Canadian Cole Slaw Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that Roy Pope and Sons of Belleisle Creek, New Brunswick, is recalling Belleisle Farms brand cole slaw.

The product comes in 227-gram packages (about 8 ounces), with a best-before date of Aug. 19 and UPC 0 33383 65260 3, and was distributed in the Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island).

Anyone who has this product should throw it out or return it to the store where purchased, CFIA officials said, adding that to date there are no reported illnesses linked to eating this cole slaw.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, it can be fatal.

CFIA  is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings. Meanwhile, CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.


McDonald’s Russia Under Attack: Four Locations Close

By Mark Solomons

You have all heard about the trade war going on between Russia and parts of the world but I really think targeting restaurant chains the way Russia is goes way to far.

Maybe you’re not a fan of McDonald’s, KFC or Burger King but what Russia has been implementing on these chains just because they are “American” chains is going to far.  It not only effects those that enjoy eating there in their own country but the people who work there will now lose vital personal income in a country where jobs are scarce.

Yes McDonald’s is an “American” branded company but not only do they have a slightly different menu but the people that eat & work there are Russian.  Not sure how putting hundreds of people in your country out of work will show your disgust at the US government , their people & the governments ideology is a good thing for your people.  Hopefully the restaurants can reopen & stay open so that the innocent Russian workers can continue to work and bring in money for themselves & their families.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Russia continues to slam its ban hammer on Western foods: The country’s food safety watch dog agency, has shut down four McDonald’s locations in Moscow. According to USA Today, the agency temporarily shuttered the restaurants due to “numerous sanitary violations.” The affected locations include the famous McDonald’s on Pushkin Square that is “among the chain’s busiest.” Reuters adds that the agency has also begun “unscheduled” inspections at McDonald’s restaurants across several regions in Russia, once again citing “breaches of sanitary rules.”

While the agency denies that these recent moves are “politically motivated” they have only been implemented since “Moscow and the West imposed tit-for-tat sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.” The BBC notes that “Russian MPs have also called for checks on other US fast-food brands, including Burger King and KFC.”

Quartz points out that suspending operations at McDonald’s is not just putting a pinch on the American fast food chain, but may be hurting Russians more. The fast food chain sources most of its products like dairy, meat, and vegetables from around 160 local Russian suppliers. Reuters writes that McDonalds has 438 restaurants in the country and that it considers Russia to be one of its “major markets” outside of the United Sates and Canada. A McDonald’s Russia spokeswoman confirmed to USA Today that the company is “closely studying the subject of the documents to define what should be done to re-open the restaurants as soon as possible.”

This isn’t the first punch Russia has thrown at McDonald’s. Earlier this month, the agency launched an investigation into the chain’s cheese suppliers, again citing “safety reasons.” A local watchdog agency also filed a lawsuit in Moscow against the chain to request that it remove items like cheeseburgers and Filet-o-Fish sandwiches from the menu. Many Russian politicians and pro-Russian social media users have also called for McDonald’s to shutter and exit Russia. On top of all of that, Russia has banned all food imports — including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, and milk — from the U.S., Canada, the European Union, Australia, and Norway in retaliation to sanctions over Ukraine.


This is what farm-to-table concept realy means


By Mark Solomons

Ever wanted to eat at one of the largest farms in North America?  Well here is your chance.  This sure is an interesting concept but I do not think you will find one in the middle of any city anytime soon.


Some restaurants have their own gardens. But The Farmhouse Restaurant in Fair Oaks, Indiana sits on a much-more-impressive 23,000 acres of farmland, called Fair Oaks Farms. (It’s actually the largest piece of privately owned contiguous land east of the Mississippi.) More than half of the food on the menu—55 percent, to be exact—comes directly from the farm. “The goal is to eventually get that number up to 80 percent,” the restaurant’s co-owner Carl Bruggemeier told

The Farmhouse Restaurant

The Farmhouse Restaurant

The wait staff is trained to know the origin of everything. Transparency is key at the 15-year-old farm and the recently opened 265-seat restaurant. The kitchen even features a specially designed glass wall, so people can watch their food as it cooks, and the extra-curious can get an official tour.

“Most of us go into a grocery store and don’t really know where things come from or how they got there,” Bruggemeier said. “We don’t even give it much thought.” He and the folks at Fair Oaks Farms hope to get their 500,000 annual visitors thinking—with tons of exhibits, tours and activities. Perhaps the most impactful element on the property: A birthing barn where guests can see live births every hour. The farm boasts 3,000 mother pigs that have 80,000 babies a year. Additionally, 150 calves are born on the farm each day.

Birthing Barn at the Farmhouse Restaurant

The Farmhouse Restaurant
Restaurant patrons can watch live animal births.

It’s important to note, however, that these baby animals won’t ever end up on the plates at the restaurant. “We’re a dairy farm, so we don’t do any slaughtering on the property,” said Bruggemeier. The chicken, pork and beef served at dinner come from nearby farmers that Bruggemeier and his team are intimately acquainted with. “We’ve been in everyone’s facility,” he said. “We know the owners and not just what they do, but why they started and how they feel about their work.”

The restaurant just opened in early July, but two dishes—the oven-roasted chicken and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf—have already taken the lead as top-sellers. The chicken, Bruggemeier recalls without taking even a second to think, comes from a farm, just 15 minutes down the road. The beef comes from Illinois and Wisconsin, and the bacon comes from hogs raised in Indiana and Illinois.

