Archive - August 2011

“I Know What You Buy at Grocery Stores, Big Brother Style”

loyalty cards

A popular Reddit thread recently caught our always roving eye. The thread was submitted by “IAmA”, who proclaims to be a behavioral analyst for a grocery store.

IAmA” offers readers a supposed inside look at how the grocery business uses customer information to market to consumers, and encourages readers to asks questions.

“I know what you buy, big brother style,” writes IAmA. “I work for a consulting firm that analyzes shopper behavior to make marketing decisions. I have access to millions of people’s grocery transactions over the course of the past 8 years. I’ve been working in this role for about a year now.”

Unfortunately, “IAmA” is apparently a Walter Mitty of sorts and has also posted other similar threads:

“IamA dentist with 8 years of experience, if you have any questions shoot ‘em at me;

IAmA U.S. Border Patrol Agent;

IAmA Detective for one of the largest Police departments in the nation,” etc, etc.

Nevertheless, many of “IAmA”‘s answers led us, and hundreds of readers to conclude “IAmA” is somehow enormously acquainted, through study or experience, with the grocery store marketing subject matter.

For example, one reader asked, “What happens when the government starts letting health insurance companies get their hands on the data to start charging premium based on how ‘healthy’ their purchases are? Buying lots of ground meat and Fritos, premiums rise on your insurance because you’re more of a heart disease risk.”

IAmA’s answer:

“There was an incident a few years ago where a man slipped and hurt himself in a grocery store (not one I work for) and sued the store to pay medical expenses. Part of the store’s defense was pulling his data (including liquor sales) and portraying him as an alcoholic.”

Another reader asked, “How much of your data is gained using the customer loyalty cards? I understand they are used to link purchases together, but are they the crutch of your data gathering?”

IAmA’s answer:

“Without a good loyalty card scheme to encourage people to use their card, all you have is a load of transactions. But we really want to see how a person acts, so you need the loyalty card to link transactions together.”

IAmA’s pseudo-confessions prompted us to conduct a little research of our own.

Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards are the UK’s version of what we in the U.S. refer to as a discount card, club card, or a rewards card. These cards are structured marketing gimmicks that promise to reward loyal customers with various product discounts.

The store issuing the card requires customers to provide identifying information such as name and address. And in order to qualify for check cashing privileges, a store will ask customers to supply birth date and driver’s license information.

When presenting the card, the purchaser is entitled to either a discount or awarded points that can be used for future purchases.

In return for discounts or points, cardholders agree to allow the grocery store to track each and every one of their purchases. The store card issuer uses the aggregate customer data from the card as part of its marketing research.

Not all supermarkets have loyalty cards. Wal-mart does not have a loyalty card program, and neither does Meijer, a regional supermarket chain based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with 196 locations in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. (Meijer does have a Community Rewards Program).

However, a great many supermarkets do have loyalty cards. Winn-Dixie Stores have a Rewards Card; Albertson has a Preferred Savings Card; Harris Teeter has a VIC Card; Ingles has The Ingles Advantage™ Card; Giant Eagle has a Giant Eagle Advantage Card; Kroger has a Plus Card; and Safeway has a Club Card.

According to Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion (CASPIAN), a consumer advocacy group, some supermarkets are supplementing their existing “loyalty card” data with outside sources such as credit reports and government records. And all this data is being made available to corporate third parties like Gillette.

In 2005, Green Hills Farms, a NY state grocer, announced plans to launch a biometric payment system with enhanced loyalty functionality.

“The system, called SmartShop, powered by biometric solution provider Pay By Touch, San Francisco, Calif., uses a finger scan not only to pay but also to access customized coupons, promotions, and rewards from an in-store kiosk.

“To use SmartShop, Green Hills shoppers scan their fingers at kiosks throughout the store to receive customized shopping lists and specials. At the point of sale, shoppers can pay for groceries with a finger scan that automatically links to their financial accounts and SmartShop points. The quick sign up process and access to individualized rewards can also be accessed via Green Hills’ Web site”.

Consumer Information Sold to Third Parties

Even as far back as 2002, Seattle Press founder and executive director Deborah Pierce noted that consumers who use “loyalty cards” are merely trading away detailed personal information in return for a bogus promise of savings. Personal consumer information is then sold or traded to third parties.

The reason that stores introduce cards is so that they can profile and target their customers more accurately, writes Pierce, not to give you savings, but to increase their bottom line.

