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Contributing Writers

Eric Burkett

Eric Burkett

Eric S. Burkett is a San Francisco-based Kitchen manager, cook, and freelance writer. His work appears online in Delish on MSN.com, the Food Examiner in Examiner.com and Food Safety News. His work has been published in San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Wheel of Dharma and in ViMax Publishing & Marketing Inc. publications. He is a former daily newspaper reporter, who says, “Writing and cooking are my two great loves.”

Articles Written by Eric Burkett

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Who Should Conduct Biotech Crop Assessments?

Are companies with a vested interest in the outcome of environmental assessment studies qualified to conduct those studies themselves? A pilot project announced by an agency at the United States Department of Agriculture is preparing to give for-profit corporations the ability to do just that. Earlier this month, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection… Continue Reading

RFID Knows Where a Product Is and What It’s Doing

Pretend you’re an inspector for the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture and you’ve just arrived to examine several pallets full of produce — bagged spinach, for example.  You know that the ideal temperature for transporting spinach, a particularly fragile green, is 32° F. You also know this spinach has been sitting in a Honolulu warehouse for… Continue Reading

SF Sets Nutritional Standards for Meals with Toys

Calling it a modest step with enormous implications, San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar urged the city’s other supervisors to place new restrictions on the use of toys to promote fast food meals to children.  While city residents lined up in the basement of City Hall to cast their own ballots in the mid-term elections Tuesday,… Continue Reading

California Food Handlers Must Get Safety Training

In a move industry insiders say could mark the beginning of a national trend, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed new legislation requiring nearly all of the more than one million food handlers in the state of California to be certified in safe food handling procedures. The new law, Senate Bill 602, was approved by lawmakers in… Continue Reading

People Love Street Vendors, City Oversight Varies

It’s becoming an increasingly familiar sight in large cities around the country: specialty chefs selling artisan and exotic foods from mobile food carts and trucks on the cities’ streets.   Some cities, such as Portland, Ore., where as many as 500 carts work the streets to feed hungry residents, have embraced the phenomenon and crafted… Continue Reading

Egg Producers Implement New Salmonella Controls

New regulations for controlling the spread of a form of Salmonella, whose mode of transmission still isn’t entirely understood, kicked into effect last Friday.  The new regulations, the FDA insists, could reduce the number of illnesses by as many as 79,000 people, and deaths by up to 30 individuals, each year. Announced by the U.S…. Continue Reading

An E. coli Patient’s Will to Live, Part II

Part II in a II-part series on Linda Rivera’s battle with E. coli O157:H7.  Once a week, Jeanine Iyala loads her two kids into the car and makes the roughly 60-mile round trip from Pleasanton to San Francisco to visit her step-mother at Davies Medical Center. Traveling any distance with a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old… Continue Reading

Linda Rivera: An E. coli Patient’s Will to Live

Part I in a II-part series on Linda Rivera’s battle with E. coli O157:H7. It’s one of those glorious, fogless summer days in San Francisco when the winds whisk the skies clear and everyone is outside basking in sunlight.  From Linda Rivera’s hospital room at Davies Medical Center, you can see the city’s skyline–including the… Continue Reading

CSPI Threatens Suit over Happy Meal Toys

Do inexpensive plastic toys lure children–or their parents–into making unhealthy food choices? A leading consumer advocacy group believes they do and is threatening to sue fast food giant McDonald’s if the company doesn’t end its practice of using toys to promote its products. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on Tuesday served… Continue Reading