Chow Line: Why can’t I lick the spoon? | Lifestyle

Is it true that you can you can get sick from ingesting uncooked flour?

While many people are well aware of the warnings against eating foods with raw eggs for fear of contracting salmonella or other food-borne illnesses, fewer people are aware of the dangers of eating uncooked flour.

It, too, can cause a mean case of food-borne illness. In fact, eating raw dough or raw batter could make you sick, in part, because flour can contain bacteria that cause disease, according to a warning from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recent incidents in the U.S. and Canada underscore the issue. Between December 2015 and September 2016, some 63 people across the U.S. developed an E. coli infection after eating raw flour.

And in Canada, 30 people became sick between November 2016 and April 2017 after eating raw or uncooked flour contaminated with E. coli, according to published reports.

What is the cause of the problem?

“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” Leslie Smoot, a senior FDA advisor said in a written statement. “So if an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour.”

The issue was significant enough that the FDA issued a warning to consumers last summer to not eat any raw dough. Consumer Reports and FDA lists the following ways to avoid ingesting uncooked flour:

  • Do not eat any raw cookie dough, cake mix, batter, or any other raw dough or batter product that is supposed to be cooked or baked.
  • Follow package directions for cooking products containing flour at proper temperatures and for specified times.
  • Avoid giving homemade modeling clay, play-dough, papier-mâché or ornaments with flour as the main ingredient to young children who may, inadvertently, put these objects in their mouths.
  • Keep raw foods separate from other foods while preparing them to prevent any contamination that may be present from spreading. Be aware that flour may spread easily due to its powdery nature.
  • Make sure you throw out any old flour and thoroughly wash out the container or bin that you use to store flour in, before adding in a new bag of flour.
  • Follow label directions to chill products containing raw dough promptly after purchase until baked.

While most of these tips may sound intuitive, even the smallest of precautions, such as washing your hands after handling any uncooked flour or any raw dough or batter, can make a huge difference in helping you prevent contracting a food-borne illness.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or [email protected].

Kylie Jenner Is Trying a Vegan Diet: See Her Snapchat Meals

Kylie Jenner is shaking up her diet.

The reality star announced on Snapchat on Tuesday that she is “trying this whole vegan thing” and documented her first few homemade meals for the plant-based way of life.

First up on her menu were tacos. Instead of using meat, Jenner appeared to fill her blue corn crispy tortilla shells with lettuce, salsa and vegan cheddar cheese. Sticking to a Mexican food theme, the beauty mogul soon followed up with vegan, raw, soy-free, dairy-free, grain-free nachos. “Mmm,” she captioned the food photo.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Eat Like a Kardashian

Jenner is clearly going all in on her new diet because only a few hours later, she showed off a pair of vegan pizzas bubbling in the oven. As a side dish to the pizzas, Jenner also appeared to be making some sautéed sweet potatoes.
Source: Kylie Jenner/Snapchat

The avid cook, who admits she’s “pretty damn domestic,” was probably at least partially influenced by her sister Kourtney Kardashian. Though the Kardashian family “health freak” (as Khloé calls her) still eats some meat, she has been open about her decision to eliminate dairy and gluten from her family’s diet.

WATCH: Kylie Jenner Says She Weighs 136 Lbs.: ‘I Like the Chunkiness’

“I kept battling with myself back and forth — like, why am I doing this diet? I have always felt fine before when eating dairy and gluten, but I do believe that we have one life to live and I would like to live it feeling my best,” Kardashian wrote on her app last year. “I have noticed a great positive change in behavior with my children when we stick to a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. I don’t think everyone needs to eat this way but we had muscle testing done, which showed we all have sensitivities to corn, gluten and dairy.”

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Jenner is often sharing her recipes and experiments in the kitchen like her “breakfast of champions” and cinnamon roll waffles, so we’re excited to see how she makes the switch to all plant-based recipes. Following a vegan diet does come with its challenges though, so if you’re considering doing the same, here a few things to know before taking the plunge.

This Vegan Blogger Developed Orthorexia After Trying to Treat a Yeast Infection With a Raw Diet

Among vagina-related health issues, yeast infections are up there among the most annoying. Often they can be treated with one of a number of over-the-counter options, which doctors may recommend for uncomplicated yeast infections. What’s definitely not recommended as a treatment: orthorexia, or an obsession with healthy eating. While seeking to treat a chronic yeast infection, vegan blogger Henya Perez, 28, adopted the “Raw Till 4” diet, which dictates that only raw foods be consumed until 4 p.m. each day (at which point cooked carbohydrates are allowed). Rather than eliminate the yeast infection, this style of eating actually led Perez to develop orthorexia.