Pierce claims the few informal studies that have been done have shown that claims of savings by supermarkets are largely inflated.

Pierce notes that supermarkets sometimes use address information from your loyalty card application to match up your shopping history with data from other databases, and public records — even your income, and how much you paid for your house may be used to determine what kinds of “specials” to offer you, or not offer you.

Price discrimination is thus one consequence of data mining and profiling, writes Pierce.

Pierce also corroborated IAmA’s reference to the man who slipped and hurt himself in a grocery store.

“In a well-publicized ‘trip-and-fall’ case in California, a man shopping at a Southern California grocery store sued after falling in one of the aisles. It was reported (although the store has since denied it) that the store threatened to use his shopping history — which included large amounts of alcohol — against him in the proceedings”.

Cardholders Say Benefits Outweigh Personal Privacy

According to results of a Fall 2004 study by a student research team at Boston University’s College of Communication, an online survey of 515 adult supermarket shoppers revealed that most cardholders felt the benefits of using a loyalty card outweigh any infringement on personal privacy.

The study found 76 percent of cardholders reported using their grocery store loyalty card nearly every time they shop despite the fact that 52 percent also are concerned about how much of their personal information is collected by companies generally.

* Sixty-nine percent of consumers report that the card benefits them in the form of lower prices and access to special promotions.

* Seven in ten shoppers now know that grocery stores keep track of what they spend.

* Only 16 percent think about this fact each time they use it.

“The fact that consumers, even those generally concerned about privacy, are willing to use these cards is testament to the fact that personal information is a commodity people are willing to trade with the right company for the right price,” explains Professor James McQuivey, who supervised the research project.

Give Them Your Shopping History and You’ll Pay More

According to CASPIAN, industry insiders claim they use shopping histories to screw consumers out of discounts. For instance, if you’re a loyal customer of Coca Cola, when the store advertises Coca Cola to you, the discount is going to be different than if you’re somebody that’s price sensitive.

And when retailers review a consumer’s shopping history, they may not offer discounts to consumers who buy the same brands regularly, knowing the consumer won’t choose an alternative product.

“The idea used to be that you, the consumer, could shop around, compare goods and prices, and make a smart choice,” said Joseph Turow, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. “But now the reverse is also true: The vendor looks at its consumer base, gathers information, and decides whether you are worth pleasing, or whether it can profit from your loyalty and habits.”

Smorgasburg At Brooklyn Market

smorgasburg view

Spell summer with great bargain and food tripping at the Brooklyn Market. The most populated New York borough is opening its doors. Well actually, it is a market for bargain hunters during this summer who want to dig in for their favorite yummy goodies and try out other flavors.

A treat to Williamsburg residents and guests, the summer Brooklyn Market gathers food enthusiasts, gastronomes, bargain shoppers every year. It never failed to catch the attention as the baits are perfect to do so. Bouncing from one stall to another, you get the chance to savor handmade goodies cooked to perfection while the kitchen lovers could hunt for cheap cookware, utensils and items for until they drop. Under the sun, let your palates roll in the variety of flavors while having a tete-a-tete with old and newly-found friends. The scene rolls into a landscape of sun party and folds up into a merry-making galore.

Here in Williamsburg, they offer the same great things and foods just like the other Brooklyn Fleas. You’ll be able to see different vintages from toys, clothing and other things that are very useful to you and your home. There are also stores selling different fashionable items like bags and jewelries and an array of artistic creations made by locals. Not just for you eyes to feast on but bring home because the goods are cheap and useful. The Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg is like a luxury for many locals who are in for some simple yet memorable weekend experience without having to go far.

The highlight of the Brooklyn Market unfolds, the Smorgasburg. The event is the perfect rhythm that Williamsburg has ever put up. The introduction of the Flea Food Market has been invaded by a whopping number of foodies and local shoppers in the area. It is like the market’s food mecca where you can find food items from different regions, from simple vendors to incredible chefs. The Smorgasburg is filled with different food shops that sell freshly cooked meals, all for your gastronomic pleasure. There are farmer’s shops that sell fresh fruits and veggies, dairy farms, baked goods, to pastries, regional meals, great finger foods, and a whole of food products to choose from. We are talking about over 100 food stalls that you can check out every Sunday at the Williamsburg, Brooklyn Flea Market.

