Restaurants Exposed: Weekly health inspection reports

Northside Inn also minimizes the risk of cross contamination by using two different-colored cutting boards – red for meats and green for vegetables.  

 “And you can relate to this on a personal level,” said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “If you’re cutting raw chicken on a cutting board, there are germs that are coming from raw chicken that you do not want to expose to lettuce that you’ll serve essentially raw.”

Cross-contamination was also cited as a critical violation at The Peppermill Restaurant in Rochester.  It got another critical violation for food that wasn’t cooled properly.  The owner, Chris Christanis, blamed both on equipment failures.  He repaired one and replaced the other.  

“We’ve been around 40 years, Christanis told News 10 NBC. “We cooperate fully with the inspectors.  Sometimes things take time to replace.” 

Massimo Albano, the owner of Lemoncello Italian Restaurant and Catering in East Rochester, said a warm cooler was also the reason he was cited with two critical violations – both for food that wasn’t cold enough. He explained the inspectors came after the restaurant had been closed a couple of days.

“One door (of the cooler) might have been left a little bit ajar, said Massimo. “We have multiple restaurants, and that was the only item.  Everything was corrected on the spot.”

At Uno Pizzeria Grill and Catering on Hylan Drive in Henrietta, health inspectors found two critical violations for food that wasn’t cold enough.  Managers told me no one was available to comment.

Bill Gray’s on Jefferson Road in Henrietta was cited with two critical violations including food that wasn’t hot enough.  The problem? The meat sauce.  And when health inspectors returned weeks later, inspectors again found meat sauce that wasn’t hot enough. 

Bill Gray’s Director of Food Safety, Rick Brewer, explained that in both cases health inspectors came about 10:45 a.m., right after the restaurant opened, and the meat sauce hadn’t yet reached the required temperature.  But for health inspectors, food temperature is potentially a big concern.

 “Temperature really matters,” said Dr. Mendoza. “It’s the predictive indicator of whether bacteria will or will not grow on food.”

And those are the very issues Brewer said he addressed at a recent Bill Gray’s managers’ meeting.

“We discuss all of our violations and we reiterated to get the hot items on (the heating units) first,” said Brewer.

That’s critical because food temperature is key to food safety.

A viewer recently contacted News 10 NBC with the following question.  Pat asked, “I have a question regarding health standards for private clubs and lodges. Are they subject to the same regulations as public establishments when serving to the public during charitable or money raising events? Are they also subject to kitchen inspections if a private caterer rents the kitchen to use for these events?” 

The answers are yes, and yes.  Private clubs that serve food also must have health inspections, private caterers have to be licensed and inspected.

Now, we want our consumer investigations to empower you, the consumer. 

Here’s Deanna’s do list.

1. Check the restaurants inspection record. 

2. If you see a problem, report it. 

Fats can be part of a healthy diet

It turns out that eating fats – especially the kind found in fish and in things like olives, nuts and avocados – is essential if you want to be healthy. Phew. Low fat diets make me feel awful – simultaneously hungry and unable to think straight. Apparently fat is brain-food.

That said, not all fat is created equal. French fries are never going to make the top ten list of fatty foods for health. On the other hand, mayonnaisey kinds of condiments, homemade from great ingredients, are actually good for you – in small amounts.

Roasted Garlic Aioli is delicious with fish of all kinds; try using it in your next lobster salad instead of regular mayonnaise, or stir some into the cooking liquid from steamed mussels for dunking crusty bread. It can also be used just like mayo in sandwiches, or as a dip for cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and other raw vegetables.

Too, Roasted Garlic Aioli makes a good starting place for other recipes. Stir a spoonful of it into your usual vinaigrette recipe, or blitz it with an avocado and some herbs for a lovely Green Goddess Dressing. I love Green Goddess on fresh salad greens with hard boiled eggs and chopped bacon. If you happen to have nasturtium blossoms in your garden, pick a few and scatter the spicy petals over the greens. They are as pretty as they are delicious.

Roasted Garlic Aioli

(Makes about 1½ cups)

1½ to 2 cups peeled garlic cloves, root ends trimmed off (about 4 heads of garlic)

1¼ cups olive oil (approximately)

a sprig of rosemary

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 egg yolk (see note 1 below)

¼ teaspoon cayenne or a dash of tabasco

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

a few grinds of fresh black pepper

the juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons cider or sherry wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the garlic, the oil, the rosemary and thyme in an oven-proof pot. Cook over a medium flame until the oil produces small bubbles, then put the pot into the oven. Let it bake for about 20 minutes, until the garlic has become very soft. Remove from oven and let the garlic, oil and herbs cool.

Strain the garlic from the oil, reserving the oil; discard the herbs. Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor along with the egg yolk, the cayenne or tabasco, the mustard, the salt and pepper, the lemon juice and the vinegar. Pulse until the mixture becomes smooth.

