Solano County legalized home food pop-ups. But 6 months later, chefs still can’t sell

Torri Donley

When Solano County approved a new California law that would legalize home-based kitchen operations in April, it seemed like Cheska Kistner’s plans to open a restaurant in her Benicia home would finally come to fruition. The measure, California’s AB626, allows for what are known as microenterprise food businesses, which Alameda County also made inroads toward legalizing Monday. But no Bay Area county has yet fully implemented the 2018 law, leaving entrepreneurs like Kistner in limbo.

Under AB626, cooks can legally sell up to 30 meals a day or 60 per week from their homes when their counties opt in and they have received a permit; their annual gross sales are capped at $50,000. The law has been implemented in only one county so far, Riverside. In Alameda County, many home kitchen operations have proliferated during the pandemic without the option to get proper permitting, leading to the health department cracking

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Solano County legalized home food popups. But chefs still can’t sell

Torri Donley

When Solano County approved a new California law that would legalize home-based kitchen operations in April, it seemed like Cheska Kistner’s plans to open a restaurant in her Benicia home would finally come to fruition. The measure, California’s AB626, allows for what are known as microenterprise food businesses, which Alameda County also made inroads toward legalizing yesterday. But no Bay Area county has yet fully implemented the 2018 law, leaving entrepreneurs like Kistner in limbo.

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Emerging Leaders To Start Holiday Initiative Working With Local Food Shelves In Wright County

Torri Donley

October 9, 2020

As challenging and, at times, depressing 2020 has been under the cloud of COVID-19, as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season approaches, that angst may become even more pronounced – especially for families struggling to make ends meet.

In an effort to try to help these families, the Wright County Emerging Leaders, a group of 18 employees from several county departments, is looking to help bring a little normalcy back for struggling families at the holidays through its “Season of Giving” initiative.

Erin Baker and Kara Kampa, both social workers in Wright County Health & Human Services, spoke to the Wright County Commissioners explaining that they’ve come up with the idea of hosting a specific food drive to create “baking boxes” – boxes filled with items specific to baking breads, cookies, pies and other treats – to give families something they rarely can get at local food

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Employees using unclean shopping cart to hold raw chicken: Lebanon County restaurant inspections

Torri Donley

The following Lebanon County restaurants were found to have violated Pennsylvania’s health and safety regulations during inspections between Aug. 13-19.

Inspections are overseen by the Department of Agriculture. The department notes that in many cases violations are corrected by the restaurant before inspectors leave.

CARMANY’S DOUBLE TWIST

35 S. 8th St., Lebanon

Date: Sept. 17, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In

Violations:

–An electrical cord going into a small electrical box is not fastened securely where it enters the box and the cord is frayed and taped with electrical tape next to the plug.

GOLDEN CHINA

925 Cumberland St., Lebanon

Date: Sept. 17, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In

Violations:

–The rear door to the outside, located in the rear area of the food facility is being propped open. Corrected.

–The front doors of the bain-marie, non-food contact surfaces, are not cleaned at a frequency to preclude accumulation of dirt and soil.

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‘Black, wet’ material, old food residue: York County restaurant inspections

Torri Donley

The following York County restaurants were found to have violated Pennsylvania’s health and safety regulations during inspections between Sept. 13-19.

Inspections are overseen by the Department of Agriculture. The department notes that in many cases violations are corrected by the restaurant before inspectors leave.

RED LION BOWLING CENTER

90 Martin St., Red Lion

Date: Sept. 18, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In

Violations:

–Observed inside area of freezer unit, having large an accumulation of old food residue and spill at the time of inspection.

–Observed outside sliding door case of freezer unit, non-food contact surfaces not cleaned at a frequency to preclude large accumulation of dirt and soil at the time of inspection.

–Observed dried food debris on the cutting blades of the wall mounted french fried potato cutter.

–Observed inside chute and ice dropper having a large accumulation of black wet (bacteria-like) material forming at the time of inspection. Ice

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Coronavirus Crisis: Pleasanton restaurant owners frustrated after Alameda County delays indoor dining

Torri Donley

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — With their counterparts in neighboring Contra Costa County now allowed to offer limited inside dining, restaurant owners in Pleasanton are not too happy that Alameda County health officials won’t grant them the same privilege, despite meeting the state’s coronavirus threshold.