What’s nice about the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg is that it also offers a mesmerizing and gorgeous view that entices people to bask under the sun and enjoy a relaxing and comfortable day. Boost your tan while savoring yummy treats and hunting for bargain goodies. The river sends off cool breeze to the hot sunny weather. The flea area is big enough to sit, stand, and walk around while having a sandwich or anything that you buy from the stalls. Smorgasburg aims to bring together people responsible in keeping the food industry alive. We are talking about the gathering of upstate farmers, chefs and simple food makers and vendors, businessmen and entrepreneurs, and also the spectators and everyone who are getting the vibe of the Flea Market. The idea is to incorporate food consciousness in everyone by offering fresh treats that are budget-friendly and addressing the issues of eating and the accessibility of getting more people for the cause.

The Brooklyn Flea Market is not just a haven for shoppers, but it also welcomed by the foodies with the latest craze, the Smorgasburg. Don’t be the last to join the fun and excitement of Smorgasburg. It is truly a great experience for everyone to get a little break, unwind and be in sync with the pleasures that summer brings.

Dieting Makes Brain Cells Eat Themselves

diet eating

In the past few years, reports have been made on how obesity, smoking and other vices and lifestyle, can cause our brain cells to shrink. Today, what’s more shocking is that dieting can also cause this condition to happen.

It’s not just the high-fat diet that injures our brain cells as researchers have found out that starving ourselves can cause our brain cells to eat themselves. Well, not literally speaking. They just send off signals that trigger a hunger response in an individual. The research was done on mice by scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Mice are usually used for any biological research in place of humans. But because there are still differences in our chemical structures, more research is needed to confirm this new discovery.

The neurons involved in this study are those in relation to the regulation of the appetite. The neurons produce some mechanisms of starvation and hunger, which are signaled through autophagy, a process which is translated into “self-eating.” In this case, cells are eating themselves, in a way that they break down their the parts that have been used. This is somewhat the same with recycling the used parts and being able to get some energy out of it. Normally, brain cells can maintain a steady level of autophagy, of which, no starvation response can be made. But this becomes a different situation when talking about these appetite-sensing neurons. These brain cells, at the moment, are the only ones which are known to increase autophagy when an individual experiences starvation. This event allows the release of certain fatty acids, speeding up the hunger signaling peptide or the agouti-related peptide (AgRP).

In a more understandable explanation, the more you starve yourself, the more your brain thinks of hunger. Because agouti-related peptide is only connected to neurons in control of the appetite, when this process is blocked, it should only affect the signaling of appetite, and not the entire cellular collapse and harvest of stored energy from other parts of a person’s body. If this research is proven effective to humans like it did for the mice, then this could lead to another development and breakthrough in medical science, in relation to obesity and hunger. To date, the researchers are still doing continuous and careful research and observation on the subjects and as to how the process affects their eating habits.

The latest research study can lead to a discovery of new drugs, new diet patterns, or anything that relates to the human’s eating habits. This can be a way to change a person’s bad eating habits and lifestyle. I believe that starving yourself won’t help you get thinner, but can only make things worse. People should not worry about the brain cells being cannibals as autophagy can take place in other places in our body for energy conservation. This can be a long shot on more human biological discovery, but it is would be very beneficial once proven.

FOIA Records Reveal Potential For Another Massive Egg Recall

egg farm

Iowa has been the No. 1 egg-producing state in the nation for the past 10 years. Clark Kauffman with the Des Moines Register notes one year after 1,900 people were sickened and a half-billion Iowa eggs were recalled, government inspectors continue to find unsanitary conditions and inadequate protections against salmonella on Iowa’s egg farms.

Last year, some 380 million of the 550 million recalled eggs were traced to Wright County Egg, owned by Austin “Jack” DeCoster, a habitual offender of human rights violations, labor rights violations, environmental laws, and animal cruelty abuses.

The FDA sent DeCoster a warning letter October, 15th, 2010, advising DeCoster to take prompt corrective action. The FDA inspection found and listed the following egregious violations:

* 8-foot high chicken manure piles
* Caged chickens having contact with uncaged ones that had walked around on the manure piles
* Dead maggots, live flies, and dead flies. So many of them that it was impossible to make a count.
* Live rodents inside the hen houses
* Pigeons and other wild birds, and their feathers in the hen houses
* Rodent holes which had remained unsealed
* The sheer weight of manure piles pushing open outside pit doors
* What seemed to be “liquid manure” seeping through a concrete foundation

As Kauffman points out, none of the violations resulted in penalties from state or federal agencies, and Iowa’s egg producers still aren’t required to notify state officials when they find salmonella.

