DBPR’s Food Safety Tips for the 2019 Hurricane Season

The 2019 hurricane season has officially begun, and DBPR’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants would like to provide the industry with the following food safety tips and reminders on how to operate safely during an emergency:

• Hot food should maintain a temperature of 135°F or above while cold foods should be kept at temperatures of 41°F or below.

• Minimize the handling of foods before, during and after preparation. Wash hands with potable or boiled water.

• Single-service articles should be used whenever possible. Discard single-service items such as paper or plastic plates, cups, plastic utensils, lids, straws, etc. if the items have been exposed to contamination.

• Food should be covered and protected from dust, dirt, insects, vermin and other contaminants.

• Add bags of ice or dry ice to refrigerators and freezers prior to the emergency if a notice is given and loss of power for an extended time is expected.

• Do not operate if the establishment has no safe water supply or electrical power (or generators) to run essential equipment.

• Do not operate if the establishment has no roof or is not structurally sound.

• While power is off, keep the doors to freezers and coolers closed in order to maintain temperature as long as possible.

• When power is restored, identify all potentially hazardous foods (PHF) that may have been above 41°F or below 135°F for more than four hours. PHF foods that have been out of temperature for more than 4 hours must be properly discarded.

• Thawed foods that still contain ice crystals and are 41°F or less can safely re-freeze.

• Discard any food that has been contaminated or come in contact with floodwater, sewage, smoke, fumes, chemicals, or other liquid contaminants.

• Discard vulnerable containers of food such as those containing peel-off covers, scored pop tops, waxed cardboard, cork or screw tops or paraffin seals such as glass or plastic containers of catsup, dressing, milk, mayonnaise, soda, beer, sauces, etc. if the containers have been exposed to contamination.

• Discard foods packaged in soft, porous containers like cardboard boxes, paper, foil, plastic and cellophane such as boxes or bags of food, cereal, flour, sugar, rice, salt, etc. if the packages have been exposed to contamination.

• Discard shell eggs exposed to any contamination – the shell is porous

• Do not use swollen, leaking or damaged canned goods.

• Smoke damage to food is difficult to assess. Insoluble tars and plastics and their byproducts suspended in smoke is a major concern. Discard all foods exposed to smoke.

• Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans can be saved if you remove labels that can come off, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them, and then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of potable water. Finally, re-label the containers with a marker.

• If the establishment was exposed to contamination, clean and sanitize all equipment and food-contact surfaces with potable or boiled water. Do not operate until the entire establishment has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized or disinfected. Š

• All water filters on equipment should be removed and replaced if not designed to be cleaned in place.

Division Director Rick Akin would like to remind all operators, Food Safety is in Your Hands!

For more hurricane tips, visit our Hurricane Resources page.

Our May Member of the Month Came to Play🍴

Have you met our May Member of the Month?

Meet the owner of 21 Spices in Naples, Chef Asif Syed. Chef Asif makes a mean Tandoori Chicken, and is well known for beating Chef Bobby Flay on his own show, Beat Bobby Flay!

Chef Asif says it best: “Hospitality runs in my blood.” He was raised in a city in Indian known for its hospitality. Because of this, he has developed a passion for helping young adults entering the industry find their passion. It is important for him to teach “youngsters” his knowledge, so that they can one day go on and succeed in the industry.

Congratulations, Chef Asif, for being our wonderful May Member of the Month!


Our March Member of the Month is a Gem

The statement “home is where the heart is” was taken quite literally by our March Member of the Month, Barb Bowden, with Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Florida. After completing a summer internship with Disney, she knew in her heart Orlando was where she was meant to be.

Barb is a take-charge woman and an exemplary member of FRLA. She has been involved on the FRLA Central Florida Chapter Board, served on panels for our Marketing + Operations Summit and more.

Barb has a passion for the hospitality industry, and with that drums her passion for mentoring students and young adults entering the industry. Because of this, FRLA has helped further her enthusiasm by providing her with the opportunity to do just that. She states one of her favorite hospitality memories is seeing the “amazing people” she’s mentored over the years grow and take on senior-level positions in the hospitality industry.

