Category: Food

March 19th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

You’ll want to get your taxes done and your schedule freed up for the myriad of events and activities in and around Downtown New Bern the weekend of April 12-14. The weekend is packed with home tours, a concert, art gallery tours, a 5K run, and wine, beer and spirits tastings.

“What’s nice about it is that it brings all kinds of elements together,” said Lynne Harakal, director of Swiss Bear Inc., the Main Street organization for Downtown New Bern.

Whether you’re a local or coming in town for the weekend, there are opportunities for a lot of different activities, she said.

New to Downtown New Bern are Saturday arts and music events that use Bear Plaza as their venue. Starting in April and continuing through MumFest in October, music and arts events will be held in Bear Plaza.

Saturday Sessions, a music event, will be held on the first and third Saturdays. Art-themed events will be held on second and fourth Saturdays. Rare fifth Saturdays will alternate between music and the arts. All events will include arts and story-time activities for children.

“Overdue for a community like ours is to have something like this,” Harakal said.  “We should be having regularly scheduled music and arts downtown.”

Event hours are 1-5 p.m. Saturdays at Bear Plaza, which intersects with Middle Street between South Front and Pollock streets.

Early risers can start at Farmers Market, have lunch and then catch music or arts. Late risers can start at Bear Plaza, have dinner downtown, and then catch a play at New Bern Civic Theatre or enjoy cocktails, beer and wine at Downtown New Bern’s numerous night spots.

Coming from out of town and want to stay for the weekend? Not a problem. New Bern has a wealth of hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts that will suit all tastes. Go to https://www.visitnewbern.com/where-to-stay-new-bern-nc/ for more information.

Here are the details for some of the weekend activities April 12-14. Additional events and details can be found at https://www.visitnewbern.com/events-calendar2/

Posted in Activities, Community, Entertainment, Events, Farmers Market, Food

March 12th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Colorfest will hold its annual event, Night Out With The Arts (NOWTA), on May 10 at the New Bern Golf & Country Club.

Attendees will be introduced to the Colorfest Team, sponsors, and learn more about the things that Colorfest aspires to do in the community. The event will also feature live music by Songstress Rasheeda Waddell and Band, comedy, art exhibition from local artist, live painting and an art auction. All proceeds raised go towards paints, supplies, art scholarships and to the community Colorfest serves. Dinner will also be served.

Those who wish to become a sponsor can call 404-725-3053 or email colorfestinnewbern@gmail.com by March 20.

EVENT INFORMATION:

  • Night Out With The Arts
    • Date: May 10, 2019
    • Time: Doors open at 7 p.m. Show is 8-11 p.m.
    • Location: New Bern Golf & Country Club, 4301 Country Club Road, New Bern
    • Cost: $30 General Admission (include entertainment, meal and one complementary raffle ticket)
    • On the web: www.colorfestinc.org

Since 2011, founder, Derrick Bryant has come back to his hometown and helped beautify the area by painting murals downtown on Queen Street in 2011 and 2016. He’s developed an event/program for youth to tackle problems and have fun at the same time.

Colorfest is an event for youth of all ages to come out and take part in helping to beautify the city of New Bern. Future Colorfest projects are being planned to reach the communities in Eastern North Carolina and Georgia.

A main focus of the Colorfest Team is to break chains in impoverished communities. It sees the arts as a way to give young artist positive ways to channel their creative energy and talents.

“For many years we have seen the decline of funding in schools for art based programs, causing children to lose access to curriculum that would otherwise enhance and nurture the creative process,” Bryant said in a news release.

Colorfest Inc. active sponsors 2018-19 include Walmart, American Airlines, Kiss 102, Baker’s Kitchen, Bern Investment Group,The Tiny Tornado, and B.L.U.U.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Downtown New Bern, Education, Entertainment, Events, Food, Fundraiser

March 1st, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

I read an article the other day about who makes the best cheeseburger of the top three burger chains, Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Burger King.

The reviewer gave Wendy’s and McDonald’s a tie for first. However, it was an unfair contest. More on that in a second. Anyway, I repeated the test and came up with my own result.