FOIA records obtained by The Des Moines Register indicate some of Iowa’s major egg producers failed to meet minimum federal standards intended to protect consumers from salmonella triggering last year’s nationwide egg recall.

Kauffman stressed critical elements in the FOIA report, such as the size of rodent infestations, the brand names under which the eggs are sold, and the names of diseases documented at the egg farms were redacted and withheld from the public.

There are still no state or federal penalties for health and safety violations that could lead to salmonella poisoning.

Despite passage of new federal food safety laws, FDA regulations continue to fall short of protecting the public against food-borne illnesses by allowing inspections at egg farms to be announced days in advance. And on-site testing for salmonella by the FDA officials is rare.

Additionally, the FDA rejected vaccinating hens against salmonella, claiming there was not enough evidence vaccinating hens would prevent people from getting sick.

According to the CDC, salmonella causes about 1.2 million cases of food poisoning each year. Its victims are most likely to be 5 or younger.

Jonathan’s Card: Giving Coffee Meets Good Karma


Kindness has jumped over the fence of technology. Now, through a phone application, you can now buy a cup of coffee for yourself, a family member, a friend, or even a stranger. This application called Jonathan’s Card was offered to Starbuck’s patrons for them to share this little act of kindness.

Spark-plugged by Jonathan Stark, the brains behind this wonderful application service allows you to share a cup of coffee with another individual. All you need is to download a picture of this Starbucks card to your phone and let the scanner do the negotiation. It was a generous act indeed from Jonathan, to be able to offer a great cup of warm coffee to another individual. You don’t have to worry anything because nothing will be charged from you. Instead, it will be charged from Jonathan’s own Starbucks card. But if you have it in you to be more generous, you have the option to put some money into Jonathan’s Starbucks card. Through this, more people will be given free coffee on that manner.

Before you do some head-start thinking about this new idea, Starbucks has nothing to do with it nor was it related to any Starbuck’s shop. All credits are given to Jonathan Starks. Reloading instructions, inquiries and everything related to this Jonathan’s Card can be found through his website, twitter, and facebook accounts.

But this wonderful idea didn’t last that long as Starbucks recently shut down the use of Jonathan’s Card in all of its outlets. It was like they put off the fire before it starts to spread. Starbucks was kind enough to let this social experiment for some time, even though it was not under any card sharing rules of their company. Jonathan’s Card got hundreds of people share some money to this coffee project from the start until the time that it was terminated. The bad thing was lots of websites have sprung and somewhat doing the same thing, but some were too good to be true. Some have taken advantage of other people’s kindness. Funds were going nowhere. It became an evil plot instead of a goodwill movement. This was the sad ending for Jonathan’s Card and Starbucks.

Jonathan’s Card can no longer be used for any Starbucks outlet, but it does not mean that it’s the end for this social experiment. There are more ways to share things with others, not just a cup of coffee. We are still awaiting of what Jonathan’s Card is going to be doing next. I will not be surprised if Mr. Stark will turn to other food shops, clothing stores, and eventually just about anything that you can think of. This was indeed a bitter-sweet ending for Starbucks and Jonathan’s Card, but this is just the beginning of a great social application evolution.

Press Release: FriendsEAT Releases 25 Facts About Bacon Infographic

The love of bacon has inspired foodies throughout the world. FriendsEAT has compiled the most interesting facts about bacon (and some related pork products) and compiled them all into an infographic.

New York, NY August 30, 2011 — This infographic was created with the intention of providing a visual sampling of the current rise in the popularity of bacon and bacon products. These figures are from various studies and sources that explain this cultural phenomenon.

Bacon is the second-fastest growing pork product. More than 1.7 billion pounds of bacon are consumed just in food service; this does not include bacon eaten at home. The price of pork bellies, used to make bacon are the highest they have ever been.

“Every day I am amazed by the public’s love of bacon. New bacon products come out every day. The obsession has taken over our nation” said Blanca Valbuena, Co-founder and editor of FriendsEAT.

About FriendsEAT:

FriendsEAT is one of the world’s leading food websites. It launched in 2005 and was founded by Antonio Evans and Blanca Valbuena. With over one half million visitors per month it is the premiere destination for restaurateurs, foodies and people looking for local deals.