With the blade running, drizzle about 1 cup of the reserved oil into the garlic a little bit at a time. Go slow, because if you add the oil too quickly, the mixture will break (in which case, see note 2 below about fixing broken aioli). The mixture should become thick and glossy, like mayonnaise.

When thickened, taste the mixture and balance with more acid, salt, etc. as desired. This will keep refrigerated for four or five days.

Note 1: This recipe contains a raw egg yolk. Anyone who has a compromised immune system or who is very young or very old may want to avoid recipes containing raw eggs.

Note 2: If you add the oil too quickly, the aioli will break and look lumpy and greasy rather than thick, smooth and shiny. If that happens, place an egg yolk in a medium bowl and whisk it up a little. Then drizzle in the broken aioli, whisking well as you do so. This will bring the aioli back together and make it thicken up.

Extra Garlicky Green Goddess Dressing

(about 1½ cups)

½ cup Garlic Aioli

1 ripe avocado, cut in half, pitted and scooped out of its skin

5 anchovies, rinsed and chopped

the juice of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic, grated or minced

1 small bunch chives, chopped

the leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh basil, chopped

salt to taste

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Taste, then balance the acid or salt if desired. This may be thinned out with water or buttermilk if desired to a pourable consistency, or it may be used as is. This will keep four or five days in the refrigerator.

Potluck food safety guidelines – Journal Advocate

By Jessa Hatch

NCHD public information officer

It is the perfect time of year to have some friends over for a barbecue, but watch out, bacteria that cause foodborne illness like to crash potlucks and parties, and they don’t usually leave their calling card until the party is over. Although you can’t see, taste, or smell them, you can sure feel them when you get sick hours or days later! Follow these storage, sanitation, and cooking tips to keep these uninvited guests away from your next get-together.

Keep it Clean!

The No. 1 cause of foodborne illness is germs from dirty hands. To reduce the odds of spreading illness, wash your hands several times while preparing and handling food, including before preparing or eating food, after going to the bathroom, after diapering a child, after caring for pets, after coughing, sneezing or smoking, after handling chemicals, and any time your hands may have become contaminated!

Jessa Hatch NCHD public information officer

Jessa Hatch NCHD public information officer

Sanitize it!

It is important to develop habits to sanitize everything regularly. Sanitize surfaces including counters, cutting boards, and utensils.Sanitizing reduces the number of germs to a safer level. A recipe for a sanitizer is 1 teaspoon REGULAR bleach in 1 gallon of water. Be sure to mix a fresh batch each time you cook. To sanitize counters spray them with sanitizer solution and allow to air dryTo sanitize utensils, dip utensils in sanitizer for 1 minute and allow to air dry after washing with hot soapy water.

Keep it separate!

Germs from raw meat can contaminate other foods. Handle raw meat safely to prevent cross-contamination (spreading bacteria from meat to other foods). While shopping, choose meats last to keep them cold, and bag them in plastic to keep their juices away from your other foods. Meat juices might drip! Store raw meats and eggs below other foods in your refrigerator. If this is not possible, keep them in a water tight container.Make sure to wash your hands and all surfaces and utensils that touch raw meat before you work with other foods.Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables under running water before you prepare them. Fruits and veggies need a good shower after playing in the dirt!

Cook it!

Cooking meats to the proper temperature kills or destroys most of the parasites, bacteria and viruses that might be in the meat. Use a thermometer to check temperatures.

Keep it Hot or Cold!

Use crock pots, chafing dishes, ice baths, coolers or other ways to keep your food safe to serve to your guests. If you cannot keep the food hot or cold it is safest to throw the food away after 2 hours — you can’t usually see, smell, or taste the bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Be safe, rather than sorry!

Cool it!

It is important to cool foods quickly!

• Get hot food in the refrigerator within 2 hours.

• Allow for air circulation – don’t pack the refrigerator too tightly

• Keep the lid off until the food is cold – lids act like a “blanket” and keep the food warm longer.

• Keep the uncovered container on the top shelf (cover the container when the food is cold).

• Don’t fill the containers too full (no more than 2 inches deep for thick foods like stew or beans).

Remember foods are safest within the first two hours after they are cooked! For the safest potluck or barbecue, prepare hot dishes right before the meal, rather than cooking and cooling in advance and reheating.

For more information on food safety you can call the Environmental Health Department and NCHD at (970) 522-3741.

Vegan ice cream is nice cream thanks to its creamier bases | Food

NEW YORK — Nice cream: It’s what they call vegan ice cream. But with creamier bases and more interesting flavors, it’s not just for vegans anymore.

Dairy-free ice cream options have come a long way thanks in part to meat-eating folk looking to avoid dairy or just make healthier choices without defaulting to sorbet, the usual substitute.