Thank you, Barb, for being an outstanding FRLA member, and a wonderful mentor to those looking to enter the hospitality industry. If you didn’t have the chance to see her Member of the Month video, check it out below.

Know someone you think should be our FRLA Member of the Month? Nominate them here.

Serving Up Our February Member of the Month

We are excited to introduce Dennis Chan, owner of the delicious Blue Bamboo restaurant in Jacksonville. Dennis comes from a long line of chefs, and knew it was his legacy to continue serving food and carry on his family’s traditions.

One of his favorite things about working in the restaurant business and hospitality industry is the ability to use his food and excellent service to brighten someone’s day.

“You never know if you’re going to have a guest come in who is having a bad day and you need to turn them around, or they’re just having a great day and coming out to celebrate.”

Dennis is a long-standing, second-generation member of FRLA and is committed to helping aspiring restaurateurs. He teaches culinary classes at local schools and volunteers with ProStart on a regular basis. Thank you, Dennis, for your continuous support of FRLA and all you do for your community.

Next time you stop by Blue Bamboo, we suggest you try the Sunshine State Orange Crunch Cake Cake!

Check out Dennis’ Member of the Month video below:

Know someone you think should be our FRLA Member of the Month? Nominate them here.

There’s Room for Everyone Under the MO+S Umbrella

We’ve attended the FRLA Marketing + Operations Summit since its inception. In fact, we’ve found this event to be so valuable and important that we’ve been a sponsor for the past three years.

M+OS is more than an opportunity to hear about the latest and greatest trends in the hospitality industry with regard to marketing and operations issues. The Summit helps us stay current with the challenges our customers face and gives us specific topics to discuss with them throughout the year.

We’ve learned countless tips and tricks in our years of attending the Summit, but I will never forget participating in a Breakout Session focusing on how to market to various generations when we had a lightbulb moment. Each year, we gain real-life lessons, and this one convinced us to hire a social media staffer. Thanks to this realization, we’ve seen a significant uptick in our online interactions with existing and, most excitingly, new customers. Incorporating such a simple tactic into our marketing strategy allowed us to reach more people.

The Summit provides us with an opportunity to network with members who could one day be potential customers. Through our networking over the years, we’ve found it crucial to learn what customers are trying to accomplish so we can work with them to support their efforts. For example, we can assist in combining a restaurant’s marketing and operational goals by offering custom logos imprinted on their umbrella canopies. Operationally, their guests receive the comfort of shade and may stay at the table longer, ordering coffee and dessert, thereby increasing the bottom line.

It’s been our experience that the Summit is a great place to learn from industry veterans, find out what innovative, best practices are out there, and how different successful brands have overcome challenges. The quality of the speakers is fantastic – from famous chefs like Robert Irvine, to entrepreneurs and restaurant executives from Firehouse Subs and Tijuana Flats. Both the networking opportunities and the chance to meet with decision makers across the industry are terrific. We are looking forward to what this year has in store!

This week’s blog comes from Jordan Beckner, President of Sales at FiberBuilt Umbrellas & Cushions.

Meet our January Member of the Month



Meet Chip and Amanda Evans.

They are the proud owners of Willie Jewell’s Bar-B-Q in Tallahassee, Florida, and FRLA’s first ever Member of the Month.

These members have been actively engaged in FRLA since they joined in June 2018. With a passion for giving back, Chip and Amanda have taken advantage of FRLA’s involvement in the community. Chip says, “We try and give whenever we can. FRLA has been good about plugging us in. This is where the opportunities to give are.”

In October 2018, Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle. Victims of this disaster were left homeless, without food, water, power, or clean clothes. Along with other FRLA members, Chip and Amanda headed to Marianna to provide hot, fresh food and necessities to the community members in need.

From help with the hurricane to volunteering time and food with Vet Events Tally and other organizations, Chip and Amanda always go the extra mile to give. Regional Director Nick Lowe noted that they are “members who understand what it really means to serve others.”

Thank you, Chip and Amanda, for all you do for FRLA and the community.

To see what they had to say about FRLA, check out their Member of the Month video below.