Blanca Valbuena, Content Architect

[email protected]



8 Tips On Getting Into Cooking School


It’s not surprising to see the rise of many cooking schools in the recent years. The growing popularity of celebrity chefs, restaurant chef owners, successful chef businessmen, chef instructors, and many more have made this possible. Becoming a foodie may be an easy act, but being a foodie and a cook at the same time may not be as easy as it sounds. Spence has discussed in the past the insanity that is deciding to make the culinary world your life.

That being said; if you are ready to make the leap, getting into cooking school and even choosing the right culinary school can be challenging. What makes cooking school different from culinary school is that the training is more focused on the skills that you can learn or develop during the program. You would not want to waste money on a program that teaches you something you can learn for free on YouTube. Be the next Mario Batali or Rachel Ray by enrolling yourself in a good culinary or cooking school. But how exactly would you go about that? If you are ready to take this leap, here are some tips to help you select and get into the culinary school of your dreams.

(Click “Next” to see 8 Tips On Getting Into Cooking School)

Florida Deregulates Honey Sales For Backyard Beekeepers

Bee Keeping

Florida’s Department of Agriculture has announced that it’s deregulating the sale of honey for backyard beekeepers who have no more than $15,000 a year in sales.

Small-scale honey producers can now bottle and sell honey without obtaining permits, exempting them from preparing honey in a Florida Department of Agriculture-inspected kitchen.

According to an ABC news affiliate in Florida, the state’s Cottage Food Act allows home cooks to prepare and sell cakes, pies, cereals, breads, jellies, jams and now honey. All such products must carry a cottage food label that lists ingredients and the home address of the producer.

Some local governments in Florida, however, have imposed their own regulations and still require permits for cottage foods to be sold.

(Click “Next” to see Florida Deregulates Honey Sales For Backyard Beekeepers)

Food Trends: Been There, Done That


Trends do not only exist in the fashion world, celebrities, and homes styles. In the food industry, trends have begun to crawl into the consciousness of foodies and the food service sector, in general. Trending is coined in different phrases to describe it such as the hottest pick of a season or generation. But it is no longer just about two or three trends that people take interest in. For some reason, this have taken over the food industry in a way that it has never been done before. Let us take a look at some of the hot topics in the immediate past and present times, and those that have fallen below the trending down line.

Trending Up: Local – The local food industry has regained its position in the market as not only being a top priority of many restaurant businesses, big or small, and foodies who are getting the hang of more local ingredients. People now realize that there’s nothing fresher than locally picked vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients. The beauty of it is that you can get more out of them than those which are being transported for days inside a box or at the back of the truck.

Trending Down: External Markets. People have invested in some good old local gardening and getting food products from local farms. No longer do they seek ingredients that needed to be outsourced from farther regions and areas wherein they could find in their own backyard and at local markets.

Trending Up: Korean Cuisine. Kimbamp is something that is said to take over Japan’s sushi madness. Korean cuisine is as hot as each dish that comes out the kitchen. People are longing for some Korean beef barbecue and a whole lot of Korean style meals and a very traditional culture to back it up.

Trending Down: Sushi. Sushi is now on the lookout for the tuna extinction. We’ve been feeding on thousands of sushi for years now. It’s time to divert our cravings to another hot palate destination in Asia.

Trending Up: Meatless Mondays. This is something that top chefs have been pushing for a healthier food industry. The Meatless Monday is a campaign wherein restaurants, schools, and other establishments and other sectors are encouraged to prepare some vegetarian or meatless meals for everyone. This is a fun and healthy way to introduce veggies in each and every tummy in America.

Trending Down: Bacon. Overrated. This is not a trend, it has become a lifestyle somehow, that despite the encouragement of veggie meals, bacon never loses it touch on the kitchen table. It has been one of the greatest food of all time, but people already stopped talking about it. They just eat it, instead.

Trending Up: Juice Cleansers – This might be the era of some detoxifying agents such as juice cleansers, which have become very popular around the world. The juice cleansers program makes a good practice for those who want to do some natural and more in depth detoxification. This has led to the rise of different juice brands that cater to the people’s needs in a more specific manner.

Trending Down: Weight Loss Supplements. The trend of diet pills and other supplements is starting to fall with the rise of more natural detoxifying products and programs. Healthy eating habits are pushed further, too. Today, the market for these weight loss medications are getting big, but only a few are getting good and honest results.