The reviewer compared regular cheeseburgers from Wendy’s and Burger King, but the Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonald’s, which gave an unfair advantage to McDonald’s. The Quarter Pounder with Cheese is one of McDonald’s premium menu items, and why the author chose it over McDonald’s regular cheeseburger, I don’t know.

Obviously, comparing apples to apples, the comparison should have included McDonald’s regular cheeseburger.

Duplicating the online article that I read, McDonald’s QPWC was the clear winner. It had more of everything, and in just the right amounts. And now that McDonald’s is preparing its premium beef patties the way its competitors are, it is no longer disadvantaged.

The Wendy’s and Burger King cheeseburgers were sorry little affairs and their beef patties were overwhelmed by the same thing, pickles. The only exception was BK’s — its charbroil flavor was the first thing I tasted, and it seemed almost artificial it was so distinct and long lasting. The flavor still lingers now, 40 minutes since I ate it.

I eat McDonald’s plain cheeseburgers all the time. I prefer Wendy’s of the top three burger chains, but I do occasionally eat at McDonald’s, and when I do I order the double cheeseburger meal.

Had I included McDonald’s regular cheeseburger instead of the QPWC, it still would have won.

As for premium burgers, I prefer Wendy’s singles or doubles, and really would prefer not to eat Big Macs and Whoppers. Also, I am fond of Sonic’s burgers and not fond of Cook-Out’s, although I don’t understand why. Cook-Out burgers have all the right things, but there is just something a little off about them.

Let me know what your favorite burgers are.

– Randy Foster, New Bern Post

Posted in Blog post, Commentary, Food, Friday free-for-all, New Bern

December 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Did you go by the new Harris Teeter since it opened on Wednesday? Odds are pretty good that you did.

In a small town like New Bern, folks here can be relied on to try something new. Remember when Cook Out opened?

On opening day, I saw city officials including Jeff Odham, in whose ward the new Harris Teeter is located, and City Manager Mark Stephens proudly roaming the vast floor space of the gleaming new store.

Coke Mann, a partner with Columbia Development Group, developer of the shopping center, was quoted in the Sun Journal crediting Odham and Mayor Dana Outlaw for their bringing the super-expanded HT to New Bern.

I saw lots of regular people combing through the almost 100,000-foot feet of shopping space, which is more than just a simple supermarket. (Some say the store actually has 105,000 square feet of floor space.)

We are not wedded to a particular grocery store. We shop at Publix most often, but not exclusively, and mainly due to its modern and wide selection coupled with its less crowded aisles.

With the opening of the new Harris Teeter, that may change.

The store replaces a 55,000-square-foot store on South Glenburnie Road, which closed the day before the new store opened.

It is claimed to be the largest Harris Teeter out of the chain’s 246 stores. Some media outlets have called it the largest in the world, but since its world is pretty much contained within Southern states, that’s a somewhat pretentious claim.

Still, it’s plenty big, and within it are sections that by themselves are impressively large.

There is a Starbucks inside the Harris Teeter, just as there was at the old location, but this one has a dining area that has to make this particular Starbucks one of the largest in the world, and that’s saying something.

Then there is the food court, contained within an area that could be a nice-size grocery store all by itself.

There is a bakery, fresh produce and meats, a deli, a sushi bar, a buffet, a burger bar, a specialty bar with changing themes, and a bar-bar. Yes, a bar … where you can get beer and wine by the glass.

As for the grocery aisles, they are so long they are subdivided, with a third row intersecting at the middle. Looking from one end toward the other, the aisles extend almost as far as the eye can see.

Filling all those aisles with merchandise must be a challenge by itself. I have not looked deeply into it, but the few places I did look showed a much-expanded variety of brands and varieties.

Staffing this store must be equally challenging. I counted six people working at the Starbucks counter, four at the burger bar, three at the beer and wine bar, and so on.

I am not sure if they staffed up for opening week or if they plan to maintain that staffing level.

Sarah, Mark and I went there on opening day and had dinner. We bought a couple of items from the grocery aisles before going home.

We returned on Saturday to find the same buzz one encounters when surrounded by hundreds of happy people. The store is large enough to accommodate a thousand customers without feeling overly crowded.