Path to Power: Insights from Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s Mary Rogers

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine presents Path to Power, a feature that showcases our industry’s top hotel and restaurant leaders. The questions posed by FR&L are structured to be of interest to all readers, but particularly those readers who are just beginning to hold management roles with his or her employer. Path to Power offers insight into valuable lessons learned or experience earned by our hotel and restaurant leaders.

Our Fall 2018 Path to Power leader is Mary Rogers. Mary Rogers was recently named as the Vice President and General Manager of the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach.  She is the first woman named to this position with the Resort.

How did you get started in the hospitality industry? 

I worked for five summers in a bed and breakfast and fell in love with the service industry.   I derived great satisfaction from ensuring guests had enjoyable and memorable vacations.  I also realized that the hospitality industry would be a great gateway to travel the world, while enjoying a very fulfilling career.

Early in your career what was the most valuable lesson you learned? 

I feel the lesson that has stood with me through the years is to always treat others the way you would want to be treated.  I also feel it is very important to let our team members know that the work they do every day makes a difference, and that they are hugely important to our success.

Do you have any mentors who were instrumental in helping you achieve your goals? 

I am fortunate to have a number of mentors in this business.  Individually each played a very important part in my career development.  Most recently I have worked very closely with our President and Chief Operating Officer of Fontainebleau, Mr. Phil Goldfarb. He taught me to look at each operational department as an individual business unit, and how each unit plays their part in the overall success of the hotel.

What is the single greatest factor in the success of your career? 

I took advantage of every opportunity for growth that came my way.  In many cases it involved relocating to another state or even another country by myself, but with every move I learned something new, my career grew, my network expanded and the opportunities increased.  Do not be afraid of the unknown, take chances and grab every opportunity you have to broaden your horizons.

How have your philanthropies and giving back to the community affected your business decisions? 

Fontainebleau recently launched “Bleau Adopts”, a new internal pet adoption program that matches our employees with dogs from the Greater Miami Humane Society.  The initiative invites a dog to our hotel for a day each week where it gets to meet our team members.  So far we have found homes for nearly twenty dogs.   This philanthropic effort has had the dual effect of boosting the morale of our employees during their workday while saving the lives of many dogs.

Is there anything you would like to share with Florida’s hospitality industry members? 

Our industry is complex, ever changing and evolving.  As such, I encourage our members to stay involved and up to date with all the changes that affect our industry.  It is hugely important to be active in an organization such as FRLA, as they advocate on our behalf at the local and state level.  Use your resources wisely to ensure your voice is heard and that you partner with the right organizations to fight on your behalf.   Be involved, be heard, be seen and don’t stand on the sidelines while others make decisions that affect your business.


Thank you, Mary!  Congratulations again on your new role.  We wish you much success!

Draw in Summer Crowds with Island Oasis On the Rocks

Certain on-the-rocks cocktails immediately evoke summer. Margaritas, Moscow mules and mojitos, to name a few, will have summer vacationers lining (or swimming) up at your bar. Giving classic on-the-rocks cocktails flavorful new twists will make your bar stand out from the crowd at happy hour (or any hour). Here are a few easy ways to expand your menu with new, on-trend cocktails.


Repurposed Perfection

If you are already crafting blended cocktail favorites with Island Oasis® mix, you can expand your menu by crafting new cocktails with mixes you already have on hand without investing in extra inventory and space. The same mix you use to blend your signature margarita tastes just as good served on the rocks– no matter the flavor you choose.

Make it happen:

Classic Margarita

3 oz. Island Oasis Margarita Mix

3 oz. Water

2 oz. Tequila

Pour over ice and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.


Painless Prep

Pre-batch cocktail mixes without ice and store them in the fridge for super easy serving. When the rush hits, just shake with ice, add a garnish and serve. One of the beauties of prebatching is that you can customize the size. Prebatch a handful of cocktails and serve a flight of mini drinks. Start with this twist on the popular Moscow Mule, the fastest-growing cocktail year-over-year [1].

Make it happen:

Kentucky Mule:

12 oz. Bourbon

1 carton (32 oz.) Island Oasis Moscow Mule Mix

20 oz. Carbonated Water

Batch liquid together and store in refrigerator. To serve, fill mule glass with ice and dispense matched liquid over top. Garnish with a slice of lime.