Though banana is a popular base for vegan ice cream, so are nut butters, rice, soy and even hemp milk. Whatever the base, the texture and quality of ingredients are giving the products a higher profile, both in scoop shops and on grocery shelves.

“I love, love, love ice cream but I can’t eat it every day, you know,” said meat-eater Alexis Druyan, 24, on a recent stop at Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co., a scoop shop in Manhattan’s bustling Union Square. “If I want to be healthy, I definitely come here for dessert.”

The Instagram-worthy neon light banana on Chloe’s wall says it all: Started by a fro-yo addict looking for a healthier choice, the shop uses only fruit, water and a touch of organic cane sugar to blend up creamy frozen treats like dark chocolate and pumpkin. Chloe’s opened its first shop in 2010, and now sells frozen pops in supermarkets and to hospitals, schools and hotels.

“The vegan thought process and connotation has changed over the last seven years,” said Michael Sloan, CEO and co-founder of Chloe’s. “When we first opened and something was vegan, it couldn’t be good, and now I think we’ve helped explain that food can be delicious and oh, by the way, it’s vegan. We used to hide that we were vegan or say it just for the vegans who wanted to see it was for vegans. Now we promote that it’s vegan.”

While all Chloe’s offerings are vegan, Ben Van Leeuwen serves up dairy and non-dairy ice cream at five shops in New York and three in Los Angeles — and business is booming.

“Our customers asked for it. From day one we didn’t want the vegan ice cream to be an afterthought or a supplement to our regular menu,” he said of his Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. “We applied the same commitment to using the best quality ingredients and using little or no stabilizers. We make the vegan ice cream with house-made raw cashew and almond, organic coconut cream, raw cocoa butter from Ecuador, raw extra virgin coconut oil and organic cane sugar.”

Van Leeuwen’s vegan flavors come in classic and exotic varieties, including a bright blue Planet Earth, made with almond, spirulina and matcha tea cake.

In upstate New York, C.A. Lane recalls darker days of vegan ice cream. She blogs as the Duchess of Vegan after transitioning 15 years ago from vegetarian to vegan.

“It’s changed so much,” she said. “When I started, most of the ice cream options were mostly soy based and I’ve always had a little bit of a stomach issue with soy. That was always a bit of a stumbling block, but I ate a lot of Tofutti Cuties,” the ice cream sandwiches that helped launch vegan ice cream treats.

Within the last decade, Lane said, “we’ve started to see more companies emerging, more startups, and a lot of companies that already existed starting to offer alternatives to soy. Now we have everything from coconut-based to almond to cashew, and even big companies like Ben & Jerry’s are offering an almond ice cream. To me that’s so powerful, to see large companies embracing vegan and lactose-intolerant customers. It really shows how far we’ve come.”

Dena Wilmette, senior innovation and communications manager for Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington, Vermont, said the company had already begun to research vegan options when protests demanding them, fueled by a petition drive, broke out at Ben & Jerry stores around the country on free cone day three years ago. Haagen-Dazs also recently introduced four non-dairy ice creams including mocha chocolate cookie.

“This is no longer just about a small group of people,” Wilmette said. “More and more people are adding these types of products into their lifestyle.”

Carver Audain, 36, a vegetarian for 24 years, doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth but enjoys Van Leeuwen’s unusual flavors.

“I don’t know that I necessarily stay away from dairy but if I have an option of trying something otherwise or avoiding it I will,” he said at a Van Leeuwen shop in Brooklyn while eating turmeric and matcha green tea vegan ice cream.

Vegan and vegetarian cuisine in general is enjoying a higher profile with chefs and restaurant owners.

“There are a lot more options and it makes it more feasible for many people to consider an alternative diet,” Audain said.

Ronen Seri, co-founder of two vegan restaurants in Manhattan named Blossom, has been vegan since the mid-1990s and recently published “The Blossom Cookbook” with business partner Pamela Elizabeth.

Their restaurants’ desserts include a vegan gelato, Cashewtopia, from a company called Organic Nectars. It’s free of dairy, soy, refined sugar, gluten and trans fat in a raw cashew base.

Vegan “used to be like a foreign word,” Seri said. “People used to think you were eating lettuce. We get so many people coming here who are not vegans at all and when they taste the food they’re like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know it could taste that good.”’

Serving up safe food: Take steps to prevent foodborne illness while grilling (sponsored)

Whether it’s a backyard barbecue or a poolside picnic, chances are your summer plans include cooking and eating outdoors.

While grilling is a healthy way to prepare lean meats and vegetables, it can also pose a food safety risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year one in six Americans will get sick from contaminated foods or beverages. Roughly 3,000 people will die from foodborne illness.

While food safety is important year-round, summertime presents additional challenges.

