be what it said on the label, followed by beef and goat.

    The products most likely to be incorrectly labelled were mince meat, followed by sausages, kebabs and restaurant curries.

    ....However a spokesman for the FSA said that the local authorities who’d sent them the meat samples would be responsible for taking “appropriate action” based on the findings.

    ...The new data comes five years after the European food industry was shaken by the horsemeat scandal, where foods labelled as beef were found to contain undisclosed horsemeat.
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flea dip
Ultimate Madonna Hater
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2:56 AM - Sep 14, 2018 #155

Why FEMA watches the Waffle House menu during hurricanes

As Hurricane Florence nears, FEMA will be keeping a close eye on the Waffle House — the fast-food restaurant chain known for staying open 24 hours a day every day of the year.
The agency coined the term “Waffle House Index” during the 2004 hurricane season to measure the effect of a natural disaster on an area.
If the eatery shutters or limits menu items during or after a hazard — they know the community took a major hit.

The index has three color-coded levels: Green means everything is fine, at least in the Waffle House; yellow is when the restaurant serves a limited menu, meaning the area lost power or they’re running low on supplies; and red is if it’s closed, showing the area has been hit hard.

“The Waffle House test just doesn’t tell us how quickly a business might rebound — it also tells how the larger community is faring,” FEMA said in a 2011 blog post.

“The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-open, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again — signaling a strong recovery for that community.”
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flea dip
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4:43 AM - Sep 30, 2018 #156

Mac and Cheese Candy Canes

Classic peppermint isn't interesting enough for some candy cane fans. Archie McPhee has released candy canes that taste like pickles, bacon, and wasabi, and this holiday season, adventurous eaters will have the chance to sample their mac and cheese flavor.

The 5.25-inch candies are striped white and instant-cheese-powder-yellow. They come in boxes of six canes, with each box costing $5.95.

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flea dip
Ultimate Madonna Hater
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8:57 PM - Oct 04, 2018 #157

1 in 3 Adults Eats Fast Food Every Day

Artificial sweeteners in diet soda are toxic to gut bacteria
Oct 2018

Eating Processed Meats Linked to a Greater Risk of Breast Cancer

Eating processed meats like bacon and ham is linked to a greater risk of breast cancer, a new review of research found.

Consuming these processed meats was associated with a 9 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared to people who eat the lowest amounts, 0 to 2 grams a day.

Previous studies have identified this link between processed meat consumption and cancer, but they frequently “generated inconsistent results,” the researchers wrote in the review, published in the International Journal of Cancer. Because of that, they analyzed 20 studies to identify any association between the foods and breast cancer.

However, lead author Dr. Maryam Farvid of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health emphasized that the actual risk from processed meats was “very small,” and that people should not panic. Rather, he suggests cutting down on red and processed meat consumption.

The Fave Breakfast Foods Of Every State, via People magazine

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10:03 PM - Oct 08, 2018 #158

Little Caesars Is 'Investigating' After Location Allegedly Caught Selling DiGiorno Frozen Pizza

Oct 2018

A new video has the social media world questioning Little Caesars’ pizza.

The now-viral Twitter video shows a large shopping cart filled with DiGiorno frozen pizza to the side of the cashier counter in a Little Caesars restaurant. Based on its positioning, the cart could be about to be unloaded, but it’s unclear if the woman standing with the pizza is an employee or a customer.

The user who tweeted the video shared it Saturday afternoon, captioning it, “this can’t be happening right in front of me.” It’s since received almost 40,000 likes and 120,000 retweets. In fact, model Chrissy Teigen, 32, helped propel the controversy when she posted the video on her own account, writing, “the only little caesars I wanna go to.”

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Little Caesars told PEOPLE: “Of course, Little Caesars only serves freshly baked pizzas made from fresh dough. We think this is probably just a funny coincidence, but are investigating.”

The rep also suggested that the DiGiorno pizzas may have appeared in the restaurant because it’s located inside a Kmart, which sells many different types of prepackaged, frozen pizza. A Kmart customer could have bought them and brought them inside the storefront.

UPDATE: The representative for Little Caesars tells PEOPLE that upon further investigation, the person in the video was identified as a Kmart employee and “no DiGiorno pizzas were baked or served at this Little Caesars location,” they said in a statement. 
“On that day, K-Mart received a few complaints from customers about having purchased expired DiGiorno pizzas from that location, and because it was so close to closing time, the K-Mart manager directed his employee to temporarily store them in a cooler adjacent to the Little Caesars location for disposal in the morning.”
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7:01 AM - Today #159

Smithfield Foods employee allegedly urinates on production line, costs company 50,000 pounds of product

October 2018

Smithfield Foods has reportedly disposed of 50,000 pounds of product after an employee allegedly relieved himself while working on the production line.

The company says the male employee has since been suspended pending an investigation.

Surveillance video on the incident, which happened over the weekend, was shared with 10 On Your Side news. The worker, who is dressed in a hair cap, face mask, white jacket and gloves, can be seen moving product along the conveyer belt. He then pauses to take off his gloves, appears to unzip his pants and leans forward as he seemingly relieves himself. He then puts his gloves back on and returns to work a few seconds later.

The company released a statement on the matter, saying they are investigating the “isolated incident” at the processing facility in Smithfield, Va.

“In accordance with Smithfield’s food safety and quality standards, more than 50,000 pounds of product was disposed of following an initial internal investigation that revealed an employee allegedly urinated at his station during the production process. The facility immediately halted production, fully cleaned the processing line, and sanitized all equipment multiple times before resuming operations. The employee has been suspended pending a complete investigation.

“The facility and its employees’ immediate response and corrective actions to this isolated incident reflect the company’s commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of its products. The safety and quality of our foods is fundamental to our success as a company, underscoring our mission to provide ‘Good food. Responsibly,’” the statement read.

The company, which produces pork products, did not specify which product(s) specifically the facility disposed of.
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