Cherry Tomato Recall

On November 21, 2012,  Rio Queen Citrus, Inc. of Mission, TX is recalled 840 cartons of 12/1 Dry Pints of Mexican cherry tomatoes in “Karol” brand boxes, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.  The tomatoes were sold in SC and TX.  The tomatoes were also shipped to Capital City Fruit, Inc. of Norwalk, Iowa on November 10, 2012 and those tomatoes sold under the name Capital Brand are being recalled as well.

Oh, Just Stuff it!

That’s right – we are talking stuffing today.

Everyone I know says that their mom makes the best stuffing.  I know I make mine just like my Mother did.  It is a very simple but compliments the traditional meal well.   Staled bread cubed, sage, thyme, parsley, marjoram,  salt and pepper, egg, celery and onion sauteed in butter until translucent,  add as much milk as necessary to make right consistency and that is it!   No oysters, nuts, carrots, mushrooms or anything else.  Oh, and the most important part – WE STUFF!

What is your family tradition when it comes to stuffing?  Please share and join the conversation on Facebook, I would love to hear from you.


Hot Cocoa Maker can leach lead – Recall

recall-hot-cocoa-makerFocus Products Group International, LLC announces the following voluntary recall.  Consumers should immediately stop using the Cocoa Latte™ Hot Drink Maker and contact the Focus Products Call Center for instructions on how to return the product and receive a replacement. The machines were sold under the following makes and model numbers:

  • West Bend
    • 65032
  • Back to Basics
    • CM300BK, CM300BKL, CM300BLSS, CM300BR, CM300BRBRL CM300BRL, CM300W

Focus Products of Lincolnshire, IL, is voluntarily recalling Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Makers because a small bushing inside the container has the potential to leach lead. To date, Focus Products has received no notice of any consumer complaints. However, the company’s independent testing revealed the potential problem, and out of an abundance of caution, the company voluntarily decided to recall the product.

The only affected products are the Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Makers, makes and model numbers listed above.  The Cocoa Grande™ Hot Drink Maker is NOT affected by this recall.  The Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Makers shipped nationwide starting in 2004 through October 12, 2012. The affected products come in a variety of colors with transparent pitchers, and were sold primarily in the United States through various retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, through various e-retailers such as and through Focus Products’ online store.

Realistic Thanksgiving Food Safety

I often hear,” I have never made anyone sick before, all the food safety things you talk about are just over-kill”.

Really? You know this for sure? You have never made anyone ill?  Fact is, you may have never hospitalized anyone, but have any of your family or friends ever had diarrhea or cramping hours to days after eating dinner or next day brunch at your house?

I know there are volumes of information out there right now on Thanksgiving Food Safety.  Reality says you are not going to follow every food safety recommendation.  So, I have condensed them down to the  most important things you can do to keep your families belly’s feeling good this holiday.

Here it is  – cut and dry – believe me or not.  If you would like any items explained in greater detail, just ask.  I would be happy to explain the reasons behind why this is so important.

Preparation Safety:

Defrosting a large turkey in the refrigerator is the safest way.

Do NOT wash your turkey. For those of you that insist on rinsing the inside please properly clean and sanitize area (see bottom of post for how to do this) in and around sink and PLEASE put all clean dishes away first!

WASH your hands, before and after handling raw food.  Do not answer your phone then go back to touching food.  Do not dry your hands with a dish towel.  USE paper towels.  Consider where and what that nasty dish towel has touched before using it for a second purpose.

CLEANING is good – Cleaning and Sanitizing is better.  It doesn’t take that long.  Place a wiping cloth in a bowl with proper sanitizer and it makes the job easy.

Turkey Safety:

I know you are going to stuff.  I stuff my birds.  Here is how to do it safely.  Do not stuff the night before.  It is just too cold and will take too long to cook, drying out your turkey.  That is just a good cooking tip.  Prepare stuffing, stuff then cook immediately.