Sarah got several selections from the sushi train and described the quality as good as any restaurant in New Bern. I went for simple–a burger and fries. The way I figure it, if you can’t do a burger and fries right, then what can you do right?

And boy, did they do it right. It paired nicely with the glass of Mother Earth pale ale that I got at the bar.

While waiting for my order, I ran into four people I knew, and that’s the great thing about a venue like this. It’s a magnet that draws people together, and for more than one purpose.

Before, you would go to Harris Teeter for groceries. Maybe you might grab something from the salad bar or deli or the Starbucks counter, but there was really nothing that set it apart from any other modern grocery store.

This Harris Teeter is not just a retailer, it is a community amenity. You can literally spend the day there, enjoying a fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a couple of glasses of beer or wine later in the day before actually doing any grocery shopping.

Note: the beer and wine bar opens at 10 a.m. daily except Sundays, when it opens at 11 a.m. But who’s judging?

The parking lot is large and full but sufficient and well laid out. Other stores in the shopping center, which is called New Bern Marketplace, round out the remaining two-thirds of retail floor space at the 34-acre, 325,000-square-food retail venue.

One thing it has over Downtown New Bern: parking is not limited to two hours.

So what can you expect at the Teeter?

Greeting you as you arrive at one of the entrances is the floral counter managed by Mary Gierie-Merrell, who Mayor Outlaw has described as New Bern’s unofficial mayor.

At that same entrance, off to the right, is the Starbucks counter with its spacious and open dining area. It is equipped with tables and booths and two big-screen TVs. The window-wall is lined with a long counter with tall chairs for computer users and enough USB ports and electric sockets for every two chairs.

Beyond is the amazing food court, and to its left, the expansive grocery aisles.

One glitch was WiFi. Though it is provided, I was unable to connect to the internet using it. Another quibble is that if you want to sit at a table and plug in your device or computer to a power source, there are just two tables within range of just one wall socket, and they are right underneath a big-screen TV. That may be by design. It is understandable why a store would not want its tables taken up by people using computers all day.

The impacts of the new Harris Teeter on New Bern will be interesting to see.

It will undoubtedly cut into business of other existing grocery stores. But being so large, it will draw shoppers from outside New Bern and maybe from outside Craven County.

When the N.C. 43 connector is extended from U.S. 70 to U.S. 17 in the next few years, it will make access to New Bern Marketplace easier to reach from Pitt and Lenoir residents. It’s already the easiest retail center to reach in New Bern from Jones and Onslow counties.

As I said, this Harris Teeter is not just a store, it is a community amenity.

Fun facts

  • Harris Teeter’s previous largest stores, measuring at 80,000 square feet of store space, are located in Pinehurst and Charlotte.
  • The New Bern store is only the second location to have a juice bar.
  • It is the first to have a build-your-own burger bar.
  • It is the first to have a sushi train.

Posted in Achievements, Activities, Aldermen, Beer, Board of Aldermen, Business, Commentary, Community, Craven County, Downtown New Bern, Economy, Economy and Employment, Entertainment, Events, Food, Mayor, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce, Opinion

December 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by a severe winter storm moving through the southern U.S.

The National Weather Service reports that a strong storm system crossing the Southwest early Friday morning will likely take a southerly track across the southern plains to the South and then to the southeastern U.S. coast through the weekend. Snow and freezing rain is forecast in eastern New Mexico and the Texas/Oklahoma panhandles by late Friday, and continuing into early Saturday.

Heavy rain is forecast across southeast Texas. The rainfall rates are expected to be high at times, increasing the threat of flooding. Flash flood watches are in effect for this region. A slight risk of excessive rainfall exists through Saturday night for the central Gulf Coast region.

Through late Sunday, a swath of accumulating snow and ice is expected to extend from eastern Oklahoma to the southern Appalachians. Winter storm watches are now in effect from the Texas panhandle to the Ozarks of northern Arkansas, and also for the southern Appalachians and adjacent Piedmont region.

Winter storms present the possibility of power outages and flooding that can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the path of this storm should pay close attention to the forecast. FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.

Steps to follow in advance of losing power:

• Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.

• Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.

• Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.

• Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.

• Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.

• Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.

• Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.

Steps to follow if the power goes out:

• Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).

• Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination from thawing juices.

• Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

Food safety after a flood:

• Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water—this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.

• Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.

• Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel‐type can opener.

Food safety during snow and ice storms:

During a snowstorm, do not place perishable food out in the snow. Outside temperatures can vary and food can be exposed to unsanitary conditions and animals. Instead, make ice by filling buckets or cans with water and leave them outside to freeze. Use this ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

• Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.

• Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.

• Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.

• Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.

• When in doubt, throw it out.

FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. Infographics on FSIS’ Flickr page outline steps you can take before, during and after severe weather, power outages and flooding. FSIS provides relevant food safety information during disasters on Twitter  @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.

If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.

Posted in Environment, Food, New Bern, Weather

October 11th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Valley Fine Foods, a Forest City, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 35,516 pounds of heat-treated, not fully cooked meat and poultry products that may be adulterated due to presence of spoilage organisms that have rendered it unwholesome and unfit for human food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The heat-treated, not fully cooked, refrigerated meat and poultry products were produced on various dates from Aug. 15, 2018 through Oct. 4, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

• 12-oz. tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Chicken Penne Alfredo” with case code #19034, case UPC code 1-07-42753-34709-0, and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”. Unit UPC 7-42753-34709-3.

• 12-oz.  tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Chicken Primavera” with case code #19033, case UPC code 1-07-42753-34708-3, and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”. Unit UPC 7-42753-34708-6.

• 12-oz. tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Italian Sausage Ziti” with case code #19035, case UPC code 1-07-42753-34711-3, and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”. Unit UPC 7-42753-34711-6.

• 12-oz.  tray packages containing “SIMPLE DISHES™ Rigatoni with Meatballs and a Mushroom Cream Sauce” with case code #19036, case UPC Code of 1-07-42753- 34710-6 and “BEST IF USED BY” “10/09/18” through “11/25/18”.  Unit UPC 7-42753-34710-9.

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “ P-22102B” or “M-22102B” on the side of the product package. These items were shipped retail locations in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and North Carolina.

The problem was discovered on Oct. 4, 2018 by the establishment’s research and development department during routine internal testing. FSIS was notified on Oct. 10, 2018.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumer’s refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Valley Fine Foods customer service line, at 844-833-6888.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

Posted in Food, Health, New Bern

October 10th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by Hurricane Michael.

The National Hurricane Center expects storm surge and hurricane force winds in portions of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Michael could produce flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and southeast Virginia.

Hurricanes present the possibility of power outages and flooding that can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the path of this storm should pay close attention to the forecast. FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.

Steps to follow in advance of losing power:

  • Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
  • Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.
  • Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
  • Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.

Steps to follow if the power goes out:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  • Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
  • Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

Food safety after a flood:

  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water—this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel‐type can opener.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. Infographics on FSIS’ Flickr pageoutline steps you can take before, during and after severe weather, power outages and flooding. FSIS provides relevant food safety information during disasters on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.

If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.

Posted in Food, Hurricane

October 3rd, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Johnston County Hams, a Smithfield, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat deli-loaf ham items were produced from April 3, 2017 to Oct. 2, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “JOHNSTON COUNTY HAMS, INC. COUNTRY STYLE FULLY COOKED BONELESS DELI HAM.”

• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.

• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. FULLY COOKED COUNTRY HAM BONELESS Glazed with Brown Sugar.”

• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham LESS SALT Distributed By: Valley Country Hams LLC” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.

• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “GOODNIGHT BROTHERS COUNTRY HAM Boneless Fully Cooked.”

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia.

On Sept. 27, 2018, FSIS was notified that a person ill with listeriosis reported consuming a ham product produced at Johnston County Hams. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health and agriculture partners, FSIS determined that there is a link between the Listeria monocytogenes illnesses and ham products produced at Johnston County Hams. The epidemiologic investigation identified a total of four listeriosis confirmed illnesses, including one death, between July 8, 2017 and August 11, 2018. FSIS collected two deli ham product samples from the Johnston County Hams, Inc. facility in 2016 and in early 2018. Whole genome sequencing results showed that Listeria monocytogenes identified in deli ham both years was closely related genetically to Listeria monocytogenes from ill people. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to these products and will provide updated information should it become available.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Rufus Brown, Johnston County Hams plant manager, at (919) 934-8054. Media with questions regarding the recall can contact Largemouth Communications at (919) 459-6457.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

Posted in Food, State news

July 11th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, creator and host of the annual NCRLA Chef Showdown presented by Got to be NC Agriculture, announced the 21 chefs selected to compete in its third annual cooking competition.

