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News Fri Feb 05 2010

City Inspectors Destroy Local Fruit Puree... for What?

According to the Tribune's The Stew, inspectors from the city's Department of Health "seized, slashed open and poured bleach over thousands of dollars of local peaches, pears, raspberry and plum purees owned by pastry chef Flora Lazar" of Flora Confections. More than a thousand dollars worth of food prepared by the Sunday Supper Club, which shares the same kitchen, was also destroyed, although none of the inspectors was willing to say that the food imposed any danger to the public. Sounds like the unclear licensing requirement, concerning shared kitchens, is to blame. Read the whole heartbreaking post over at The Stew.

UPDATE (Tuesday, February 9): According to the Chicago Public Radio, health officials shut down the kitchen at Kitchen Chicago, where Flora Confections and other small-scale food start-ups share the kitchen. On Monday, inspectors returned to destroy more food. Chicago's unclear licensing requirements have some of Kitchen Chicago's clients considering a move out to the suburbs.


Henry Reddson / February 5, 2010 6:41 PM

Maybe the so-called "chef" should follow safe food handling guidelines?

Yu / February 5, 2010 8:38 PM

If you read the whole post at The Stew, the chefs weren't doing anything wrong as long as the food safety goes. The situation is still murky, but the problem seems to be the timing of the license acquisition, not any of the procedures involved in the handling of the actual food items destroyed.

Irene Larson / February 6, 2010 8:16 AM

Listen, if Flora can't follow the rules that the rest of us need to follow, then she should find somewhere else to do business. Even Rick Bayless had that pork product destroyed a couple of months ago. Cooks are not above the law.

Craighton / February 6, 2010 8:29 AM

The problem isn't "chefs following the rules", the problem is that the city doesn't HAVE rules that take into account exactly how a shared-use kitchen should be run. Hey Dept of Health, why not work WITH Kitchen Chicago to define those rules?

Melissa / February 6, 2010 1:43 PM

This is not about safe food handling. this person was trying to follow the rules by renting a fully licensed commercial kitchen. This was about a paperwork issue. This city just does not support small businesses. This is the way a small business starts out before taking on the expense of renting a storefront, etc. She was following all the rules. The city doesn't know how to deal with this new crop of artisan food producers.It's very sad and so wrong. We are eventually going to be a city of Starbucks & Panera Bread. Lovely.

Mark / February 6, 2010 3:33 PM

It seems odd that the city is so militant in hunting down artisan food producers, but seemingly can not harness the energy to inspect residential properties, maintain city street, or other things that would have a much bigger impact on consumer protection than destroying loads of fresh, local fruit.

Melinda Goldblum / February 10, 2010 12:30 PM

Get used to it people, it's called the nanny state. It's what happens when you have liberals running a city. Take a look at Detroit and you will see Chicago's future. Unfortunately with barrack hussein in office, it is also the future of our great country.

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Event Mon Jul 21 2014

A Garden Party at Rick Bayless' House

By Judy Wu

I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
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Dill Pickle Block Party @ Comfort Station

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