She told Metro that in the throes of her orthorexia, “I spent most of my time thinking about food, making plans, shopping for food, posting pictures of food, and of course, eating food.” Perez reports that during this period, she was consuming between 2,500 to 5,500 calories a day. “I felt tired most of the time from digesting so much food,” she says, the majority of it raw fruits and vegetables: Breakfast might be a smoothie containing 10 bananas, while lunch might be one or two kilograms — that’s 2.2 to 4.4 pounds — of persimmons. Eating this way led to fatigue, irritability, nausea, and diarrhea, Perez reports.

According to OB/GYNs, extreme diets are nowhere close to necessary for treating or avoiding yeast infections. OB/GYN Kecia Gaither, MD tells Allure, “Yeast infections are essentially fungal infections that occur when the vaginal flora changes, either due to either due to pregnancy, stress, conditions affecting immunity like diabetes, HIV, [or] overuse of vaginal products like douches, sprays and antibiotics.” The vagina, she says, has a naturally occurring bacteria called Lactobacilli that typically preventing the overproduction of yeast; when yeast infections occur, extra action may be necessary, for example taking over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medications. OB/GYN Hilda Hutcherson, MD tells Allure that she typically recommends over-the-counter treatments like Monistat, and if that doesn’t work, then a prescription drug like Diflucan. She also suggests “wearing underwear only when absolutely necessary and never at bedtime” (underwear can create a moist environment in which yeast thrives) and avoiding lubricants containing glycerin (glycerin is a sugar alcohol that yeast loves).

There isn’t good evidence that diet plays a role in either encouraging or preventing yeast infections. But it’s clear that Perez’s restrictive diet was doing her no favors. “Eating this many calories and high fiber foods every day took a toll on my body and I would have to go to the toilet a dozen times a day,” Perez told Metro. It’s a key marker of orthorexia that people suffering from it often continue to restrict their diets, even if they feel sick because of them, because they fear that certain foods (or entire food groups) are “unhealthy.”

After eating contaminated fruit, Perez reevaluated her commitment to Raw Till 4 and is now following a more relaxed vegan diet and speaking out about the harms of restrictive eating. “I learned that I am not immune to the influence of diets, even after all that I’ve been through,” she said to Metro. “It does make me sad to be honest, especially since I am chronically affected by it.”


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Lynchburg-area raw-milk fans drink up, despite health officials’ concerns | Business

As local-food movements become more popular and more consumers learn where their food comes from, more are demanding it be local, fresh, unprocessed and organic.

Many such foods can be found in a special section of the grocery store, at farmers markets or at specialty stores. But in Virginia, there is one notable exception: raw milk.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized, which means it hasn’t been sufficiently heated to remove harmful bacteria. Many raw milk consumers say pasteurizing milk removes beneficial probiotics, too.

“That sounds like a good idea, but the problem is that when it kills off the bad bacteria it also denatures the protein and changes the vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in milk, so our bodies do not absorb the nutrients, vitamins and minerals,” Becky Bennett, owner of Auburnlea Farms in Gladys, said.

Bennett participates in a herd-sharing program at her family farm in Campbell County. She, along with about 200 other farmers in Virginia, sells a “share” of a herd so families can own one or more cows. Selling raw milk is illegal in Virginia, but drinking it from your own cow — such as one you own through a herd-sharing program — is not.


After filtering the raw milk, Jason Fowler bottles the milk for his family to drink.

Virginia, Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia allow consumers to obtain raw milk only through cow-share agreements. Other states, including Pennsylvania, California, Maine, South Carolina and Washington, allow raw milk to be sold in any retail stores. Still other states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Maryland, prohibit the sale of any raw milk for human consumption.

Bennett’s 15 dairy cows are grass-fed and make milk she said contains healthy fats and protein.

The one-time purchase for a share is $100 at Auburnlea Farms, and the owner receives a bill of sale. From there, the owner pays a $35 monthly maintenance fee, which covers care, milking and labor.

“When people purchase a share, then they actually own a portion of the dairy herd and are entitled to a portion of milk for that herd,” she said.

The owner can sell the share back when it’s no longer wanted.

The share owner can either pick milk up once a week at the farm store in Gladys or have it delivered for a $10 monthly fee.

Auburnlea doesn’t commit to more than 10 people per cow. On average, a cow produces four to 10 gallons of milk per day.

One share is equivalent to about a gallon of milk per week.

“It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme,” Bennett said. “We’re providing healthy food.”

