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Seasons, the supermarket chain that declared bankruptcy, relaunching under new ownership

February 1, 2019 from the JTA and Voisizneias:

"Seasons, the kosher supermarket chain that declared bankruptcy last year, has new owners and is reopening one of its closed locations."
"Seasons is under the ownership of the family of businessman Joseph Bistritzky, CEO of the Maramont Corp., a food services company."
"The Scarsdale location will be one of six stores to open, but the chain wants to make sure it can succeed in and around New York City, so national ambitions are on hold. The Upper West Side Seasons also will remain closed. In addition to Scarsdale and Queens, Seasons will continue operating stores in two New Jersey locations, Clifton and Lakewood, and two others in Lawrence in the heavily Jewish Five Towns area of suburban Long Island, New York."

Saddled With $42M In Debt, Seasons Kosher Supermarket Files For Bankruptcy

September 18, 2018 from the Matzav.com:

"A chain of kosher grocery stores, Seasons, with locations on the Upper West Side and Queens, has filed for bankruptcy with $42 million in debt, Commercial Observer reports."
"The company only has $5 million in assets but owes millions to vendors, landlords and banks, according to the Chapter 11 filing obtained via Nationwide Research Company."
"The chain was started in 2010 with a location in Flushing, Queens and eventually grew to include supermarkets in Lakewood, N.J., Clifton, N.J. Scarsdale, N.Y., and two in Lawrence, N.Y."
"After years of delays, Seasons opened its Baltimore, M.D., outpost last year and was still working on a Cleveland store."
"It’s unclear if Seasons will close any stores or is looking for a buyer."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W750

Canadian inspections helping deter olive oil fraud

Feb 01, 2019 from the Hamilton Spectator:

"Olive production in Italy was hard hit last year due to an early frost. The country's olive production dropped by 57 per cent."
Both Greece and Portugal suffered a similar fate, along with pest issues, and saw their production drop by 35 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. "
"In recent years, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has actually tested some products if it suspects them to be fraudulent. In 2013, 39 per cent of random tests found adulterated olive oil. A total of 28 samples were collected across the country. That ratio went down to 10 per cent in 2018, with the random testing of 20 samples. Obviously, these results do not mean cases of food fraud are actually down in Canada — far from it — but reports are encouraging, nonetheless. This may suggest that the industry is now fully aware that our federal regulator is checking and will find fraudulent products."
"In the mean time, for olive oil enthusiasts, vigilance is a virtue. Typically, 500 millilitres of good quality olive oil should cost 15 to 16 dollars to produce. Price points at retail for good olive oil should be higher than this. So, if you are looking at a bottle retailed at 10 dollars or less, just walk away. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W804

City of Berkeley Cracks Down on Single-Use Cups with 25 Cent Fee

January 23, 2018 from the Daily Coffee News:

"City officials in the coffee-loving city of Berkeley, California, have passed an ordinance requiring businesses to charge a 25 cent fee for single-use paper cups."
"Taking effect in January 2020, the ordinance will require disposable straws, lids, stirrers, cup spill plugs, napkins and utensils to also be compostable. Those items are to be made available only by request or at self-serve stations. Also according to the ordinance, all take-out food ware also must be compostable, all dine-in food ware must be reusable, and hardship waivers will be available for special circumstances."
"If you bring your own container, you have to have that charge removed."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W803

Jewish and Kosher Resources in Atlanta, Ga for the Superbowl

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W802

Nebraska bill would ban ‘meat’ labels on lab-grown, insect and plant ‘products’

January 25, 2019 from Food Safety News:

"The mystery Nebraska State Sen. Carol Blood created briefly Tuesday by withdrawing her bill to limit the use of the term “meat” on product labels in the state was short-lived."
"On Wednesday she introduced an alternative to her original measure. The new proposal, Legislative Bill (LB) 594, seeks to amend Nebraska’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It replaced Blood’s withdrawn LB 14."
"Pyramid schemes and chain referral sales are among illegal activities covered by the state’s existing Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Reporting and enforcement is carried out by county attorneys and the Nebraska Attorney General. The proposed change would add language covering meat labeling."
"Meat means any edible portion of any livestock or poultry carcass or part thereof and does not include insect-based, plant-based or lab-grown food products,” according to Blood’s amending language."
"'For purposes of this subdivision, (a) livestock includes cattle, calves, sheep, swine, ratite birds, including, but not limited to, ostrich and emu, llamas, alpaca, bison, elk, goats, horses, and rabbits raised in confinement for human consumption and (b) poultry includes any domesticated bird, including, but not limited to, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese raised in confinement for human consumption. . .'"
"Farmers and some legislators in Missouri and Nebraska, and possibly other meat producing states, say they want to protect the traditional animal agriculture industry at a time when promising protein alternatives are writing their marketing plans."