Purchase a stem thermometer for about $4-6 and make sure it is accurate.  (see bottom of post)  Next, ignore the little pop up button, they tend to overcook your bird and often under-cook the stuffing in a  bird.  Your bird is done when you check several internal areas and make sure they are 165° .  Check between breast and thigh, in center of stuffing and in the breast area.

DO NOT leave your turkey sitting on the table for everyone to walk by with their grubby little hands to “pick on” .  Slice some extra and leave smaller portion on table if you must.  Then throw out what has been left out after 4 hours.

The sides:

Put away within 2 hours or throw out after 4.  However, NEVER put away while over 70°, that is too warm and your refrigerator will be working too hard to keep everything else cool.

Remember these temperatures and keep bacterial growth to a minimum:

41 degrees or below for cold food.

70 – 120 degrees is when bacteria grow the fastest.  I like to think of it as they are having a dance party on your food!! AVOID leaving food in this air temperature during prepping or after cooking.

135 degrees if you are planning on holding your food in chaffing dishes or crock pot make sure it is at 135 or above.  Don’t forget that at 4 hours it needs to be thrown out or reheated to 165 degrees.

The next day:

If you expect to eat the left overs the next day put them away as soon as possible (within 2 hours).  Especially if you will be eating cold and not reheating to 165 ° or over.

Plan meals that will require reheating, that way if you did make some mistakes yesterday  you can maybe correct them today by cooking again to 165 °

Cleaning and Sanitizing:

Areas within 5 feet of where you had raw meat or poultry juices need special attention.  It takes 5 steps: Wipe off excess debris, Wash with a detergent, Rinse with clean water, Sanitize with a solution of 1 1/2 teaspoons of bleach in one gallon of water  and allow this solution to air dry on surface before proceeding.

Use different clean wiping towel for each step above.  Single use paper towels are best.

Making sure you have a working thermometer.

 Place in a glass of ice that is just covered with water.  It should read 32°, if it does not, there is usually a nut on the back that you can turn to make it read correctly.  Most came with a sleeve that had a tool on it.

Have good personal hygiene, avoid cross contamination, check temperatures and reduce bacteria on surfaces by cleaning and sanitizing.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, be food safe and your family will thank you!!


 November 7 , 2012 – Charlotte, North Carolina – Fresh Express Incorporated is conducting a voluntary, precautionary recall of a limited quantity of Fresh Express Spinach with a Use-by Date of November 7 and Product Code of S299B25 due to a possible health risk from Salmonella.

No illnesses or consumer complaints have been reported to Fresh Express at this time in association with this recall. No other Fresh Express products are subject to this recall.

Specific recall information follows:

  • Product Being Recalled: Fresh Express Spinach in 9 oz. package
  • Product Code: S299B25 (located in upper right corner on front of package)
  • Use-by Date: November 7 (also located in upper right hand corner of package)
  • Distribution:AZ, CA, CO, HI, I D, KS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM,OK,OR,SD, TX, UT, WA,WY

NESQUIK recall

November 8, 2012 – Nestlé USA announced the voluntary recall of limited quantities of Nestlé NESQUIK® Chocolate Powder in the 10.9, 21.8 and 40.7 ounce canisters. The voluntary recall is limited to only NESQUIK Chocolate Powder, which was distributed nationally. No other varieties of NESQUIK powder or any sizes or flavors of NESQUIK ready-to-drink are affected by this recall.

Nestlé is removing the canisters from distribution because the company was notified by an ingredient supplier, Omya Inc. that it has issued a recall of certain lots of its ingredient, calcium carbonate due to possible presence of Salmonella. Calcium carbonate is used in NESQUIK as an ingredient. There have been no reports of any illnesses or adverse health effects associated with the affected product.

To ensure the safety of consumers, Nestlé is recalling selected NESQUIK Chocolate Powder. The recall is limited to the following sizes, UPC and production codes of NESQUIK Chocolate Powder:

Size UPC Code Production Codes
40.7 oz. Chocolate (72 servings) 0 28000 68230 9 2282574810
21.8 oz. Chocolate (38 servings) 0 28000 68090 9 2278574810
10.9 oz. Chocolate (19 servings) 0 28000 67990 3 2278574810

The affected NESQUIK Chocolate Powder was produced during early October, 2012. To locate the production code, consumers should look on the bottom of the canister, adjacent to the consumer expiration date. All affected products have an expiration date of BEST BEFORE Oct 2014.