Trending Up: Cupcakes. This has risen to every occasion there is today. Cupcakes are very trendy because they are light, bite size and can be perfect snacks at home or giveaways for parties. Kids and kids at heart can definitely enjoy a cute or elegant piece of cupcakes baked by sweets shops and also from your own kitchen.

Trending Down: Cakes – Needless to say that cakes are always there in every occasion, but currently, they are somewhat being overshadowed by the popularity of bite-size cupcakes that are trendier and easy to work with. Although cake trends are going down, expect a comeback, every now and then.

Trending Up: Mobile Food Applications. This is the time where jet-setters and foodie travelers get the best of both worlds. With the use of advanced technology, checking out the nearest food shop or the best restaurant in town is made easier. With just one click on the button, you can now do the surfing right through your phone. Hassle free and handy.

Trending Down: Nutritional facts on websites. No longer do we need the services of these so-called “nutritional facts” put up by restaurants on their websites. Somehow, it does not keep up with the real and honest calorie count of each meal that they serve. Not updated and people are getting sick of it, letting it go away with the trend.

Trending Up: Mobile Food Trucks. This is the new wave in the food industry. The birth of food trucks makes life easier for the foodies. It’s not just ice cream that is being served by Mr. Ice Cream Man, food trucks can also go from your favorite homemade meals, streetfoods, and even leveling up their business by serving gourmet meals for everyone. It’s hip, fun, and convenient.

Trending Down: Fast Food Chains. In a world where eating is a luxury, fast food chains are going down the drain. We’ve been having them for years. The rise of Moms and Pops restaurants and mobile trucks have currently cut the dominance of fast foods in the food sector, in addition to consumers’ realization and consciousness to be healthier and leaner. Definitely, fast food chain do not help in any of those goals.

Trending Up: Simple foods. People are going towards the more practical side of things. The simpler the dish, the cheaper it gets. Not to mention the kind of flavors you get at such an affordable price.

Trending Down: Molecular Gastronomy. Recession may have taken over molecular gastronomy’s charm. Almost everyone can appreciate the effort being put in every dish, but not everyone can afford the resulting bill. As long as it tastes good and fits right into the budget, the presentation does not matter that much.

Trending Up: Sandwiches. From simple homemade treats to   gourmet style of serving, sandwiches have evolved into a beautiful fine swan. The beauty of it is you can mix veggies and veggies, meat to meat, and veggies and meat for a more homey bite of either big or small sandwich.

Trending Down: Burgers. There are just too many of them everywhere. Burgers have become a breeding ground of unwanted fats, calories and sodium that you are most likely not looking for.

Trending Up: Junior MasterChef. Remarkably gifted kids showcasing extraordinary kitchen skills on television. They’re cute, they’re gullible, yet they are trying to give a shout out that what the adults can do, they can do it, maybe even better.

Trending Down: The Next Food Network Star. Too many celebrity chefs to date. There’s nothing new or something special to it. Just like an old trick that isn’t applicable these days. There’s so little action, too much drama that goes through each episode.

FDA Bans Mexican Papayas Linked to Salmonella

papaya tree

The Food and Drug Administration has announced a ban on all papayas grown in Mexico because of widespread contamination of Mexican papaya with Salmonella.

Mexican papayas have been linked to approximately 100 cases of Salmonella Agona in 23 U.S. states, resulting in at least 10 people hospitalized.

The FDA has analyzed samples of papaya imported from Mexico from May 12, 2011, to August 18, 2011, and found Salmonella in 33 samples out of a total of 211, or a 15.6% positive rate. The positive samples were from 28 different firms and include nearly all the major papaya producing regions in Mexico.

According to the FDA alert, to gain future U.S. entry, papaya producers will have to prove that shipments of papaya are not contaminated with salmonella using laboratory analysis. The FDA will consider five consecutive salmonella-free shipments over a period of time to allow re-entry.

The FDA claims state public health agencies conducted interviews of cases to identify the sources of papaya purchased by cases and used that information for tracebacks in multiple states. Based on information from the outbreak investigation, the outbreak has been associated with papaya from at least one grower and its shipper in Mexico.

Up to 111 people in 31 states were recently infected with an outbreak of Salmonella found in ground turkey made by Cargill — an increase from the 76 cases in 26 states we reported on in early August. Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey — one of the largest meat recalls in history.

