US issues health alert on romaine lettuce

In this file photo taken on May 2, 2018, Romaine lettuce is displayed at a grocery store in San Anselmo, California. (AFP)
Updated 21 November 2018
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US issues health alert on romaine lettuce

  • Health officials in Canada said they had also identified 18 people stricken with the same strain of food poisoning in two provinces, Ontario and Quebec

WASHINGTON: US health officials warned consumers Tuesday not to eat any romaine lettuce and to throw away any they might have in their homes, citing an outbreak of E. coli poisoning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the warning against all Romaine lettuce just two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, when American families gather and feast together.
“Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said, after 32 people were reported sick from E. coli poisoning in 11 states, with 13 of them hospitalized. One of those had suffered kidney failure.
Health officials in Canada said they had also identified 18 people stricken with the same strain of food poisoning in two provinces, Ontario and Quebec.
“This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad,” the CDC said, noting that it had not been able to pinpoint precisely where the suspect leaves had originated.
“If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away,” the CDC said.
It advised anyone who had stored romaine lettuce in their refrigerator to wash down the shelves where the leaves had been kept.
No deaths have so far been reported.


Baking contest to whisk up golden business opportunity in Saudi Arabia

Updated 22 February 2019
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Baking contest to whisk up golden business opportunity in Saudi Arabia

  • Jeddah-based concept store Crate teams up with online bake-house Bakery M to find the next top baker
  • The winner of The Golden Whisk competition will receive an all-inclusive brand-building package

JEDDAH: A Saudi baking competition offering a golden business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs has been launched.

Crate, a Jeddah-based concept store which aims to empower enterprising locals, has teamed up with acclaimed online bake-house Bakery M, to find the next top baker through The Golden Whisk contest. 

High startup costs have led many new businesses to operate exclusively online through social media platforms such as Instagram. 

However, Crate, through its flagship store in Jeddah’s Al-Salamah, offers new businesses a retail location to showcase their products to local consumers.

The winner of The Golden Whisk competition will receive an all-inclusive brand-building package created by Crate, Bakery M, and graphic design firm LOUD.

“We proposed the idea to Mariam (Bakery M founder Mariam Alhaddad), and she fell in love with it instantly,” said Crate co-founder and CEO, Rayan Fadul. “Our goal is to provide the winning home-baker with all the right tools to establish their independent brand in the market.”

 

Finalists

Aspiring bakers can register for The Golden Whisk by visiting Crate’s Instagram page (@crate.ksa), where a link to the application form can be found in the company’s bio section. Registration is open through Feb. 26.

Finalists will be narrowed down to a pool of 20 candidates and these bakers will present their dessert samples to an esteemed panel of three judges: Mariam Alhaddad (@bakerym), Basma Elkhereiji (@basmaelkhereiji), and Raneen Joudah (@raneens.table). Judging will be based on taste, presentation, quality, originality, and the passion of bakers during their dessert presentations.

Ten lucky bakers will then go through to a grand final on March 17.

 

Marketing exposure

The winning contestant will be hosted by Bakery M at its booth at Crate, where their winning dessert will be showcased for an entire month to help with initial marketing exposure.

During the month, LOUD, a sister company of Crate, will conduct branding services such as logo designs, photography sessions, and professional packaging services. 

Crate will then offer a complimentary three-month package to the winner, where they will be allocated their own independent space within Crate to further establish their bakery brand.

“We want to bring the talent out from within you and give you a head start on your bakery brand,” said Alhaddad. “This competition is meant to help you shine. Keep in mind, individualism is key. You want to be recognized? Be original. Refuse ordinary,” she added.

Online bake-houses in the Kingdom have been a growing trend in recent years, and The Golden Whisk contest aims to capitalize on this by stirring up competition among them and in the process cooking up some delicious innovative treats. 

“We are so happy to create this opportunity through this competition,” said Fadul. “We are moving an unknown baker from their home, to their own space in an established storefront, having their business brand properly formed, and offering them great marketing exposure — with the seal of approval from Bakery M herself.”