Have you been to Hawaii lately?

On October 22, 2012,  Higa Meat & Pork Market, a Honolulu, HI establishment, is recalling approximately 4,100 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The following products are subject to recall:

  • 10-lb. bags of “HIGA MARKET-GROUND BEEF BULK” – 1 to 6 bags per carton/case.

Each case bears the establishment number “EST. 12457M” inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as the identifying case code number: “291.” The products were produced on Oct. 17, 2012 and were distributed to restaurants in the Oahu, HI area.



New York-Style Nova Lox

NOVEMBER 9TH, 2012 – Spence & Co Ltd, Brockton MA, a smoked salmon company is voluntarily recalling New York-Style Nova Lox, 4oz, Code/Lot: 9720704 due to an abundance of caution because of possible contamination by Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall affects a total of 1,563 packs of Spence & co Ltd New York Style Nova Lox Lot 9720704.

The recalled product is identified and distributed as follows:

Through Distributors in IL, MO, NJ, MA and in the Detroit area between 9.26.12 and 10.5.12

It has also been distributed to the following retail stores

Earthfare: AL, NC, GA, SC, TN, FL & OH between 9.28.12 and 10.5.12.

Shaws Supermarkets: New England on 9.28.12. (expiration date 10.21.12)

Roche Bros: MA on 9.26.12 (expiration date 10.19.12).

Fresh Markets: In FL,GA,KY,IL,AL,AZ,OH,TN,SC,VA,IN,MI,OK & KS.

2 possible product related illnesses have been reported, the bacterium was discovered during routine sampling.

It is the little things that make the biggest difference.

Many of you know I have a daughter that plays soccer.  This Sunday was our last week of fall season play and we had two games.  Between the games we treated the girls to an impromptu pizza party at a pizza shop near one of our games.  I had eaten there before and recommended Fortunato Brothers in Edgewood, MD.  The team and parents took over 1/2 the restaurants seats.  We ordered and ate.  Everything was excellent.  Service was good and a walk to the bathroom allowed a peak into the kitchen area.  My quick “inspection” was good!

As we were leaving the gentleman behind the counter, I am presuming the owner or manager, calls to me and hands me two take out boxes.  Hmm, I didn’t order anything to go…a peak inside and oh yum he made the girls what I would call fried dough.  Hot and covered in sugar.  It took all I had to not devour them before I had time to give to the girls.

Such a small gesture had the entire team talking about how nice a place it was and how good the food was.  So if you are ever in Edgewood, MD and want to have some wonderful Italian food give Fortunato Brothers a visit!  And notice  the American Flag over the counter!



Pet Food Recall- Protein Crunch Bar

Protein Crunch Bars RECALL November 1, 2012 — Charlee Bear Products announced today that it is voluntarily recalling certain lots of its Protein Crunch Bar products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.  We have posted before about the risk to humans when pet food contains a bacteria.   Always wash hands after handling pet food or treats.  Don’t forget about making sure our little helpers are washing hands as well. Children 0-4 are more likely to have medical complications from coming in contact with Salmonella Bacteria.

The following products are being recalled:

  • Charlee Bear Protein Crunch Bars – Chicken Recipe with Carrots
    5.5 oz packages; UPC Code: 8710890000
    Lot number 19812; Best by date: 07-16-2015
    Lot number 19912; Best by date: 07-17-2015
    Lot number 20012; Best by date: 07-18-2015
    Lot number 20212; Best by date: 07-20-2015
  • Charlee Bear Protein Crunch Bars – Chicken Recipe with Sweet Potatoes
    5.5 oz packages; UPC Code: 8710890001
    Lot number 20112; Best by date: 07-19-2015