Nancy Wilk, owner of Local Apx Market in Appomattox, came to Central Virginia from Pennsylvania, where she could freely purchase raw milk from the grocery store.

“It’s different here. You couldn’t buy wine in the grocery store, so it’s a trade-off,” she joked.


Lucy is the dairy cow milked by Jason Fowler. Fowler, co-founder of Land and Table, a grassroots network of independent farmers and organic gardeners in Central Virginia, says raw milk has health benefits; he and his family regularly drink it.

The market serves as a drop spot for people who have a cow share with Golden Valley Farm in Buckingham County and can pick up milk at the market.

“It’s just a higher quality because it’s pasteurized,” she said. “It’s more digestible for even some people who are lactose intolerant.”

Elaine Lidholm, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said proper pasteurization, handling and storage are important to ensure the destruction and exclusion of harmful bacteria in milk.

In March last year, 14 people, including 12 children, became ill and were diagnosed with E. coli after exposure to raw milk distributed as part of a cow-share program in Virginia, she said. Seven of them were hospitalized and three were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to life-threatening kidney failure.

“One of those diagnosed patients required dialysis,” Lidholm said. “Epidemiological and laboratory evidence concluded that this outbreak was related to the consumption of raw milk.”

But consumers of raw milk say the risk of getting sick from any food or drink is always present, especially with meat, fish and raw oysters.

“All food, no matter how it is or isn’t processed, runs the risk of harboring bad bacteria or contaminants,” said Jason Fowler, co-founder of Land and Table, a grassroots network of independent farmers and organic gardeners in Central Virginia. “Large-scale food recalls are in the news all the time. It is amazing to me that when anyone gets sick from fresh, raw milk, there is outcry to shut down all production and consumption. But when someone gets sick or dies of eating a hamburger or other tainted foods, there is not the same outcry.”


Jason Fowler (left) and his son Zee head to the barn to milk their cow. 

Fowler said there is a “double standard” in the American food economy.

“Fresh, raw milk, produced and consumed on a small local scale, has gotten a bad rap,” he said. “But in my opinion, if properly produced, it is a food to celebrate, not fear.”

Fowler, who lives in Bedford, milks his dairy cow with his son every other day and gives the milk to his wife and seven children, who began drinking it six years ago. Fowler does not run a herd-sharing program.

He said the milk is fresh, unprocessed, chemical- and hormone free and gives them health benefits since nutrients and beneficial fats aren’t processed out of it.


Zee Fowler milks Lucy, the dairy cow, at their home in Sedalia. The Fowler family regularly drinks raw milk.

“When you drink store-bought milk, you are partaking in a food product that is highly processed, and you do not get the full benefit of the milk like you do when drinking it unprocessed and straight from the source,” he said.

When store-bought milk goes past its expiration date, it shouldn’t be consumed, Fowler said, but raw milk still has life in it to make yogurt or butter.

“There’s nothing like homemade butter,” he said. “Humans have been consuming raw milk in various forms since the dawn of time. It is only more recently in our industrialized society that we have shifted towards large-scale production and no longer buy fresh milk locally.”

Haley Evans is district senior epidemiologist for the Central Virginia Health District of the Virginia Department of Health. She said the most common argument she hears in favor of raw milk is farmers have been drinking it for decades.

“That’s true, but the difference is they milked the cow and drank it that day,” Evans said. “The bacteria didn’t have time to grow and develop those toxins and really become harmful.”

Her concern with herd-sharing is the milk goes home to families and sits in the refrigerator for a few days.

“Bacteria is continuing to grow in there and become more and more hazardous to your health and your family, particularly to children or the elderly,” she said. “For something that people are doing reportedly for their health, there’s certainly some dangers.”

Part of Evans’ job is investigating food borne illnesses and when patients in hospitals become sick with one of those illnesses, she is notified.

“I talk to them and they tell me they have a share in a herd-share program,” she said. “I’ve had individuals that really thought they were doing it for all the right reasons but weren’t aware of the risks.”

Evans echoed Lidholm’s remarks that consuming raw milk can cause gastrointestinal diseases and can lead to kidney failure and death.

“These aren’t just minor inconveniences,” she said. “Not everyone who drinks raw milk is going to drop dead, but the risk is there.”

Chef Matthew Kenney disputes who controls of Plant Food and Wine restaurant

It’s business as usual for customers of Plant Food and Wine, a popular Wynwood restaurant dishing out fine vegan and raw cuisine. But behind the scenes, a nasty legal fight continues to brew.