Sponsor withdraws Nebraska meat labeling bill without explanation

January 24, 2018 from the FoodSafetyNews:

"The Nebraska Unicameral bill for truth in advertising and labeling in the sale of meat and providing a penalty for non-compliance was looking pretty popular."
"Since Sen. Carol Blood, D-Bellevue, introduced it, Legislative Bill (LB) 14 had picked up five co-sponsors in the nation’s only nonpartisan legislative body. Blood, a business consultant elected in 2016, pulled a surprise move of her own on Tuesday when the Unicameral went back into session after the Marlin Luther King holiday."
"Blood introduced a motion to withdraw LB 14, a move not explained in the Unicameral’s journal or anyplace else. Blood did not issue a press release or explain the action, which is pending, on her district website. She could not be reached for comment."
"Sometimes bills are withdrawn only to be re-introduced with more precise language."
"When she introduced her bill, Blood said it was in support of state farm groups in hopes for the betterment of Nebraska and its future agricultural growth."

Nebraska lawmakers to consider ban on labeling meat-substitutes as ‘meat'

January 13, 2018 from the TheHill: and APNews:

"Lawmakers in Nebraska this year will consider legislation that would ban companies from labeling plant-based, insect-based and lab-grown products as meat." "Those products could include veggie burgers and tofu dogs."
"The consideration of the bill comes after Missouri in August became the first state to ban meat-substitute products from being labeled as 'meat.'"
"Nebraska led the nation in commercial red meat production in 2017 and had the most feed cows as of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Livestock and livestock product sales generated an estimated $12.1 billion for the state’s economy in 2016, according to the USDA’s most recent available data."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W793

Tel Aviv cafes trade private kosher certification for Rabbinate

January 27, 2019 from the Arutz 7

"Two Tel Aviv branches of the Aroma café chain which had used kosher certifications provided by the Tzohar organization have transitioned to the state-sanctioned kashrut system of the Chief Rabbinate in Tel Aviv-Jaffa."
"The religious council in Tel Aviv reports a wave of restaurants seeking to join the rabbinate’s kosher system. Some of these restaurants have not been kosher before, while used alternative certification providers, like Tzohar."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W800

Brussels - Jewish Journalist Who Covered Belgium’s Ritual Slaughter Ban Enters Politics To End It

January 18, 2019 from the Voisizneias:

Michael Freilich, "the longtime editor in chief of Belgium’s largest Jewish newspaper has announced he is resigning and running for parliament, partly in a bid to reverse recent bans in the country on the slaughter of conscious animals for meat." He joined "the New Flemish Alliance center-right party, the largest in the federal parliament."
"The party has placed Freilich in the fifth slot of its ticket for the May 26 regional elections, all but ensuring that Freilich will become a lawmaker in the Chamber of Representatives, the lower house. A victory would make him the first Orthodox Jew to serve there."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W799

New York City Health Department Begins Issuing Letter Grades For Food Carts and Trucks

January 18, 2019 from the NYC.gov:

"The Health Department today announced that the first letter grades have been issued to food carts and trucks."
" This past November, the Health Department published the final rules for the new grading program, which introduced a scoring system similar to the one used for restaurant inspections. The new grading program holds carts and trucks to the same food safety standards as restaurants. Food carts and trucks now receive points for violations, which correspond to either an “A,” “B,” or “C” letter grade. The new letter grading program applies to all food carts and trucks authorized to operate in New York City."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W798

Austrialia: One in 40 ‘gluten-free’ foods contain gluten, research finds

November 12, 2018 from the news.com.au:

"Research has found one in 40 foods sold as “gluten-free” actually contained gluten, according to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research."
"The study published in the Medical Journal of Australia tested 256 of Australia’s most commonly bought gluten-free foods, suggesting that almost 3 per cent failed to meet the national food standard."
"The study found a gluten-free pasta contained more than three milligrams of gluten in a standard single serve."
The "findings raised concerns not only for those with coeliac disease and gluten allergies, but also those with other forms of food allergies."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W797

"Unsanitary Conditions" Reported At Moshiko Shwarma Of Ben-Yehuda Street, Jerusalem, Israel

January 16, 2018 from the YeshivaWorld:

"Israel’s Health Ministry reported on Monday, January 14, 2019, that poultry and salads found in Moshiko Shwarma, located at 5 Ben-Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, were taken to be destroyed after they were found kept under unsanitary conditions and the situation in the store was ideal for cross-contamination”. This is a Jerusalem Rabbanut mehadrin kosher shwarma store often frequented by American students studying in yeshiva as well as tourists."
"During the inspection, severe defects were found, very poor infrastructure, conduct leading to cross-contamination that could endanger public health."
"In addition, most of the poultry products were found at a dangerous and uncontrolled temperature, and other food (salads and falafel mixture) under cross-contamination conditions. All food products were kept in very poor sanitary conditions."
"At the order of the district veterinarian and with the assistance of the local municipality of Jerusalem, about 250kg (551 lbs.) of poultry products were destroyed along with about 130kg (286 lbs.) of salads."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W795
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