“During the summer months, it’s more common to find people eating outdoors,” said Noel Slaughter, RD, director of nutrition services at Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. “Anytime you have food sitting out in warm weather, it is at risk. Add to that the special challenges presented by grilling and you have what could be a recipe for foodborne illness.”

While grilling is a popular summertime cooking method, many people do not take the precautions necessary to ensure that the food they grill is cooked properly and safely.

“Grilling is not an exact science,” explained Slaughter. “Cooking times can vary by a lot, depending on the heat of the grill and the type and cut of meat. Getting meat to the right temperature isn’t as easy as following a recipe.”

Fortunately, the key to ensuring meat is cooked to the proper temperature is simple and cheap – use a meat thermometer (see inset for recommended temperatures). But according to the USDA, only 34 percent of Americans use a thermometer when cooking hamburgers on the grill.

“The best and only way to make sure bacteria have been killed and food is safe to eat is by cooking it to the correct internal temperature,” said Slaughter. “And the only way to test that is with a food thermometer.”

In addition to monitoring food temperature, there are other steps you should take to ensure food safety even before the meat hits the grill, Slaughter explained.

“First, meat needs to be kept contained and separate from other foods in the refrigerator. Check out the packaging on meat – if it is leaking or dripping, put it on a plate or in a bag. Clean up any spills thoroughly.”

If you use a marinade, do not reuse the same marinade as a sauce. Rather, reserve some marinade and keep it separate from the raw meat. And never allow meat to marinate at room temperature.

“Raw meat needs to stay cold (41 degrees or cooler) until it is cooked,” said Slaughter. “Do not leave meat to thaw on the kitchen counter or to sit in marinade at room temperature.”

The USDA recommends using ground meat within one or two days of purchase. Steaks, roasts and chops should be used within five days, unless the store label indicates sooner.

Pay attention to the cutting boards and utensils you use with raw meat. Never reuse a cutting board or plate that had raw meat on it without thoroughly washing with hot, soapy water. And don’t use the same utensils on raw and cooked foods.

Once the cooking and eating is over, don’t get too comfortable – your work isn’t done!

“When the temperature is over 90 degrees, it’s especially important to put leftover food in the refrigeration within an hour,” said Slaughter. “If you are at home, put the food in closed containers in the refrigerator or freezer. If you are at a picnic, be sure the ice in your cooler is still frozen before trusting it to keep your leftovers cold. Food needs to be kept at 41 degrees or below to prevent bacteria growth.”

Slaughter says by taking a few precautions, you can ensure that your family safely enjoys the fun and flavor associated with summertime grilling.

“Grilling is a great way to prepare healthy, flavorful food. By using lean meats with marinades that contain healthy oils, you can quickly and easily cook a nutritious main course without heating up your kitchen. Throw a few vegetables on the grill, too, and you have the makings of a tasty summertime dinner!”

All physicians providing care for patients at SNMH are members of the medical staff and are independent practitioners, not employees of the hospital.

Midrand resident and lover of raw foods set to publish third recipe book this year

Local author Alani Keiser looks forward to her third recipe book coming out in September.


Halfway Gardens resident, Alani Keiser is planning on publishing her third book on raw vegan plant-based foods in September.

Keiser (36) published her first online book on Amazon titled Nutrish ‘n Delish in February. In three days, the book had more than 2 000 downloads. Her second book titled Raw Winter was published in June.

“I’ve been writing these books and creating the recipes to show people how easy it is to enjoy the raw vegan plant-based lifestyle, even during winter. My aim is to inspire people to stay close to nature when eating; healing their bodies and ending premature aging,” said Keiser.

The author said she is looking forward to her third book which will be coming out in September and will feature recipes for spring and summer. “Three of the recipes in the book will feature in Fitness Magazine SA in the September-October edition.” She added that she has loved food since she was a child especially, fruits. In 2009 she decided to become a vegan.

“I found a new love for raw foods and experimenting with flavours, vegetables, herbs and interesting exotic fruits.”

She said that the ultimate human diet is raw fruit and vegetables, which promotes optimal health and well-being. “Nature doesn’t lie. I choose raw fruit and vegetables over any foods to maintain my health and help other people regain theirs.”

8 superfoods that will go easy on your pocket

Keiser aspires to become a qualified plant-based nutritionist and chef next year at The Living Light Culinary Institute in California. Her books are available for purchase on Amazon Kindle or her website


How many local raw vegan recipe books do you know? Tweet @MidrandReporter

Fresh and Fit: Let’s talk about the importance of food safety

Those of us in first-world countries tend to take food safety for granted. (Photo: USDA, MGNOnline)

Even though food safety isn’t the most glamorous topic, it’s an important one to talk about. This is largely because society as a whole talks about it so little! We assume the food we eat and water we drink every day is safe because the law says it has to be and because it almost always has been our entire lives. Maybe we’ve taken that fact for granted, though. Are there ways to be safer with our food? What more can we do to keep ourselves and our families safe?