Matthew Kenney brought his brand of plant-based cuisine to Miami and the restaurant, but amid a $1.4 million lawsuit against him, the celebrity chef disputes who now controls Plant Food and Wine. Meanwhile, his legal troubles continue to simmer in Maine, California and even faraway Thailand.

Kenney, who is being sued by his landlord for remaining unpaid rent, opening a competing Miami-area restaurant and other alleged breaches of contract on his five-year lease, has disputed via Facebook that he has lost his Wynwood restaurant. The attorney for his landlord, Karla Dascal of The Sacred Space Miami, told the Miami Herald she took control of the restaurant July 1, according to a July 15 Miami Herald story about that and other lawsuits against Kenney.

“While our landlords claim to have taken control of the restaurant, they fail to acknowledge that we have not forfeited our lease, still hold many of the restaurant’s licenses and permits and the intellectual property is ours,” he wrote in his blog post titled, “Life and Business” on July 15.

Meanwhile, Dascal’s company filed a voluntary notice with the court July 20 dismissing the first count in the March complaint as moot. Count I sought eviction, but Kenney voluntarily relinquished and abandoned the restaurant, turning over the restaurant operations, said Dascal’s counsel, Deborah Baker-Egozi of Greenspoon Marder. There is no longer a need for a sheriff to evict him because he voluntarily left, but the claim for damages remains, Baker-Egozi said.

Baker-Egozi also said that Plant Food and Wine employees are being paid by Dascal since her client took control of the property July 1. She said that Dascal’s human resources provider, Co-advantage, has hired almost all of the previous restaurant employees, including the two chefs. “The PEO [professional employer organization] issues checks to the employees and the payroll is fully funded by Karla’s entity.”

Matthew sacred4 space lbiz c,g (2)

Plant Food and Wine restaurant at 105 NE 24th St. in Miami remains open, although the accompanying culinary academy has closed.


[email protected]

Kenney, a nationally renowned, award-winning chef focused on elevating vegan and raw cuisine, wrote in his posting that the lease he signed was untenable, with “above market” rent, yet he signed it anyway “against the advice of some of my inner circle.”

“Unfortunately, the economics of the location were deeply flawed from the onset for us,” he wrote. “Despite numerous attempts to negotiate [the lease] to something more reasonable, we were given an ultimatum to take it or leave it and I took it, against the advice of some of my inner circle.”

Kenney wrote that he was losing $30,000 a month even though the Miami restaurant was the highest-grossing location in his restaurant portfolio “for a while.”

As to the rent, Baker-Egozi said that the $2 million build-out of Plant Food and Wine was funded and executed by Dascal – “what he doesn’t tell you is he walked into a turnkey operation.” Kenney also was operating the restaurant and the academy out of the space, she said.

The Miami restaurant isn’t Kenney’s only financial fracas. Despite opening eight global culinary academies focusing on his raw-food techniques — including a neighboring one at the Sacred Space — he sold the assets of Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy to the former CEO of his Matthew Kenney Cuisine, Adam Zucker. The Miami location was shuttered last month and the company is now called PlantLab. Kenney’s presence was scrubbed from the website.

[READ MORE: This celebrity chef brought Miami his innovative cuisine — and a trail of lawsuits]

Students who had paid thousands of dollars for classes were left in limbo when Miami classes were canceled and PlantLab is working to refund or credit the students, PlantLab’s spokesperson told the Herald.

Kenney has a history of lawsuits against him, including a stretch that led to his bankruptcy in 2004. Kenney said in his Facebook post that he is facing “only a single active legal case outside of” the Sacred Space suit.

In Thailand, Kenney is facing legal action by the Evason Hua Hin resort, where a Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy was located from mid-July to mid-December in 2016. Through Thailand’s Court of Arbitration, the resort is seeking damages for breach of contract, early termination of the agreement under false premises, issuing a $15,000 check that bounced and failure to transfer to the resort enrollment fees amounting to more than $100,000, said Alan Thomas, managing director of the resort, in an email.

In February of last year, the Internal Revenue Service sued Kenney for nearly $90,000 in Maine’s Waldo County. That lien is still unpaid, according to the Maine Register of Deeds, and there is a second lien for $4,221 filed by the Maine Department of Labor against MK Cuisine Global in September. In California, he is facing a civil suit from a former culinary student.

“The media has chosen to portray that dealing with lawsuits is our day to day reality,” Kenney wrote. “The reality is, we have grown aggressively and have made many mistakes, but also operate a brand with tremendous vitality, innovation and passion.”

