State health officials and members of the restaurant industry plan to ask the legislature to update Tennessee’s 1976 food safety law next year, reports The Tennessean.
“Our rules are so old they don’t even address sushi,” said Hugh Atkins, who oversees restaurant inspections for the Tennessee Department of Health.
The Tennessee Food Safety Task Force first considered tweaking compliance rules but finally decided the law itself needed a complete overhaul.
The statute, more than three decades old, does not prohibit restaurant employees from fingering your food and lists temperature requirements for already-cooked dishes that can cause mashed potatoes to get crusty and meats to get leathery.
Task force members say the law wastes resources, falls short of federally recommended standards and can penalize restaurants that operate in older buildings. The temperature requirements for already-cooked foods have no safety benefit, Atkins said. Another requirement mandates that inspectors check a peanut and candy shop as often as a full-fledged restaurant, where the risk of a food-borne illness is much higher
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A state lawmaker was mistaken about the facts of a restaurant’s zoning issues when he used the case of Papa’s Butts and BBQ Hot Sauce Store as an example of the creeping influence of the United Nations in Tennessee, a city official said.
Republican Rep. Rick Womick cited the store’s issues with the city of Murfreesboro in remarks on the House floor to support a resolution urging the rejection of the UN’s Agenda 21 on sustainable development.
But Murfreesboro Planning Director Joseph Aydelott told the Daily News Journal for Friday’s editions (http://on.dnj.com/yMjxz8 ) that Womick had the facts wrong about the case heading for a hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals on March 28.
And Aydelott told the paper that Agenda 21 has nothing to do with the case. “I don’t really know what that is, except for what I’ve read in the paper,” he said.
Sen. Stacey Campfiel, in a blog post, has given an account of being denied service at the Bistro restaurant in Knoxville. An excerpt:
I had not said anything. I was just standing there waiting for a table when the owner came up and started yelling at me calling me names and telling me they were not going to serve me because of my alleged beliefs saying I hate gays. I said in as calm a way as I could that I don’t hate gays and the things I have said were backed up by the CDC. I offered to send her the links.
I have been quite open and clear on my beliefs and have backed them up with facts from the CDC and others. Unfortunately some people do not let facts get in the way of their prejudice.
She looked confused on what to do for a second then she started to yell and call me names again so I figured it was better to just leave. As Jesus said, “If you are not welcomed in a town shake the dust off your feet and move on”. My friends and I went to latitude 35 and had a good breakfast.
The cries of “Ha ha. we showed him!” fall flat to me. It is not I who lost out. My friends and I still had a good meal. We just gave our money to a more gracious host.
What was showed was a lack of professionalism. In my legislative role I have always had an open door to any of my constituency. Gay rights groups have been in my office several times and I would like to think that even though we may disagree on some issues I have always treated them graciously.
Sam Venable, meanwhile, applauds the senator’s eviction.
Any joint that won’t serve Stacey Campfield is my kind of place.
As you and half of the civilized world know by now, state Sen. Bozo was told to take his business elsewhere when he attempted to enter the Bistro for Sunday brunch.
Here is the direct quote Bistro owner Martha Boggs told me: “I said I wasn’t serving that (s.o.b).”
Have mercy! Let those words be cast in bronze and permanently affixed to the building.
“I didn’t do this for publicity,” Boggs added. “I just did it because somebody needed to stand up to that bully. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response.”
From Matt Lakin:
Outrage over state Sen. Stacey Campfield’s remarks on AIDS could be leading to a recall movement — even though state law won’t recognize any such effort.
About 680 people liked the Recall TN State Senator Campfield page on Facebook by Monday night, about a day after its creation. The page doesn’t list its creator, and even some fans acknowledged in posts they’re organizing in vain.
Tennessee law allows recall votes only for officials at the city and county level. State legislators can be removed only by impeachment.
The page’s fans said they don’t see any harm in spreading the word or in showing their support for the Bistro at the Bijou, whose owner, Martha Boggs, banned Campfield when he showed up for Sunday brunch.
“I’ve been posting nonstop since I heard about the Bistro,” said Gary Elgin, a former director of the Knoxville Pride and Rainbow Community Awareness Project. “He really does need to be recalled if not at least censured. He’s made us a national punchline.”
Meanwhile, others have started an online petition asking Gov. Bill Haslam, President Barack Obama and members of Congress and the Tennessee Legislature to fire Campfield. The petition boasted nearly 1,000 signatures Monday night.
The senator’s detractors said they hope to keep the spirit alive until Campfield faces re-election in 2014.
Sen. Stacey Campfield was apparently refused service Sunday at a Knoxville restaurant, the Bistro at the Bijou, inspiring all sorts of commentary from bloggers.
From Mike Donilla:
Campfield, local comedian Spanky Brown, reporter Dan “The Man” Andrews and radio talk show host Hubert Smith went to the restaurant to eat, when owner Martha Boggs pretty much told Campfield to get the $&%* out.
(From what I understand she called him a homophobe, but there was also a choice word that preceded it. Heh.)
Anyhoo, Dan told me that as they were exiting, Brown said: “Wow, this is the first time I’ve ever seen two black guys walk into a restaurant and a white guy gets thrown out.”
…For his part, Stacey was “very calm, very professional and very understanding,” Dan said.
They ended up having lunch at Latitude 35 on Market Square.
See also, Sean Braisted, Metro Pulse, , Michael Silence… or just google “Stacey Campfield Bistro”
From reporter Josh Flory:
In recent months, the News Sentinel sought travel records from local utility districts across East Tennessee and examined piles of receipts along the way. Many of them were for mundane purposes — meals at Cracker Barrel, registrations for conferences and the like.
But at some districts the records showed a willingness by employees or board members to spend ratepayers’ money on more extravagant expenses. Three local districts have either altered their travel policies or eliminated certain spending practices in recent months.
Listed expenses in the article include dinner for 18 at the Peddler in Gatlinburg for $886.99, dinner for seven at the Stock Yard in Nashville for $430.20 and dinner for six at the Palm in Nashville for $458.93.
…The (South Blount Utility) district has adjusted its policies on travel within the last year. In an interview this month, District Manager Henry Durant said that last November TAUD (Tennessee Association of Utility Districts) held a school for commissioners, and that was when South Blount learned it was not appropriate for a district to cover meal costs for spouses who are traveling with district commissioners or employees. He said South Blount stopped that practice at the end of last year.
“We didn’t really understand that there was a problem with that,” Durant said.
Durant said that because of the News Sentinel’s inquiry, South Blount decided to seek restitution for certain expenses incurred by spouses, although he said the amount of money won’t exceed $200 or $300.
In addition, Durant said that at a recent board meeting, the district adopted a travel policy to establish a per diem expense rate for employee travel. The manager said the district thought it had a travel policy, but realized recently that it did not.