Why should you care?
Because, as I said, food safety is something we’ve taken for granted, and it only takes one bad meal for someone to become seriously ill. I know I’ve taken food safety for granted, and I would guess many of you have as well. I’m not here to offer blame. I’m here to offer solutions going forward. The benefit of growing up middle class in the United States is that our food usually is safe. There are rules and regulations to make it that way, but there’s more we can do. There are ways to keep ourselves even safer and to prevent potentially serious illnesses. 

Don’t wash your chicken in the sink.
When we cut up the chicken we bought from the store, it’s loaded with germs. If you’re an experienced cook, you know how important it is to wash your hands after you’ve handled a piece of raw meat. However, many people have been taught to wash chicken in the sink before cooking it. The truth is there is absolutely no need for us to do this. Any bacteria on our chicken will be killed once it is cooked properly. Washing our chicken before cooking it simply spreads germs all over the sink and possibly even further.

This leads me to my next point.

Wipe down when you’re done.
Once you’ve handled raw meat, anything you touch directly between then and when you end up washing your hands can become contaminated with lots of bacteria. Since bacteria can grow comfortably in the same temperatures our homes are heated or cooled to, it’s no surprise that our kitchens can be filled with germs. That’s why it’s important to wash your hands directly after handling raw meat, but also to not leave cutting boards, knives or other utensils that handled the raw meat out for any longer than they need to be.

Once you’ve done this, wipe down the area in and around where you handled the meat. If you forget or are too tired to do so on that particular day, do it the next day. If you’re a procrastinator like me, mark a couple of days a week in your calendar to remind you to wipe down your kitchen counters.

Shop smarter.
Not everyone shops at the same speed or spends the same amount of time at the store. The temperature outside can vary, as can the amount of time it takes us to get home on any particular day. Plenty of times, if we’re purchasing perishable foods (foods that must be frozen or refrigerated), we don’t have to worry about the amount of time they’re out in the open. However, why take a chance? You could hit traffic on the way home or be forced to take a detour for any number of reasons. To make your own life simple and remove this worry, pick up your frozen and refrigerated foods last, when you know you’re ready to leave.

Here are some general tips. 
Foodborne illnesses aren’t usually something we hear too much about, but they sicken roughly 48 million Americans every year. They can result in hospitalizations and, in rare instances, death. The good news is that simple steps like these vastly decrease your risk of illness. What are some of the most important ones to follow?

—As I mentioned, you don’t need to wash chicken because that bacteria will get killed in the oven or the pan. However, washing fruits and vegetables to remove any lingering pesticides or bacteria is a necessary step.

—Don’t buy meat or poultry in torn or leaking packaging. Don’t buy food past its sell-by or use-by dates. Refrigerate perishable foods within an hour in hot climates, but always within less than two hours total.

—Canned foods are safe as long as they’re not stored in temperatures below freezing or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cans are dented, rusted or swollen, don’t eat them. Even the tiniest crack allows harmful bacteria in.

—Make sure you follow these tips to wash your hands properly after handling raw meat.

—Want to ensure that you kill the harmful bacteria when you cook raw meat or reheat leftovers? Always cook or heat the food above 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Although some foods may require less, heating food above 165 degrees will always do the job.

—Finally, if you’re interested, this link to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website provides an informative chart outlining the time limits you can use on refrigerated and frozen foods to prevent them from spoiling. Freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, but there are recommendations on how long food maintains its quality. Safety is the most important step, but you should certainly enjoy the taste, too.

Jay McKenzie loves soccer, history and feeling great. He’s on a quest to eat better and exercise more, and he wants to share his experiences along the way. You can email him at [email protected] with comments or questions. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.

Raw on the Radar – Pet Product News

Raw cat food is getting a lot more attention from today’s pet owners.

By Lindsey Getz


There was a time, not long ago, when raw food was barely a blip on cat owners’ radars. But the tide has changed. Not only are more pet owners aware of raw food diets, but many are giving raw feeding a shot and seeing great success. This poses an excellent opportunity for independent retailers to shine, as there is a need for education and troubleshooting while cat owners transition their pets to a new diet.

Tracey Hatch-Rizzi, vice president and co-founder of Radagast Pet Food Inc. in Portland, Ore., said that, in general, there has been more of a focus on grain-free, high-protein, ancestral diets. And because raw is really the category that best fits that model, Hatch-Rizzi said it’s only natural that more pet owners are experimenting with raw foods.