Matthew Kenney’s Facebook Post



Many of you have visited our first Miami restaurant, Plant Food and Wine. It is a beautiful facility, and I’ve always been proud of the exceptional cuisine and hospitality our team has created in that location. I’m sure to those not involved in the restaurant business, it appears to be a dream project for a creative person like myself, and in many ways, it is. Unfortunately, the economics of the location were deeply flawed from the onset for us. Not long before taking possession, we were presented with a lease that included above market base rent, steep royalty payments, CAM (common area maintenance) charges, valet fees and other up-charges. Despite numerous attempts to negotiate it to something more reasonable, we were given an ultimatum to take it or leave it and I took it, against the advice of some of my inner circle.

My inner circle happened to be correct. The restaurant opened to a 4 star review and blossomed. It has always been filled with wonderful guests and was the highest grossing location in our portfolio for a while. However, with the aggressive lease agreement, we were paying close to $60,000 to the landlord on a MONTHLY basis, and losing as much as $30,000 per month. By the end of 2016, we had invested an enormous sum into the project just to keep it going. We tried to renegotiate and despite appearances that we may be successful, the landlord eventually backed out on every suggestion they would renegotiate in good faith. In early 2017, it became clear our landlord wanted to take control of the property. Legal letters were sent, threats were made by them on a near daily basis, and steps taken to prohibit us from operating or being involved in other businesses in Miami. We have continued until today to work toward an amicable resolution, have avoided speaking or writing negatively about our landlords and have continued to provide support to the restaurant.

This situation is now being written about in the media, and I would like to address that. While our landlords claim to have taken control of the restaurant, they fail to acknowledge that we have not forfeited our lease, still hold many of the restaurant’s licenses and permits and the intellectual property is ours. They and/or the local media have also built a case around my history of lawsuits and financial challenges, which is something I have been very candid about, even going as far as writing my memoir about the tremendous hurdles I have faced trying to build a new type of business for the plant-based market. Although our large portfolio of businesses has only a single active legal case outside of this, from a financial issue in 2014, the media has chosen to portray that dealing with lawsuits is our day to day reality. The reality is, we have grown aggressively and have made many mistakes, but also operate a brand with tremendous vitality, innovation and passion. We opened a restaurant in London last week, and another will open in California in August. All of our independent restaurants are profitable and our gorgeous new book is at the printer now.

Like I said in my memoir and repeatedly in interviews, there is a lot of work ahead. This brand is not easy to operate and many challenges lie ahead. I still have to work tirelessly on a daily basis to correct all of the mistakes I’ve made. However, one thing I have 100% confidence in is the quality of the work we do. Our team puts out incredible plant-based food across the globe and is making the impact I have always dreamed they would. We also have tremendous momentum, growth prospects and a company that is full of energy and love for what we do.

I felt it was necessary to address this at a time when others are using our past or present weaknesses (which I fully own and accept) to bring us down. The reality is, negative press does bring us down a bit but it will never knock us out.

Thank you. I’m getting back to work.

Raw or fried? There’s more to the history of the oyster in New England than what’s on the menu

Raw or fried?

That may be the main question posed to oyster fans looking to slurp up the pearl-bearing mollusks these days, but the shellfish has been consumed — and celebrated — every which way during its history in New England.

In the late 1800s, The Boston Daily Globe printed a bewildering variety of oyster recipes, instructing readers to serve them baked, stewed, curried, scalloped, with quail, in an omelette, or — for the truly adventurous — in a pancake.

“It was the caesar salad of its time and everyone had it,” said Boston Chef Jeremy Sewall, owner of Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34, two Boston-area establishments where you can consume many an oyster.

Before you choose raw or fried, consider the oyster’s history in the region.

Oysters, oysters everywhere — and plenty to eat

—David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

Authors Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald, whose books include America’s Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking and Northern Hospitality: Cooking by the Book in New England, say oyster-eating in the region goes back to unrecorded, prehistory, with Native Americans and pilgrims alike including the shellfish in their diets.

“Oysters among all shellfish are the ones that have been in both Europe and America, the most consistently popular among all levels of society, going way back,” Stavely said.

Because of that, English settlers arriving on North American shores already had their own well-established tradition of consuming the shellfish. But, Fitzgerald says, they were amazed at the abundance and size of the oysters they found in their new home.

According to Fitzgerald, a pickling recipe from the wife of a merchant dated around the time of the American Revolution begins: “Take 200 oysters, the freshest you can get.” They were so plentiful back then, she says, that barrels of pickled oysters were exported to Barbados.

“They weren’t just the way we eat them now as a special treat,” she said. “They were a really standard part of the diet.”

