1. Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Recalled Mushrooms
A salmonella outbreak linked to dried wood ear mushrooms has affected 41 people across 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The wood ear mushrooms—also called Kikurage, Dried Black Fungus, Dried Fungus or Mu'er/Mu Er/Mu-Err mushrooms—were voluntarily recalled by distributor Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc. after the California Department of Public Health identified salmonella in the product. The mushrooms were sold only to restaurants and came in 5-lb. bags labeled as "Shirakiku brand Black Fungus (Kikurage)" with a UPC barcode 00074410604305.
2. Indoor Dining Slowly Returning to American Cities
After six months without indoor dining, San Francisco restaurants may be permitted to reopen indoor dining rooms at 25% up to 100 people starting October 1. The potential for reopening is dependent on meeting California state guidelines for “moderate” risk for the spread of COVID-19, which means bringing the spread of infection down to four daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a less than 5% positive test rate for a period of two weeks. San Francisco is one of the last major cities to reopen indoor dining, and as the city with the most restaurants per capita in the United States, such a reopening could be a major step for foodservice recovery.
Read more on Restaurant Dive here: San Francisco restaurants could reopen at 25% capacity in October
3. New Traceability Requirements Proposed by FDA
The FDA proposed new rules this week to heighten traceability requirements for several foods with a high risk of contamination as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The proposed rules aim to standardize recordkeeping to make traceability information more readily available when needed to address foodborne illnesses and will apply to a range of food categories, including leafy greens, fresh herbs, cucumbers, melons, peppers, sprouts, tomatoes, tropical fruit, and seafood. While the new rules would still allow paper records, the FDA encourages businesses to maintain records electronically if possible.
Read more on The Packer here: FDA proposes heightened traceability rules for certain produce
4. Southeastern Grocers Teams Up with Uber for Grocery Delivery
Southeastern Grocers will team up with Uber for online grocery delivery services at its Winn Dixie and Fresco y Más supermarkets in Florida. Customers will be able to order groceries and schedule delivery online or using the Uber Eats and Uber mobile apps. While the service has so far launched in the Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville markets, Southeastern Grocers also offers delivery through Instacart and Shipt at its Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo and Harveys Supermarkets chains. The move marks the first partnership with a major food retailer in Florida for Uber’s grocery marketplace platform Cornershop, which debuted in the U.S. in May.
Read more on Supermarket News here: Southeastern Grocers expands on-demand delivery with Uber partnership
5. $4 Million Program Will Help D.C. Restaurants to Winterize Outdoor Spaces
A new grant program announced by the Office of Nightlife and Culture in Washington, D.C. will help restaurants and non-food retail businesses prepare their outdoor spaces for winter use. The grants will offer $6,000 to independent and locally-owned businesses with active sidewalk cafe permits, temporary "streatery" permits, or private outdoor spaces and may be used for expenses including tents, heaters, propane, furniture, advertising and operational costs of outdoor space. The program is now accepting applications and will begin disbursing funds on a rolling basis beginning October 1. The funds must be used and expenses reported by November 30.
Read more on Restaurant Dive here: DC launches $4M grant program to help restaurants winterize their outdoor dining spaces
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