“Cats’ unique physiology makes them carnivores, meaning high-quality protein and grain-free foods should be a significant part of their daily diets,” said Pete Brace, vice president of pet parent relations and communications for Merrick Pet Care in Amarillo, Texas. “That’s why many pet parents are now looking to feed an ancestral feline diet.”

While the interest in raw might still feel new, Hatch-Rizzi does not believe it’s a fad or something that will eventually pass. She said raw is here to stay.

“Some people have referred to raw feeding as a simple trend, but the positive results that are seen by pet parents have taken the category far beyond that,” she said. “Our company and the raw cat food segment have continued to grow well into the double digits for years, and I don’t see that slowing down.”

Showing the Benefits of Raw

Raw cat food is still attracting plenty of new customers to the category, and that means there is a lot of opportunity for education. The need for education is an excellent opportunity for pet retailers to showcase their knowledge, setting themselves apart from big-box retailers and online sellers.

“Generally, consumers need to be better educated on what types of foods are best for their cats,” said Kevin Malnor, vice president of marketing and sales for Vital Essentials in Green Bay, Wis. “Many cat foods include grains, fruits, vegetables, fillers and other types of carbohydrates that are not beneficial to their pet. Consumers and retailers need to be aware of the health risks these types of foods pose.”

Even if pet owners know they want to try a raw diet, they might be confused about their options, said Reed Howlett, CEO of St. Louis-based Nature’s Variety Inc., maker of Instinct Pet Food.

“While awareness and understanding of raw is growing broadly, pet parents are still very confused by the pet food landscape,” Howlett said. “The pet food space is cluttered and overwhelming for the consumer, and in many cases, the differences between the various options can seem confusing. Retailers need tools to cut through the buzzwords like ‘natural,’ ‘organic’ and ‘clean’ to help consumers really find the credible and simple information they’re looking for.”

Benjamin Richard, a sales associate with Four Paws & Co. in Longmont, Colo., said that educational opportunities often give him the chance to point customers toward a raw diet. When cat owners come to the store with questions or a health concern, he can suggest they change their cat’s diet.

“Cat owners will come in with a lot of questions about a certain problem their cat is having, and we’ll recommend that they try switching to a raw diet,” Richard said. “They often come back with a lot of positive feedback about how it worked. Word-of-mouth can then help encourage others to try it.”

Introductions and Brand Refreshes

This spring, St. Louis-based Nature’s Variety Inc., maker of Instinct Pet Food, launched Instinct Minced Cups, Instinct Stews, Instinct dry and wet offerings for kittens, and an expanded assortment of Instinct Healthy Cravings.

CEO Reed Howlett said that these innovations deliver on the company’s belief in nutrition that is inspired by raw—high in protein and made with real meat and other whole-food ingredients.

“At this year’s Global Pet Expo, we also announced our upcoming brand refresh, which launched this summer,” Howlett said. “At Instinct—‘The Raw Brand,’ we’re on a mission to transform the lives of pets through the pure, real nutrition of raw. Our new packaging and brand identity will better reflect our core values.”

This spring, Merrick Pet Care in Amarillo, Texas, expanded its cat recipes with Merrick Backcountry Cat Freeze-Dried Raw Meal or Mixers available in two recipes: Real Chicken Recipe and Real Salmon Recipe. Freeze-dried raw protein pieces give cats a nutritional boost, easy digestion and the fresh taste they love, and they can be served as a complete and balanced meal or as a topper, according to the company. The product was inspired by the freeze-dried raw pieces infused in Backcountry dry food recipes.

Radagast Pet Food Inc. in Portland, Ore., recently debuted its sixth variety—Natural Pork Recipe—which uses boneless pork shoulder, providing a balanced ratio of whole muscle meat to fat, said Tracey Hatch-Rizzi, vice president and co-founder of the company. This year, Radagast also is presenting a brand-new look for its brand.

“As a way of celebrating 12 years on the market, we have refreshed our design with a new, modern look,” Hatch-Rizzi said. “It has been in the works for a while, and we’re thrilled to be able to debut our new style. The new look ties in nicely with the old.”

Display Ideas

Jenna Wilson, owner of Patton Avenue Pet Co., which has three locations in Asheville, N.C., said that glass-front freezers are very important when it comes to selling raw. While signage can help, nothing compares to having a glass-front freezer, she said. Of course, she added, investing in them does mean committing to the category.

“It’s not the kind of category you can just dip your toe in and be successful,” Wilson said. “You can’t do it halfheartedly by buying just a few SKUs and sticking them in a regular freezer—it’s not going to go over well with your customers. We are all in when it comes to raw. We believe in it, so we’ve really invested in the category—including buying only glass-front freezers to store it.”

Dan Lavallee, manager of Pet World in Natick, Mass., agreed and said glass-front freezers are “well worth the money.” Just having the raw food on display in a freezer you can see in to is enough to draw customers over, he noted.

