Louisiana is one of 16 states where people have been sickened by E.coli linked to chopped romaine lettuce, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC reports that nine hospitalizations have resulted, including two people who have developed a type of kidney failure. As of April 18, 2018, one case of E.coli linked to the lettuce has been reported in Louisiana. The contaminated romaine lettuce is from the Yuma, Arizona growing region; no common brand or distributor has been named. The CDC’s advice to consumers who have recently purchased romaine lettuce and are unsure of its origin—throw it away. No deaths have been reported.
CDC Advice for Restaurants & Retailers:
This investigation is ongoing and the CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
To read more, click here to be directed to the CDC’s website.
Every April and October, the four major card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover) make policy changes to their interchange fees. Starting this month, a few more changes are being made, but the most notable is that the Big Four will no longer require customer signatures for transactions of any size in a face-to-face environment.
Visa’s policy only applies to EMV chip card transactions, while MasterCard, AmEx and Discover’s policies apply to any terminal or point-of-sale transactions.
What does this have to do with me?
If you’re a small business owner, this has everything to do with you. This latest update may seem small in scale, but it will allow you to reap the most benefit.
Eliminating the requirement for a signature is not only a step forward as the world of digital payment evolves, it also shows that credit and debit cards are becoming more secure (Note: Merchants can still ask for signatures, they will just no longer be required. A receipt must still be provided to a customer if they ask for one, even without a signature).
“What consumers will find reassuring is that removing the need to sign for purchases will not have any impact on safety,” said MasterCard’s executive vice president Linda Kirkpatrick in a recent blog post. “Our secure network and state-of-the-art systems combined with new digital payment methods that include chip, tokenization, biometrics and specialized digital platforms use newer and more secure methods to prove identity.”
So not only can you process transactions more securely and worry-free, the new update also allows you to process customers through your line faster. Think about how many additional seconds signatures added to the day that you’re now able to get back. That accrual of seconds over the course of the day could free up time for you, which could result in less man hours or the time to address other duties, like spending time getting to know your customers, introducing them to the rewards in your customer engagement program or even processing your employee payroll.
Chip on your shoulder?
When you think about it, a scribbled signature on a piece of flimsy receipt paper is not the best line of defense when it comes to fraud protection, especially with the issuing of EMV chip cards. That being said, if you’re a merchant that hasn’t updated to an EMV terminal, these changes will not apply to your business. This can leave you exposed to identity theft and data breaches, so it’s probably best to protect the business you work hard for everyday with amazing security.
The benefits of updating your terminals will reduce the chances of fraud happening and increase customer trust, among other things. (Have we mentioned that Heartland’s EMV chip processors are four times faster than the other guys’? That’s like…even more extra seconds added to your day!)
Onward and Upward
If you have any questions moving forward, please don’t hesitate to contact your Heartland Relationship Manager. Our goal is to always make sure that your business is running as smoothly as possible, and we understand that sometimes changes like these take some getting used to.
The 2018 EXPO Attendee Registration is LIVE! If you're an owner, operations or purchasing manager looking for the latest innovative products and services, make sure you don't miss the premier foodservice event in the Gulf South! See below to register.
The LRA, in partnership with the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI), would like to invite its members to the Ready4Work Employer Seminar. During this 3-hour informational session on April 13, you will learn about the Ready 4 Work model, help guide its refinement and explore new opportunities for your business to grow its workforce.
Ready4Work is part of the Louisiana Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative, focused on providing opportunities for formerly incarcerated citizens to attain financial stability with the skills and resources necessary to re-enter the workforce and turn away from crime. Business participation in this program is vital to its success. Your input in how it is designed and implemented will lead to full-time employment for those that meet job standards.
Last year, Louisiana released more than 1,400 non-violent offenders from prison as part of its Criminal Justice Reform efforts. If these men and women are given the opportunity to receive training and a job they are proud of, it can lead to a new chapter of their life outside the prison system.
Ready4Work has chapters all across the country, with proven success stories. Jacksonville's program has a recidivism rate of 29 percent, compared to the Department of Correction's recidivism rate of 67 percent.
