Chicago Restaurants: New IL Food Safety Law July 1

Two big changes go into effect for restaurants in Illinois on July 1, 2014:

1) Food Safety Managers’ certification goes from a 2-day class to one; renewing students must take one day class and test every five years.

2) ALL Restaurant Food Handlers in a restaurant MUST complete Safe Food Handler training. This means anyone that handles food or food contact surfaces: dishwashers, waitresses, busboys, line cooks, prep cooks– anyone that is not a manager that handles food or food contact surfaces.  

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Help Protect Your Nutrition Choices NOW

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Licensing Hearing for Food Truck Law Today

UPDATE: November 14, 2012, Food Trucks filed suit against City of Chicago challenging the passed ordinance’s constitutionality. Details on HuffPost

Original post, 7/19/12:

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Simplify biz licenses? Not for food…

Mayor Emanuel stood in our place in April to announce the dramatic reduction of business licenses in Chicago– from 116 to 49, to cut the red tape. Today, City Council will see a Food Truck Ordinance introduced that will allow for cooking on food trucks. Sounds like good stuff is happening, right? mmmm…..

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Small Business Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When we announced our closing, so many asked what they could do for LSK.  We’re a small business that’s closing, not uncommon these days.  But if we can take that energy and pay it forward, that’s constructive.  So today, I’m having lunch in Daley Plaza– last I checked, you don’t need a license for that!  You’ll recongnize me from the red tape I’ll be wearing, to remember all the small businesses that have and continue to struggle.

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Media Coverage of LSK Closing

We may end up being of greater service to small food businesses after we’re closed than we ever were when we were open.  Hopefully the frustration and anger at LSK’s closing is fuel to improve small business experience in Chicago.  Here’s a list of news coverage:

WCPT AM 820 Podcast from Mike Nowak Show

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Our Mayor’s getting a bum rap

Our closing received so much more media attention than it would have if Mayor Emmanuel had not visited LSK just a couple of weeks before.  He was the victim of unfortunate timing.  The seeds of our closure were sown long before he became Mayor. 

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City Response…Seriously?

First, let me thank all of you for your heartfelt good wishes for us.  It’s been wonderfully overwhelming, and we’re grateful to all of you for your support.

The media called me yesterday to comment on the statement released by Chicago Dept of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP–btw, you need a shorter name) about LSK’s closure.  Here’s what the City said:

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LSK will close June 28, 2012

Logan Square Kitchen will close permanently on Friday, June 28, 2012. We’re grateful to our community and every single person that believes that we can heal community with food.

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The Mayor, LSK and Biz License Reform

Having the Mayor visit us was a surreal experience.  There’s so much energy around him– security, personal aides, communications folks– then Alderman, staff working on whatever he’s announcing, TV, press, the public– jockeying for attention.  All this energy swirls around, and there’s the Mayor at the center of it– calm and charming.  As personable as he is, you can’t help but have that "OMG-I’m-talking-to-THE-MAYOR-feeling."

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