Food Safety News reports another lawsuit has been filed against Cargill as a result of its ground turkey recall.

“The lawsuit alleges that Cargill was aware that Salmonella Heidelberg had been detected at its Springdale, Arkansas plant as far back as 2010, if not as early as 2007 and that the company failed to alert consumers of the potential danger, issue a recall of products that it knew to be contaminated, or reasonably act to prevent consumers of its products from becoming infected and sickened by Salmonella Heidelberg”.

Wine Lovers Get The Best of iPhone Apps


It does not matter where you are in the world or what you do, as long as you are enthusiastic about wines and a certified wine lover, you are in the circle. In order to have a wider approach into the world of wine lovers, iPhone offers a variety of wine applications which its patrons can download and check into.
If you knew about the latest in gadgets, you’re definitely aware that iPhone holds a few of the best applications there is in more ways than one of our life. And the growing number of wine lovers and enthusiasts are now gunning for these iPhone applications which make it more charming and accessible than ever. Nope, there is no spilling of your favorite vintages that will be happening, but rather, a more systemic approach which every wine lover will certainly enjoy. There’s always one for the books. Here are some of the best iPhone wine applications that you can download right into your own iPhone gadget.

Hello Vino. This is probably one of the best applications that you can go to if you’re a novice when it comes to wines. This can be your best bet if you’re looking to impress a person on a date or on a dinner party. Check out the wines that pair well with different foods and meals out there. Hello Vino will take to you a virtual tour of the famous wines that you are not very much familiar with, and those who have marked a niche in the industry for being the best. Aside from being a handy wine app partner, this application is free of charge, a rare feature of any iPhone application.
Pair It! If you’re out for a dinner date and you want to impress your partner, order the best wine to pair up your meals. If you’re having a hard time in choosing, Pair It! is the solution. This iPhone application guides you to the best and popular wine and food pairings that you can ever find. Discover and experiment varieties of pairings, get advices on how to choose, and just about everything that you need in pairing wine with food. The Pair It! app is available for $4.99.
Drync Wine Pro. Looking for great wine reviews? Drync Wine app might be the one that you are longing to have. It allows you to take a picture of the wine you want to buy and let the app do the researching. Wine information such as it’s current market price, vintage details, style and region are at your fingertips. It also provides the iPhone user reviews courtesy of various wine experts. Get top ratings, reviews, information from Drync Wine Pro for $4.99.
Fromage. Cheese and wine lovers, here is the iPhone app for you. What is a better way to spend a night than to have a glass of wine and slices of cheese on the side. This app guides you to over 650 kinds of cheeses and the best wines that you can pair them with. It is just a simple way of living for any wine and cheese lover, offered at $2.99.
DrinkFit. If food products got labels and some restaurants got websites that indicate their menu’s nutritional value, then iPhone users and wine lovers got DrinkFit. This app is simply for the use of getting to know your wine’s nutritional value. DrinkFit has the database of almost all the wines in the market, wherein it includes information of the calories that each vintage contains. This is a great calorie counter not only for wine lovers but for beer and cocktail lovers as well. This DrinkFit app can be downloaded into your iPhone for $1.99.
Wine Events. This is one of the coolest social wine applications that you have on your iPhone. It is like your own calendar that lets you know about the different wine tasting events in your area and in different locations. This takes social interaction to a whole new level, and get this, the Wine Events app can be downloaded to your phone for FREE! Another remarkable iPhone application for the wine lovers out there.
Wine Notes. This iPhone app is simply used to take down notes for every wine that you have had in the past. It is like a personal journal that lets you record your wine experience in a more organized manner. The Wine Notes app is very helpful to be able to acknowledge and distinguish the wines that are and are not recommendable to your taste. Take notes and photos of your wine tasting and drinking experience through iPhone’s Wine Notes. This is another free of charge app for the wine lovers.
Wine Glossary. Like any other book glossary, this iPhone wine app is helpful for those who are aspiring to be wine connoisseurs. Familiarize yourself with more than 450 wine and wine-related terms through the Wine Glossary, organized alphabetically for better search options. All you need is to do some scrolling and check out the terms that wine experts share in words. Get it for only $0.99.
iPhone applications make learning and getting information easier because of its more advanced features, and it is handy. Get to know your wines better wherever you are, whenever you want it to be.