“Ten miles away, you can drive down the road and have a meal,” said Mike Connors, owner of Hap’s Original Steaks and Seafood. “I think we’ve gotten drug into what’s happening in Oakland, where their numbers are quite high for the coronavirus.”

RELATED: Coronavirus live updates: CA reports more than 3,800 new cases, 7-day positivity rate is at 2.5%

In deciding to delay inside dining for four to six weeks, even at 25% capacity, Alameda County health officials said, “Having different households together while they eat and drink for extended periods of time in an enclosed space eliminates the protections social distancing and wearing a

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Pierce County unveils restaurant rescue plan to discount meals 30% using CARES Act funding

Torri Donley

The program, called Restaurant Rally, allows participating businesses to offer a 30% discount on meal tabs with the help of federal funding.

Pierce County officials have reallocated CARES Act funding to help restaurants survive tough times brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’re seeing their revenue losses between 60 and 90 percent, so they’ve really been hit hard,” said Betty Capestany, the Pierce County Economic Development Director. 

Pierce County Council Vice Chair Dave Morell said the idea was fostered out of an emergency need to help restaurants keep their doors open and restore customer confidence in the restaurant industry during a time of ongoing state mandated health restrictions. 

“It’s a great idea on how to support the restaurant industries, not only to preserve and support employment within those industries, but also reward all of us zooming in, zooming out of meetings and dealing with the kids,” said Morell. 

The program,

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Eric Underwood: Restaurant experiences, pandemic would guide his service to Lancaster County | Elections

Torri Donley

Following that venture, he was hired as general manager at Rodizio Grill in 2014 and eventually became co-owner of the franchise, he said. 

Underwood and his wife, Keri, have five children, ages 3 to 13. 

He had thought about eventually running for local office, but earlier this year he was encouraged by Lincoln Independent Business Association officials to consider a run for the Lancaster County Board seat. 

With the blessing of his wife and his partners at Rodizio, Underwood launched a campaign with an emphasis on providing property tax relief for county residents and improved county infrastructure and assuring public safety and law enforcement support.

Though the district most recently elected Democrat Jennifer Brinkman as its commissioner, Underwood said the previous 30-year tenure of Republican Larry Hudkins gives his candidacy a shot.

Budgets have grown but not necessarily prioritized the county’s needs, he said, and the county has not adequately

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Discolored water at elementary school: Cumberland County restaurant inspections

Torri Donley

The following Cumberland County restaurants were found to have violated Pennsylvania’s health and safety regulations during inspections between Sept. 13-19.

Inspections are overseen by the Department of Agriculture. The department notes that in many cases violations are corrected by the restaurant before inspectors leave.

AMERICAN LEGION POST #421

28 Shepherd Road, Newville

Date: Sept. 15, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In

Violations:

–Gap at bottom of employee entrance door where weather stripping is worn.

BELLAIRE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

905 Waggoners Gap Road, Carlisle

Date: Sept. 15, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In

Violations:

–Water is discolored and observed to have a brown tint at several sinks throughout the kitchen.

NEWVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

100 Steelstown Road, Newville

Date: Sept. 15, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In

Violations:

–Employee toilet room does not have a self-closing door.

CHINA PALACE

259 Penrose Place, Carlisle

Date: Sept. 14, 2020

Type: Regular

Compliance: In

Violations:

–Observed dried food residue

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Montgomery County Food Bank names new COO

Torri Donley

John Kreger has worn many different hats in his years working for food banks, and as of this week, he will be wearing a new one; Chief Operating Officer of the Montgomery County Food Bank.

Before being named COO, Kreger held the position of Director of Sourcing and Industry Partnerships for the Montgomery County Food Bank for four years. Before that, he held the position of Director of Sourcing for the Houston Food Bank.

CEO and President Kristine Marlow joined the food bank in August and given the complexities of the operations of a food bank, with the added increase in need locally due to the economic impact f the COVID-19 pandemic, she felt that COO was a necessary position to create. Because of his long history working for food banks, and the many hats he has worn over the years, Kreger was just the right candidate to fill the

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