The Daily Rail: There's a new strain of E.coli on the block & it's a BAMF


The NFL Gets Sacked

Yesterday afternoon the NFL’s twitter account was hacked and sent out a pretty legit-looking tweet saying commissioner Roger Goodell had died. Goodell is alive and well, but we did some sleuthing and found the hacker.

H/T to @ChelseaGatesTV for this hilarious joke.

Today's Specials


Whiskey sells more than 45 million cases a year, but ever wonder why sometimes that lovely fermented grain marsh is spelled whiskey and other times whisky?

Wonder no longer. We investigate into the difference and teach you how to remember when to use each spelling. It's whiskey vs. whisky declassified -- in under 60 seconds.

O157:H7, HUH?

Why it’s important to you: Just another challenge when it comes to food safety

Remember when Chipotle claimed they were doing everything the best way possible and they were still getting people sick? Well, it turns out there is a recently-discovered strain of E.coli that is heat resistant. The strain, found among previously known variants, was found in a meat sample that had been cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees for more than 70 minutes. Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) also found that the strain could withstand temperatures of up to 160 degrees (the point where no previously-known bacteria can survive) for more than an hour.

This is scary stuff to say the least. Our greatest ally in the fight against bacteria is temperature. Your food safe zones of 40-140 degrees have been proven to stop the growth of bacteria and heating to over 160 degrees was known to eliminate bacteria in under a minute. While this only one study the implications are no joke. Stay tuned as we will be following this and keep you updated


Why it’s important to you: Your staff has opinions, but when are they allowed to voice them?

The first amendment to our constitution, the right to free speech, is one we all hold very dear. However, as an employer, what role does free speech play in your workplace? For one Bank of America employee, it meant she had no workplace. Christine Mcmullen Lindgren posted an incredibly graphic and vitriolic racist rant on Facebook and was subsequently fired from her position at the bank. To clarify, an individual’s right to speech pertains to the government intervening in its exercise. While a company cannot stop you from expressing your opinion, they are also allowed to terminate you for it.

The lesson here is that employers are exposed to the outside behavior of their staff. It stands to reason that Ms. Lundgren didn’t post this incoherent racist commentary while she was at work, but that didn’t matter to the thousands of folks that challenged Bank of America to take action. Indicative of the age we occupy, businesses are now accountable to the crazy behavior of their staff even when they are not at work. 


Why it’s important to you: Is there a market for year-round Olympic content?

The International Olympic channel announced this week that they had reached “cooperation agreements” with 27 International Sports Federations (IFs) to collaborate on content for a dedicated Olympic channel. This has been in the works since 2014, but with this announcement the station becomes more real. Among the groups committed to sharing content with the new streaming channel are FIBA (basketball), FINA (swimming), FIS (skiing), IIHF (ice hockey) and WCF (curling).

The channel will air live events, news and athletes’ stories. There is some question in the US on how this will impact the contract with NBC, but it appears those details will be announced later. Bottom line here, more content is a good thing. The Olympics aren’t typically a big draw in our restaurants beyond the opening ceremonies. However, having a dedicated channel — a la NBA, NFL, Big Ten, et al — should provide a vehicle to build interest. While interest in the Olympics is driven by the games themselves, content like this is great for filler times or special interest viewers. As we always counseled, having more options for guests to view is a clear recipe for building loyalty and traffic


Why it’s important to you: High schools educate your future employees and their performance matters

In a biennial report, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights revealed serious problems with absenteeism for high school students. One in five are missing 15 or more days a year of school. While the problems are more pronounced for black and Hispanic students, it is an issue across all demographics. Other findings of the report connects the absenteeism of teachers to that of students. For example, black students represent 15 percent of all students, but 21 percent of chronically absent students who attend schools where more than half of teachers were absent for more than 10 days.

Our educational system has been under fire for years based on the performance of our students. From No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top, both Republican and Democrats have struggled to understand and fix what’s going wrong. This report highlights many other issues, like access to more challenging coursework such as calculus, physics or chemistry. Since these schools educate the workforce of the future, this is cause for concern. While there isn’t much individuals can do, it is important to see the connection between these underperforming schools and the quality of that workforce. No matter which way you lean politically, we all have a stake in our school’s performing at their best.


Why it’s important to you: You need to be serious about peanut allergies

A family in Natick, MA is suing Panera after finding peanut butter in their daughter’s grilled cheese sandwich. The daughter has a peanut allergy. The family said when they ordered online they specified in two places that the grilled cheese was for someone with a peanut allergy. The six-year-old girl vomited after eating the sandwich and was brought to the hospital. The Panera manager said there may have been a “language” issue with the employee who took the online order.

The father of the daughter doesn’t believe the language issue excuse, but if true, it’s still up to managers and operators to make sure incidents like this don’t happen, either by hiring the correct personnel or making sure proper policies and safeguards are in place. Language barriers are typically more of an annoyance between customers and staff, but in this case it was almost lethal. This was the second peanut-related incident at a restaurant owned by PR Restaurants this year.

Food allergies are obviously no joke. We’ve already talked about how one restaurant owner in the UK was convicted of manslaughter and given six years in jail for killing a customer with a nut allergy. Fortunately the young girl from Natick will be fine. 

In some related: Hostess has recalled 700,000 cases of Ding Dongs and Zingers due to peanut residue contamination. Fortunately, Twinkies were spared from the recall.