The abundance and popularity of oysters led to the creation of free standing “oyster houses” or “oyster saloons” in the mid-19th century, such as Boston’s Union Oyster House, where city residents of all social classes could eat a quick, inexpensive oyster lunch. The trend set the stage for modern-day oyster bars

 “You could actually stand up at the oyster bar and consume a dozen oysters for lunch,” Fitzgerald said. “And that was sort of when the tilt towards the raw oysters became more popular.”

Pan-frying and pickling were common ways of preventing the oysters from spoiling, but deep-frying fish and shellfish as a widespread practice was a development of the 20th century.

Oysters remained popular in the pages of The Boston Daily Globe during the 1800s. Recipes for “Novel Oysters” and “Oyster Cachets” are just two of the recipes published in the Daily Globe on Oct. 4, 1896.

—Boston Globe Archives


—Boston Globe Archives

One article, “R There: The Ostrea Edulis in Season Again,” published Sept. 1, 1889, delves into the bivalve’s history and shares several recipes, including “Oysters au Naturel” (i.e. raw oysters), “Steak Stewed with Oysters,” “Oyster Pie,” and “Oyster Roly Poly.” The article starts  by heralding the return of oyster season with an undated, unauthored “poem.”

—Boston Globe Archives

Too much of a good thing 

A small order of fried oysters at Papa Joe’s Oyster Bar & Grill. —David Lyon

By the early 20th century, Fitzgerald and Stavely said oyster beds in New England had been “virtually fished out.” Over harvesting, coupled with pollution and the use of the waterways for commercial shipping, made it hard to maintain the oyster beds.

Then oysters became expensive and no longer something that ordinary people could have for a quick lunch, Fitzgerald said.

As the oyster industry shrank, New England turned to the promotion of other seafoods: lobsters, scallops, and clams.

An oyster renaissance

Oyster beds under water near the Sandwich area of Cape Cod in 2017 tended by a small fisherman’s shack. —David L Ryan / The Boston Globe

Sewall, who partners with the Island Creek Oyster farm in Duxbury said New England is undergoing a strong resurgence of the mollusks. He estimated that between 2008 and 2014, the farmed shellfish sector of the region grew by $80 million and became the third largest fishery for New England, behind scallops and lobsters.

As for how you should eat oysters these days, Sewall said you can’t go wrong. (Try one of Sewall’s oyster recipes here.)

“Just eat oysters,” he said. “They’re delicious. They’re local. They’re wonderful.”

The restaurateur said he’ll eat the oysters raw or fried, depending on how he’s feeling.

But, he conceded, maybe he likes the uncooked version “a little bit more.”

“There’s something about raw oysters,” Sewall said. “Beautiful raw, fresh oysters, beautifully shucked, with lemon on them — that’s a food in the purest form. And I just think there’s something kind of romantic about eating raw oysters.”

Bayhealth offers tips to avoid bacteria, foodborne illness – News – Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Food borne illnesses increase during the summer, and the reason why is twofold — bacteria multiply faster in warmer temperatures and preparing food outdoors makes safe food handling difficult, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bayhealth physician Rebecca McIlroy offered advice and tips to avoid inviting bacteria to the next cookout.

Food poisoning occurs when a person eats contaminated food with infectious organisms including bacteria, viruses or parasites.

“The organisms themselves or sometimes the toxins they produce contaminate the food,” McIlroy said. “This can occur during processing and production, which often leads to mass food recalls, but can also occur at home when food is incorrectly cooked or handled.”

To prevent food poisoning at home, McIlroy said to wash hands, utensils and food surfaces often, especially before and after handling raw food. Throw out marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat and place cooked foods on a clean plate.

Foods should be cooked to the appropriate temperatures. McIlroy suggested using a food thermometer to ensure raw meats are fully cooked.

“Cooking food to a temperature at or above 160 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to kill most microbes,” she said. “Defrost foods in the refrigerator or microwave instead of at room temperature and refrigerate any perishable items sitting outside in the heat within one hour.”

Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramps and fever. McIlroy explained that symptoms start within a few hours of eating the contaminated food, but in the instance of parasite infections, the symptoms may not occur for several days to weeks.

Antibiotics are rarely needed to treat food poisoning. McIlroy suggests drinking smaller amounts of fluid like water, electrolyte drinks or clear soda every 30 to 60 minutes as it will help keep a person hydrated.

“Avoid anti-diarrhea medication because they can prolong the illness by keeping the infection inside the body,” she said. “One can advance their diet to solids once the vomiting has subsided, but stick to bland foods to reduce digestive stress and recurrence of symptoms.”

