At SheKnows Food, we spend a lot of time reading about — you guessed it — food (and drinks too!). And we’ve come across some stories that are too good to not share. Here are the food items from the week that you don’t want to miss.
1. Burger King is going to the dogs
Burger King has announced that it’s going to start selling hot dogs. Hmm… Hot dogs are sketchy enough, but when you’re getting them for cheap at a fast-food restaurant, you know there’s some interesting stuff getting thrown in there. Admittedly, the fact that they’re grilled does make them sound tastier than anything coming off one of those hot dog rollers. And BK’s chili cheese dog, topped with chili and cheddar cheese, sounds like a pretty decent snack to have after hitting the town for a few drinks. The all-beef grilled hot dogs will be available starting Feb. 23 — enjoy at your own risk. — CNBC
2. KFC hopes to woo customers with romantic Valentine’s Day plans
Nothing says true love like a bucket of chicken. At least, that’s what KFC in the U.K. is hoping. This year it’s testing out a romantic Valentine’s Day concept, complete with “date night table service” that includes cloth napkins, flowers, candles, waiter service and a soft drink sommelier. The chain says if it’s successful, it’ll roll it out nationwide next year. I mean, it sounds like a potentially hilarious Galentine’s date, but if someone made me spend more than five seconds inside a KFC on Valentine’s Day for a real date, it’d probably be a deal breaker.
It’s better than Waffle House, I guess. — Eater
3. Chipotle hashed out its new food safety plan behind closed doors
Chipotle closed all of its restaurants this week to meet with staff and go over new food safety handling policies, and honestly, most of its plans sound totally solid to me. One of the biggest policy changes is that if an employee is sick or becomes sick at work, they can’t return to work for five days after their symptoms disappear. They’ll be paid for the time, which is great, because a lot of people who don’t get paid sick days have to choose between going to work so they can pay rent and staying at home until they’re better. Also, if an employee or customer vomits on the premises, the entire restaurant will close. Hopefully this will prevent norovirus outbreaks like the one the chain dealt with earlier this year.
The company also announced that certain ingredients (like tomatoes) will be prepared off-site at a central location to help prevent cross-contamination with other ingredients if salmonella or another foodborne pathogen is found. It sounds like Chipotle is taking its food safety really seriously this time around, and as a burrito lover, I must say I’m relieved. — Fast Company
4. Dunkin’ Donuts franchises accidentally overcharged customers… for millions
If you live in New York or New Jersey, this oughta wake you up (even more than a cup of coffee). It turns out that Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in those states may have been charging sales tax on items that weren’t supposed to be taxed, like ground coffee and plain water. The sales tax charge is 7 percent, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you do as much business as Dunkin’, it adds up. In fact, it’s estimated that in the past three years, the company made $10 million in New York and $4 million in New Jersey by overcharging customers. A class action law suit has been filed, and Dunkin’ Donuts could have to pay back the money. In the meantime, Dunkin’ Donuts’ corporate offices claim they had no idea franchises were doing this. — Delish
5. Mars is making a major move and cutting artificial dyes from its candy
Mars is following in General Mills’ footsteps and nixing artificial colors from its candy. Popular sweets like M&M’S, Life Savers, Skittles and Starburst will be getting a makeover, but since Mars wants to make sure these colorful candies look just as nice as they do now, it’s enacting a five-year plan. This will give the company time to develop vibrant, natural colors that are still free of the artificial dyes consumers are none too thrilled with. Hey, as long as they still taste the same, it sounds like a good idea to me. — Grub Street