“With a freezer that you can’t see in to, you must hope that the customer is going to read your signs and be intrigued enough to look inside,” Lavallee said. “Plus, when you can’t see through the glass, it’s getting opened and closed a lot more. You run the risk that they’ll open it just to look inside and won’t close it all the way. That could thaw your merchandise. We think that displaying raw food within glass-door freezers is important.”

Tracey Hatch-Rizzi, vice president and co-founder of Radagast Pet Food Inc. in Portland, Ore., said that creating some “fanfare” around the raw category is one of the best ways to draw customers to the freezer section. At the end of the day, nothing beats one-on-one conversations with cat owners about raw.

Wilson said that being a small, independent retailer gives her the ability to have those conversations that big pet retailers can’t have. It’s all about consultation, she said.

“That’s something that sets us apart,” Wilson said. “Our staff is really well educated on raw, and we can take the time to talk our customers through it. They come to us for that support.”

Remember food safety practices in great outdoors | Health and Fitness

Montana’s warm summer days offer ideal weather for picnics and backyard barbecues.

While warm temperatures are ideal for outdoor gatherings, the weather also provides the right environment for disease-causing bacteria to grow in foods and cause illnesses. By following a few food safety tips in preparing your family’s favorite dishes, the risk of foodborne illness will be less of a worry.

Buying and storing

Begin by purchasing food items from an approved source and checking food product quality before purchase. Promptly refrigerate potentially hazardous foods such as meats, chicken, fish and seafood, salads and cut fruits and vegetables. Keep them at a temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit until ready to cook or serve.

When transporting food to that favorite picnic spot, pack perishable items directly from the refrigerator or freezer into a cooler to keep them cold. A full cooler maintains cold temperatures longer, so pack plenty of extra ice or freezer packs to ensure a constant temperature. Also, remember to keep perishables in sealed plastic bags to prevent the transfer of bacteria or microorganisms from one food to another.


Before handling any food, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Rinsing raw meat and poultry is not recommended, as splashing can potentially cause cross-contamination. Thoroughly wash cutting boards, utensils and other surfaces before and after use.

Take care when preparing melons with hard rinds, such as cantaloupe, musk melons and watermelon. Before cutting melons, wash them thoroughly and disinfect the exterior rind for 30 seconds with a mixture of one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. This eliminates bacteria that could be pushed by the knife blade from the rind into the fruit.


When preparing foods, always use one cutting board for raw meats and another cutting board for salads or veggies that will not be cooked. Likewise, do not place foods that are ready-to-eat on anything that was previously in contact with raw meat, poultry or fish.


When grilling, use a food thermometer instead of guess work to be sure that foods are cooked to a safe temperature. The minimum cooking temperature is 145 F for steak and chops, 155 F for ground meats and sausage and 165 F for poultry. Cooking to these minimum temperatures kills any bacteria that may be present.

Discard any remaining, used marinade. If you want to use some as sauce, bring it a boil to kill the bacteria or make extra and keep it separate from raw meat.


Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of taking them off the grill if the air temperature is below 90 F. Refrigerator your leftovers within one hour, if the temperature is above 90 F.

By practicing these simple but effective guidelines for food safety, outdoor barbecues and picnics will be safe and pleasant dining experiences.

June 27, 2017 food inspections | Food


800 N. Fourth St.

Follow-up inspection June 19

Critical violations: 0

Non-critical violations: 0

Results: No follow-up

Della Voce

405 Poyntz Ave.

Follow-up inspection June 19

Critical violations: 1

• Behind the bar and in between the wine cooler and mechanical dish machine, there were two live cockroaches on a glue trap and one live cockroach on the floor next to the glue trap.

Non-critical violations: 0

Results: Follow-up required

Dairy Queen

3116 Anderson Ave.

Routine inspection June 19

Critical violations: 0

Non-critical violations: 0

Results: No follow-up

CiCo Waterpark Concessions

Wreath at CiCo Park

Routine inspection June 19

Critical violations: 2

• The Gehls machine had nacho cheese at 131 degrees and 133 degrees.

• In the three-compartment sink there was a brown plastic tub with a bleach solution above 200 ppm.

Non-critical violations: 2

Results: Follow-up required

Bamboo Buffet

2304 Stagg Hill Road

Follow-up inspection June 19

Critical violations: 3

• In the walk-in cooler there were two plastic food grade tubs of raw chicken being stored directly above two open buckets of raw, ready-to-eat diced potatoes.

• In the walk-in cooler there were two metal food grade pans of raw shrimp being stored directly above a metal sheet pan of cooked, ready-to-eat breaded chicken.

• In a reach-in cooler there were two metal food grade pans of raw chicken being stored directly above two metal food grade pans of raw shrimp. In the walk-in cooler there were two metal food grade pans of raw chicken being stored directly above a sealed box of raw beef muscles.