McIlroy said to seek medical advice if unable to keep any liquids down or experiencing signs and symptoms of dehydration including excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, or dizziness. Also medical attention is necessary if diarrhea lasts longer than three days; vomit or stool is bloody; abdominal pain is severe; or if neurological symptoms like change in mental status, blurred vision or tingling occur.

Dirty Dining at 7-Eleven – Las Vegas

Las Vegas (KTNV) – Have you ever wondered how fresh those 7-Eleven hot dogs are? 

The Health District has an answer you may not like at the 7-Eleven on Eastern and Flamingo. 

They found a large box of expired quarter-pound hot dogs, open and in use, that should have been thrown out five days before the inspection date. 

There were also multiple containers of black bean dip and chips on display that were two and a half weeks expired. 

And that’s just part of how that franchise location racked up 32 demerits and a C grade.

Breanne, the person in charge, says most of the problems stemmed from a broken deli display case.

“I think the refrigeration was just because it was an old system and everything had to be replaced and we weren’t aware of it. The cooler temperature was showing that it was in the right temperature but when you actually checked it, it wasn’t.”

Potentially hazardous foods have to be kept below 41 or above 135 degrees. 

Inspectors found multiple packages of egg salad, tuna fish, chicken salad, cut melons, raw eggs, yogurt and burritos in the temperature danger zone. 

Since then, 7-Eleven has replaced the unit with a new one.

Breanne put us on the phone with the store owner, who says the expired food was just an oversight.

He admits the mistake and says they threw it all out.

While in the store, we noticed another violation that the health inspector wrote up–uncovered coffee filters sitting out on top of a self-serve machine, left subject to contamination.

We told the owner and he said he’d have employees fix it right away. 

Inspectors also found bag-in-box soda hoses left hanging near the dirty floor, and heavy debris build-up throughout the front drink service area. 

The floor and baseboards were in severe disrepair, and wastewater from the back three-compartment handsink flowed and spilled out from unattached plumbing into the entire back warewash area.

The two imminent health hazard closures continue to prove how tough it is for food trucks to keep things cool in the summer heat.

A-1 Mobile Catering truck #7 was taken off the road at Southern Highlands construction site due to inadequate refrigeration. 

Food at unsafe temperatures included deli turkey and ham, American cheese, raw chicken and raw eggs. 

They were also storing cooked chicken on the drainboard of the sink they were using to wash dishes.

Dragon Grille’s food truck was inspected at Tivoli Village, where it was shut down for lack of adequate refrigeration. 

Stuff that should’ve been frozen solid was thawing, even though it was in the freezer. 

Lobster sushi rolls were at unsafe temperatures. 

So was pre-cooked lobster meat. 

And the inspector saw a fly land on food.

Dragon Grille’s El Shuko Mobile and A-1 Mobile Catering are both back to a zero-demerit A grades. 

7-Eleven now has a three-demerit A.

How to eat at trendy restaurants and not ruin your diet

Healthy, homecooked meals are one of the best things you can do for your body. They’re also one of the best ways to make yourself completely miserable when you live in a culinary capital like New York City.

“Eating out is a huge part of our social scene,” says Miranda Hammer, a registered dietitian who runs the blog the Crunchy Radish. “But people struggle with balance.”

Here, Hammer and other local nutrition professionals share their tips for enjoying some of the city’s trendiest new restaurants while still eating somewhat healthily.

The smart way to eat carbs

Stefano Giovannini

“Usually, I’d tell you to skip the bread basket, but at a place like this, I’d make an exception,” says Hammer about Nur, the new Flatiron District restaurant from Israeli celebrity chef Meir Adoni that’s known for its carb offerings. Start the meal with Adoni’s acclaimed kubaneh ($11), a Middle Eastern pull-apart bread reminiscent of challah that’s served with Yemini hot sauce and grated tomato. Just don’t overdo it.

“Have a few bites, enjoy and move on,” says Hammer.

For a main course, opt for a flavorful seafood offering — such as the “Casablanca Chraime” ($36), a stew made with tomato and poached fish — or a meat dish with heroic sides, such as the baharat spiced lamb ($34, above) with bulgur and lentils.

That leaves room for dessert, which is worth the splurge in this case.