Among those selected is Antonio Campolio of Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant in New Bern.

The chefs and pastry chefs, all based in North Carolina, advance after cooking up the highest-rated dishes across three regional competitions. The main NCRLA Chef Showdown event takes place on Monday, Aug. 27, at Aria at Founders Hall in the Bank of America Center in Uptown Charlotte, N.C.

Antonio Campolio, NCRLA Chef Showdown 2018 finalist. He is executive chef at Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant in New Bern.

From the Persimmons website: At the age of 12, Chef Campolio began washing dishes at his parents’ restaurant. Beginning at age 18, Chef Campolio worked his way through the world famous Greenbrier Hotel’s Culinary Internship Program, learning valuable skills he still uses daily. After his time at the Greenbrier, Chef Campolio continued his career at 700 Drayton in Savannah, Ga. and later at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Co. Before coming to Persimmons, Chef Campolio was the Executive Chef at the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla, Wa., where he lead the restaurant to numerous national accolades including Restaurant of the Year by the Washington Wine Commission. During his time in Washington, Chef Campolio was invited to cook a meal at the James Beard House (named for the legendary American chef) in New York City, one of the highest honors a chef can receive.

Recently becoming a father, Chef Campolio and his wife, Zeljana, were attracted to New Bern as a great place to raise their son. “We visited and fell in love with the town for our family. Then I went to Persimmons and saw an incredible opportunity to really focus on local, sustainable food year-round. It was a perfect fit.”

In his short time at Persimmons, Chef Campolio has already established relationships with local farmers, ranchers and breweries and says the restaurant will feature bi-seasonal menus to highlight the foods that are fresh and at their peak. He wants Persimmons to be a place for “locals and tourists alike — where they can count on fresh, delicious and local food, whether just getting a beer and appetizer or enjoying lunch or dinner.”

“This year’s slate of contenders includes some of the most innovative and talented chefs in our state. At the showdown, these chefs will use North Carolina ingredients to demonstrate their creativity and shine a light on our incredible hospitality industry. Attendees will get a taste of why North Carolina’s culinary scene is one of the best in the nation,” said NCRLA President and CEO Lynn Minges.

Selected chefs – sorted into two food categories, savory and sweet – are vying for the 2018 “NCRLA Chef of the Year” and “NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year” awards. Chefs will prepare and serve tasting-sized portions to event attendees. The dishes, judged by five culinary experts, receive scores on presentation, taste, and use of local ingredients from North Carolina.

The 15 savory chefs are:

The six pastry chefs are:

NCRLA will crown a 2018 “NCRLA Mixologist of the Year,” as six North Carolina distilleries partner with hand-picked bartenders to craft cocktails for guests and judges to enjoy. Distillery and mixologist teams will be announced in the coming weeks.

The NCRLA Chef Showdown presented by Got to Be NC Agriculture is on Monday Aug. 27, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and coincides with the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo. For additional information or to purchase tickets to the 2018 NCRLA Chef Showdown, visit www.ncrla.org/chefshowdown/.

Posted in Business, Food, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce

May 18th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Who does it best in New Bern?

Seems like everywhere I’ve lived, there was one local burger joint that grabbed my attention. Sorry to say, in the almost 10 years I’ve lived in New Bern, I’ve not found one that rises above the rest so much so that crave it.

So, dear readers, help me out. Who does burgers the best in New Bern? And for that matter, who does fries the best?

You can suggest chain restaurants, but what I’m really interested in is locally owned restaurants and grills.

Post your favorites in comments or use the contact form below. I’ll compile the results in a poll in a few days.

Thanks for lending a hand.

Posted in Food

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