Non-critical violations: 1

Results: Follow-up required

Throwback Tavern

1344 Westloop Place

Routine inspection June 20

Critical violations: 9

• In the hot box there was a metal food grade container of gravy at 44 degrees.

• The cook touched five ready-to-eat taco shells with her bare hands when removing them from the non-food grade plastic tub they were stored in.

• In the make table there was a metal food grade container of raw bacon being stored directly above a closed jug of ready-to-eat Caribbean jerk sauce. In the walk-in cooler there was a sealed package of ready-to-eat sliced deli ham being stored directly in between a sealed package of raw beef steak and two sealed rolls of raw ground beef.

• In the hot box there were two metal food grade containers of taco meat at 127 degrees.

• In the make table there was a plastic food grade container of shredded blended cheese at 54 degrees. There was a plastic food grade container of jalapeno wraps with raw bacon at 61 degrees.

• In the make table there was a plastic food grade container with hard boiled eggs dated June 9.

• In the small make table there was a metal food grade container with two cooked chicken breasts and a bag of sliced deli ham without dates.

• On a lower shelf in the food service area there was a large non-food grade plastic container with ready-to-eat taco shells being stored in direct contact with the container.

• The mechanical dish machine located behind the bar was in use and it utilizes chlorine for sanitization. The concentration measured at 0 ppm.

Non-critical violations: 1

Results: Follow-up required

Baan Thai

1709 Fort Riley Blvd.

First operational inspection June 20

Critical violations: 5

• In the walk-in freezer there were 13 individual loosely wrapped packages of cooked chicken being stored in a box that was used to store raw chicken. There were also 79 individual loosely wrapped packages of cooked crab meat being stored in a box that was used to store raw chicken. On the dry food storage rack there were seven rotting red onions with black and green mold on them.

• In the walk-in cooler there was one metal food grade container, one plastic food grade container and a plastic ice cream bucket all with raw shrimp in them and they were stored directly above a bucket of ready to eat soy sauce. The bucket of soy sauce had a lid on it. The metal food grade container with raw shrimp had a lid on it, the plastic food grade container and ice cream bucket with raw shrimp didn’t have lids. In make table 3 there was a metal container of raw hard shell eggs being stored in the back of the cooler and next to a metal food grade container of cooked, ready-to-eat chicken and a metal food grade container of cooked, ready-to-eat shrimp.

• On the metal cart to the right of the handsink there was a plastic food grade container of Curry Pop at 62 degrees. The PIC said she was thawing it to cook. In make table 3 there was a plastic food grade container of bean sprouts at 45 degrees.

• In the small reach-in freezer there was one package of cooked sticky rice without a date. In make table 3 there was a plastic food grade container of cooked tofu without a date.

• Below the mechanical dish machine there was a jug of Raid Max Bug Barrier and a spray can of Raid And Roach. Both are not approved pesticides to use in a food establishment.

Non-critical violations: 5

Results: Follow-up required

Imperial Garden

421 Tuttle Creek Blvd.

Routine inspection June 21

Critical violations: 5

• On a rack in the back storage area there was a bag of white onions and six of them were rotting. They were softy, squishy and had green and black mold on them. There was also one potato that was rotting, soft and squishy.

• On a cart to the left of the fryers, there was a metal food grade container with breaded chicken at 110 degrees.

• On an ice bath there was a small metal food grade container of liquid pooled eggs at 50 degrees. In the reach-in cooler there were four metal food grade containers of cooked breaded chicken from 44 to 48 degrees.

• In the walk-in cooler there were four plastic food grade tubs of cooked breaded chicken without dates. There were six packaged on site beef salads without dates. There was a large metal food grade pan of cooked rice without a date. There was a large plastic food grade tub of lo mein noodles without a date.

• There were five live small flies in the onion bag located in the back storage area.

Non-critical violations: 4

Results: Follow-up required

Buffalo Wild Wings

1231 Moro St.

Routine inspection June 21

Critical violations: 2

• In the top cooler drawer there was a plastic container with wrapped raw, breaded chicken patties being stored directly above sealed bags of ready-to-eat macaroni and cheese.

• In the Wildcat storage room there was a working spray bottle of orange force cleaner being stored directly above an open box of creamers.

Non-critical violations: 3

Results: Follow-up required

Hy-Vee Mobile Unit

601 Third Place

Routine inspection June 22

Critical violations: 1

• On a table in the food prep tent there was a bottle of glass cleaner being stored next to a black crate of barbecue sauce bottles.

Non-critical violations: 1

Results: No follow-up


1119 Moro St.

Licensing inspection June 22

Critical violations: 0

Non-critical violations: 0

Results: No follow-up