“I only order it if it looks really interesting, and it does here,” says Kristen Carlucci, a dietitian and wellness coach at Bloomberg LP, of offerings such as the “New Middle East” ($14) with semolina and mascarpone cream, citrus compote, yogurt crumble, sumac meringue and blood orange crumble. “But I’d split it. The more forks in there, the better.” 34 E. 20th St.; 212-505-3420,

Self-prep means no surprises

The “Butcher’s Feast” and “Farmer’s Basket” can be a healthy combo.Stefano Giovannini

New Flatiron District spot Cote — helmed by Simon Kim of downtown’s Michelin-starred Piora — is an upscale take on Korean barbecue, which can be surprisingly diet-friendly.

“There’s so much in your control; the meal prep’s literally in your hands,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, a New York-based registered dietitian and the creator of the F-Factor diet.

All of our experts surveyed said to go ahead and order Cote’s signature “Butcher’s Feast” ($45 per person), which includes the chef’s selection of four different cuts of meat, plus an array of Korean delicacies, including scallion salad, egg souffle and kimchee. Add the “Farmer’s Basket” ($18), a platter of in-season veggies and pickles, for extra fiber and nutrients.

When the food arrives, elbow your dining companions aside to snag the leaner cuts of beef and vegetable sides, including the gut-healthy kimchee. Avoid — or just have a bite of — heartier sides that come with the meal, such as the egg souffle and stews with rice. Skip the soft-serve for dessert, which seems like more of an afterthought than a must-have. 16 W. 22nd St.; 212-401-7986,

The skinny way to eat steak

Brian Zak

At Mario Carbone’s new chophouse the Grill in the former Four Seasons space, the decor is all midcentury glamour and the menu is packed with decadent fare from the era — a challenge for health-conscious diners.

Since it’s a chophouse, you don’t want to miss out on the meat, but opt for the lean filet mignon (above) over fattier cuts, such as the prime rib and rib-eye. Order the simple peppered preparation, which is lighter than the Peconic style, with butter and oysters. Ask your server how large the steak is, and aim to eat 4 to 6 ounces, or about the size of your palm.

“The biggest thing here [with red meat] is watching your portion size,” says Carlucci. For sides, skip the retro salads — they were hardly healthy in the ’50s and ’60s — and go for steamed asparagus and the fiber-filled wild rice.

Such healthy choices afford plenty of room for one of midcentury America’s key delights: martinis.

“As long as you’re focusing on protein and vegetables, I say, drink as much as you want,” says Zuckerbrot. 99 E. 52nd St.; 212-375-9001,

Go lean and green

Stefano Giovannini

At cozy new Clinton Hill eatery Otway, chef Claire Welle and owner Samantha Shafer serve up an eclectic menu of American cuisine. Carlucci’s strategy: “Think lean and green . . . go for lean protein and vegetables.”

Start your meal with the watercress salad and perhaps another veggie side, such as the mushrooms or sunchokes.

“I’m amazed by the creative ways chefs use vegetables,” says Hammer. Ask the server how heavy the cheese on the salad is, and have them go light on it. For a main course, skip the carb-heavy gnocchi in favor of the trout or heritage hen (above).

And don’t shy away from the small-but-thoughtful wine list and its interesting bottles. “Seriously, wine alone won’t make you fat,” says Zuckerbrot. 930 Fulton St., Brooklyn; 917-909-1889,

It’s about quality, not quantity

Brian Zak

It’s fairly easy to have a light meal at Public Kitchen, the sceney new downtown spot from Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

“It’s a great option for dining out,” says Hammer of the globally inspired menu that has fish and vegetables aplenty. “Almost everything here looks pretty healthful.”

Zuckerbrot notes that Vongerichten’s portions tend to be fairly delicate, emphasizing quality ingredients.

Hammer says she’d order the raw sliced fluke appetizer (above), gazpacho and watercress salad. But if she were with a bigger group, she’d embrace the party atmosphere and go for pasta or the mushroom pizza. “You’ve gotta live your life and enjoy your food,” she says. 215 Chrystie St.; 212-735-6000,

Healthy strategies no matter where you’re eating

* Review the menu in advance and narrow it down to a few options, says Kristen Carlucci, a New York-based registered dietitian. That way, you’re not totally overwhelmed by the menu when you arrive.

* Pace yourself behind the slowest eater at the table. Drinking water helps, too. “Really savor [your meal],” says Carlucci.

* Order the specialty of the house — but don’t eat it all. “Whenever I’m at a place that’s known for something, I like to try it,” says Carlucci. If something is really indulgent, share it with the table. “You only need a few bites to experience it.”

* Never show up hungry.
“I always tell my clients to spoil their appetite … [and] have a healthy snack about an hour before dinner,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, a New York-based registered dietitian and creator of the F-Factor diet. That way, you don’t wind up downing the entire bread basket or ordering far more than you can eat.