Pigs at The Farmhouse Restaurant

The Farmhouse Restaurant
Customers can check out the pigs at The Farmhouse Restaurant.

Other exhibits on the farm include a 7,000-tree fruit orchard, which will be ready for picking next year, a hands-on pig sonogram experience, a dairy activity center (complete with a milk bottle-shaped climbing wall) and more. Bruggemeier says it would take more than three hours to see everything the farm has to offer. And of course, it’s still expanding. In a few weeks, he’s opening a market and bakery, slinging freshly baked fruit pies, breads and more—all made with farm-produced ingredients. And after that, the farm will get a giant greenhouse, so produce—like leafy greens, cucumbers, legumes, tomatoes and potatoes—can grow on the property all year round. The hyper-local produce will be sold on the farm and, of course, star in dishes at The Farmhouse Restaurant.





It’s burger testing time.  This beauty of a burger is 6oz of 80/20 beef pan fried (better than grilled!!!!) over thinly sliced tomatoes and topped with 1 cracked fried egg, melted mozzarella & sauteed mushrooms.  The sauce for this burger is my home made bacon & mustard mayo.

Restaurant in Orangeville closing after CRA audit based on food vs alcohol sales

Winchester Arms closing in Orangeville after Canada Revenue Agency audit

By Mark Solomons

Below is an article from my home town with regards to a major issue for a restaurant in Orangeville.  I have not heard of this issue before or the way the CRA works out how much your food sales “should be” according to their own calculations.  I think this is a very important read for any restaurant owners in Canada.


Chris Halliday

Owners of the Winchester Arms in Orangeville are sparring with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) after they say the results of an audit have forced them to close the local pub’s doors.
Laurel Clarry, owner of the Winchester Arms franchises, is disputing the CRA’s findings and is hopeful the closure will only be temporary.
In any event, a dozen of the pub’s employees will be out of work after Saturday night (Aug. 16)
“We’re working our best to not have to do this,” Clarry sighed, noting the Winchester Arms has been operating in Orangeville for about 20 years.
According to the CRA, the Orangeville pub underreported its food sales by about $1.4 million from 2010 to 2013.
The CRA says the Winchester Arms owes $193,000 in HST, plus the government agency plans to impose further financial penalties.
“If they can get away with this, for corporate income tax purposes, it could easily be another $400,000,” said John Lee, president of the Winchester Arms franchises. “We’re hoping to change things in Orangeville.”
Both Lee and Clarry have a bone to pick with the CRA.
They said their angst stems from the CRA’s use of an industry standard alcohol-to-food ratio projecting that for every $1 in alcohol sold, the bar should be bringing in about $3.50 in food sales.
Lee said the CRA took the same approach for the rest of the Winchester Arms franchises, but so far, Orangeville is the only location that will close. It is not known what will happen with the other four.
“They have just decided that as an industry standard that we should be selling $35 worth of food for every $10 worth of alcohol sold,” Lee said. “In a pub environment, in particular, that is extremely unlikely.”
Due to confidentiality provisions found in Canada’s Income Tax Act, CRA spokesperson Keith Brooks said he was unable to comment specifically on the audit findings.
Not referring to the specifics of this case, Brooks did note the CRA uses ratio analysis, along with other analytical tools, to help select what tax returns to audit, as well as what warrants closer review.
“Changes to taxpayers’ returns, however, are substantiated by facts, field work, input from taxpayers and are customized to the specifics of a given business,” Brooks said in an email.
Those who disagree with a notice of reassessment can object to the CRA’s appeals branch within 90 days of the reassessment. Clarry plans to pursue that option.
“We will put in an appeal,” she said. “We absolutely are going to fight it tooth and nail.”
Lee maintains the alcohol-to-food sale ratio at the Winchester Arms in Orangeville couldn’t be any different than other similar establishments. He argued this type of approach taken by the CRA could have widespread implications on the pub industry.
“It is not a diner. The whole notion is completely without foundation,” Lee claimed. “This has ramifications for everybody in this industry. It’s completely wild.”

McCormick Recalls Ground Oregano for Possible Salmonella Contamination

McCormick & Company Inc. is initiating a voluntary recall of McCormick® Ground Oregano, 0.75-oz. bottle, UPC 0-523561-6 with code dates BEST BY AUG 21 16 H and AUG 22 16 H due to possible contamination with Salmonella. This recall does not impact any other McCormick Ground, Whole or Oregano Leaves products.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The product subject to this recall is:

McCormick® Ground Oregano 0.75-oz. bottle
UPC NUMBER: 52100003566 (as seen on label: 0-523561-6)
SHIPPING DATES: April 4, 2014 to Aug. 5, 2014
INTERNATIONALLY SHIPPED TO: Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Indonesia, Jamaica, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand, and Virgin Islands

The potential risk was brought to McCormick’s attention by FDA during routine testing. This recall affects 1,032 cases that were shipped of the affected date codes.

McCormick has alerted customers and grocery outlets to remove the product with the affected date codes from store shelves and distribution centers immediately and to destroy this product in a manner that would prevent any further consumption.

Consumers do not need to return the product to the store where it was purchased. Instead, consumers are urged to dispose of the recalled product and its container. Please contact McCormick Consumer Affairs at 1-800-632-5847, weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern Time), for a replacement or full refund or with general inquiries.