Louisiana spends almost $20,000 annually for each individual behind bars- a total of over $700 million annually. Our state's highest-in-the-nation imprisonment rate, along with this hefty price tag and poor outcomes, add up to a problem business can no longer ignore.
We hope you will join us for this informative seminar:
Friday, April 13, 2018
600 Carondelet St., New Orleans
World famous butcher, Dario Cecchini is traveling to New Orleans for two days this May to host a series of events at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse and Tableau, including a butcher workshop and multiple dinners. Dario was invited to New Orleans to experience how Italian culture permeates the city by his apprentice, Richard Brennan III, fourth generation of the New Orleans famed Brennan restaurant family.
The title “World’s Best Butcher” is frequently used to describe Italian butcher, Dario Cecchini. Some of the most revered names in food worship his work. He hails from Panzano in the Chianti region of Italy and his family has a legacy of more than 250 years as butchers, passing the trade down from one generation to the next.
Dario has practiced nose to tail butchery for the past 42 years and believes his work to be an ancient art that involves respect for the animal. There are no premium and lower cuts of meat but rather all parts of the animal are useful if butchered and prepared in an appropriate manner. At this point in his career he sees his role as a teacher and educator. “I am in the phase in my life as an artisan where I feel the need to give away everything I have learned and sow the seeds for the future. It gives me great joy to share my work. I look forward to the pleasure of returning to New Orleans for my second time. A wonderful city—full of positivity and energy, good food, good wine, and lots of great music.”
Richard Brennan III, has had the honor of working as Dario’s apprentice in Panzano over the last year. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Richard’s passion for butchering brought him to Italy to train and work with Dario. Many of the skills he learned with Dario he has brought back to the team at Dickie Brennan and Co., particularly to Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse.
“Learning from Dario has created a shift in the way I approach food and my role as a chef—seeing the animal as a whole and not just a few select cuts. It’s simply amazing what you can create if you have the knowledge and tools. I’m excited for Dario to share this with the New Orleans culinary community,” said Richard Brennan III.
Dickie Brennan & Co. has always partnered with local farmers, fishers and ranchers, but the renewed energy and perspective Richard returned with has ignited a spark. For example, guests at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse will see “Oyster Steak” as an entrée. This is a cut of beef that comes from the side hip joint and is not commonly seen on menus but is tender with great flavor. This is just one example of making the effort to use the entire animal, rather than just choice cuts.
Dickie Brennan & Co. chefs have also recently met with a Louisiana rancher raising wagyu. As a team they are exploring how to use less well-known cuts throughout the four restaurants. Richard Brennan III is leading the charge to establish increased connections with farmers, and ultimately provide superior quality to guests. He’ll be the first to tell you that his education under Dario goes far beyond butchering techniques and includes an entire philosophy of respecting the animal, of its life, of its death, and consciously using everything to the very last tendon. Attendees of the following events will get first-hand experience of Dario Cecchini’s larger than life personality and philosophy.
Butcher for a Day with world-famous Italian Butcher, Dario Cecchini
Place: Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
Time: 10 a.m.-Noon
Description: Gain access to the ‘best butcher in the world’ when Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse invites Dario Cecchini into their restaurant. The Butcher for a Day event mirrors the popular experience Dario offers guests visiting his shop in Panzano, Italy.
Guests will see Dario demonstrate his skills preparing a side of Louisiana beef and pork for the following event, a Butcher's Dinner at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. Not for the faint of heart, this close-up view of a master butcher at work is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Only 100 tickets available.
Steaks from the event will be auctioned off to benefit the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation and the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.
Butcher’s Dinner with Dario Cecchini, Richard Brennan III
Place: Dickie Brennan Steakhouse
Price: $165 (early bird tickets available until March 31 or until sold out. 100 tickets only)
$200 (after March 31 or after first 100 sold)
Description: After a once in a lifetime butchering demonstration by Dario Cecchini, the beef and swine prepared will be the focal point of a coursed meal prepared by the famed butcher and his team who have traveled to New Orleans from Italy. Working alongside will be 4th Generation Brennan family chefs Geordie Brower and Richard Brennan.
Hosted at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, the courses will be paired with wine selections from Castello di Ama, one of Italy’s most famous wine producers.