Today’s Food Newsbits: Recalled Beef Still Delivered To Schools, Ramsay Hands Over Restaurant, McDonald’s Leader Retires

USAToday is reporting that a recall back in August of over 825,000 pounds of questionable ground beef included meat that was later delivered to schools across the nation through the National School Lunch Program. According to the article, 450,000 pounds of ground beef produced June 5-June 23, dates included in the recall, was purchased by the program and distributed to school districts. Of the four orders, one order tested positive for salmonella while the other three tested negative, and were shipped accordingly, leaving many to wonder why the additional three weren’t included in the mass recall.

Because salmonella is seldom distributed evenly in any lot of beef, “94% of the time, I won’t find it even though it’s there,” James Marsden [a professor of food safety and security at Kansas State University] says of testing. “Since one of the four lots tested positive, my recommendation would have been to include all four lots in the recall.”

The government could have rejected all the lots. It did not. “The company had the option to include all of the school lunch product in the recall regardless of results of the test, and in my opinion, that’s what should have been done,” says Marsden, who also is the senior science adviser for the North American Meat Processors Association. “It’s just poor decision-making.”

Surprisingly, though Beef Packers, the company involved in the beef recall, stands by the distribution, they’re still a bit wary about the government’s decision to continue shipment to schools.

“Well, I can only say, thank God there were no outbreaks at schools related to any of these products. And that’s not saying much,” says Mark Klein, a spokesman for Cargill, which owns Beef Packers.

Well, that’s reassuring.

Eater New York is posted this morning that LXR Luxury Resorts has taken over ownership of Gordon Ramsay at the London in New York City. As we reported back in June, Ramsay signed over ownership of Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood due to financial difficulties. Unfortunately, it seems as though the chef’s restaurant empire has been unable to recover from money strain. The document posted in the Eater article notes that the London NYC has taken over full ownership and management of his New York location, effective November 22.

The location, which recently received two Michelin stars, will continue to bear the Gordon Ramsay name.

McDonald’s chief operating officer and president Ralph Alvarez announced earlier this week that he will retire from his position at the end of the month due to health reasons. Alvarez has been with the company for fifteen years and has held a number of upper positions, with expectations that he would eventually take over as chief executive officer.

“After more than 30 years in the restaurant industry, the past 15 with this great brand McDonald’s, I’ve decided to retire,” Alvarez said. “Seven orthopedic surgeries and years of chronic pain, culminating in two total knee replacements in the past six months, have made me realize it’s time to move on.”

~Jennifer Heigl
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