New CDPH Rules Published – Training Seminars Announced

The Chicago Board of Health ratified the new Rules and Regulations for Food Protection last week. You can see the announcement, along with links to more information and dates for training seminars HERE. There are significant changes in records that must be maintained– and I anticipate some confusion for the first 6-12 months as the […]

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Chicago Health Dept Rewrites the Book

Our Food Protection Division of Chicago Dept of Public Health has been busy for the past two years re-writing all ordinances and rules regarding food businesses in Chicago.  The reason? FDA periodically introduces new code, and States and Cities across the country adopt the latest and greatest in food safety. This overhaul happens in two […]

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New State Training Requirement – Allergen Awareness

Effective January 1, 2018, all food establishments must have at least one Manager on duty at all times that has undergone Allergen Awareness training.  Click here to see the law passed by Illinois General Assembly. This training is completed online in about an hour, and renewed every three years.   You can take it HERE, now […]

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Entrepreneurship & Small Business Conference

I’m honored to have been invited to speak at this year’s conference of the Illinois Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth Association.  This organization provides support to would-be entrepreneurs and small businesses across Illinois.  Since many of the businesses that come seeking guidance are food-related, I’ve been asked to explain food regulations (I know, so thrilling!…but […]

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Bee Forum! Garfield Park Sunday, 3/24/17

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is hosting it’s annual Bee Forum on Sunday, March 26 from 10am-4pm. This year’s theme is “The art of beekeeping, the science of bees”. We have 3 speakers who will provide more details about the theme with their presentations and panel discussion; Dr. Meghan Milbrath – coordinator of the Michigan Pollinator […]

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Health Dept Public Meeting Thurs, Jan 19th, 11am

Four times each year, the Chicago Dept of Public Health has a working group meeting with the food industry.  All are welcome to attend– concerns specific to food safety and operating a food business in Chicago are discussed with Gerrin Butler, Director of Food Protection and Virginia Casteneda, Chief Sanitarian.  The Commissioner, Dr Julie Morita, […]

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Winter Foodie Reading

It’s that time again– where curling up inside my warm house with a good book gets high on my list.  Here’s a reading list of some of my favorite food books, and others I hope to tackle this winter:   The Seasons on Henry’s Farm, by Terra Brockman.  I love this book for so many […]

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Our new Website is here!

Thanks to the fabulous gentlemen at House of Pretty, the new logansquarekitchen.com debuted this past week. This long overdue overhaul gives food professionals more resources at their fingertips– and phones!  Our old site was not mobile-friendly, but this one is.  Here are some of the other new benefits: Resources : quick links to food industry regulations, as […]

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Why can’t a gun be like a car?

ALERT: this is way off topic for my little blog about my little food business in Chicago.  But I have to get this out of my head.

Politically, I’m a solutionist.  I know lots of our problems are very complicated, but guns don’t seem like a complicated problem to me.  And I keep thinking, I can’t be smarter than anyone else…

What if a gun were like a car?

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Food Biz: new Food Handler Law starts July 1st

 This law went into effect for restaurants two years ago; now it rolls out for all other food businesses.  So this applies to any commissary, production facility, grocery, gourmet food shop–or any other non-restaurant.  

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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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