Craveable Creativity

Serving drinks on the rocks opens up the door to even more creative mixology. You can customize flavor by muddling fresh herbs or an on-trend flavored syrup. Customization is hugely attractive to consumers, 61% of them say they want the ability to customize their alcoholic beverages away from home [2]. Adding small nuances to an already great cocktail allows you to build enticing LTOs or sought-after seasonal sips. Pump up the drama by topping with an eye-catching (and delicious!) garnish.

Make it happen:

Peach Chipotle Lemonade:

-1.5 oz. DaVinci Gourmet® Peach Chipotle

-3 oz. Island Oasis Lemonade (dilute 1:1 with water)

Build cocktail over ice and garnish with mint leaves.


Offering indulgent, refreshing summer flavors is simple with on-the-rocks cocktails. Expanding your menu with Island Oasis beverage mixes is opens up your menu to new flavor profiles and serving options without driving up back-of-house costs. Stay up to date on the latest Island Oasis inspiration by following Kerry Foodservice on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

[1] Technomic Specialty Drinks, On the Menu Q4-2017
[2] Mintel On Premise Alcohol Trends: US, May 2016

What is a Raw or Undercooked Egg?

When your foodservice customers order eggs sunny-side up, scrambled, or in an omelet, are you putting them at risk for foodborne illness?

Cooked eggs may not reach a temperature that destroys viruses such as avian influenza or bacteria such as Salmonella enteritidis. Your foodservice kitchen may even be using raw eggs in Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing, introducing foodborne illness risks to your guests. Read more facts about Salmonella and eggs in the Field Guide to Egg Safety.

When is an egg safe from Salmonella?

So, at what temperature is an egg no longer considered “raw” or “undercooked”? An egg is considered fully cooked—that is, safe from foodborne illness—when it has reached a temperature of 155°F for pooled, hot holding or for later service. Over hard eggs, for example, have reached this temperature. However, foodservice customers are far more likely to order eggs sunny-side up. Eggs served this way represent the lowest cooked temperature of any egg option, only reaching a temperature between 75°F and 104°F.

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Balancing safe egg temperature and quality

Omelets and scrambled eggs are also common culprits in Salmonella enteritidis outbreaks. Your foodservice guests don’t want dry, rubbery eggs, but cooking them softer carries with it the risk of Salmonella contamination. The fact is, the majority of the ways foodservice operations prepare eggs do not result in fully-cooked eggs.

Salmonella, eggs, and the CDC

The number of Salmonella outbreaks originating from foodservice kitchens is the reason the CDC pays special attention to how eggs are stored, prepared, and staged in foodservice kitchens. The CDC says dangerous egg-handling procedures are putting foodservice guests at risk of foodborne illness. They urge foodservice operators to use pasteurized shell eggs. Read more: CDC “Cracks Down” on Unpasteurized Eggs in Restaurants.

Pasteurized shell eggs—safe at any temperature

Currently, only about 1 in 5 restaurants uses pasteurized eggs, according to the CDC. Because the FDA does not consider pasteurized shell eggs a TCS (potentially hazardous) food, Davidson’s Safest Choice® pasteurized shell eggs greatly simplify your egg HACCP plan, help you stay in regulatory compliance, and allow you to safely serve eggs in your foodservice operation any style your customers want.

Exclusive Health Care Pricing and Solutions from UnitedHealthcare

UHC Slider

Because health care is a top concern for businesses like yours and to help meet your needs, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) are working with UnitedHealthcare to provide easier access to health care coverage and related products and services.

UnitedHealthcare, the FRLA and the NRA offer an exclusive program to members, featuring:

  • Up to a 5 percent discount on medical rates for fully insured groups with 51 or more eligible employees
  • Annual invoice credit of up to 5 percent on administrative fees for new ASO medical products for self-funded groups with 100 or more eligible employees
  • Up to a 5 percent discount on specialty benefits products (dental, vision, life and disability) for fully insured groups – in addition to all other discounts including the Packaged Savings® program
  • Wellness programs and services aimed at helping people live healthier lives
  • Access to the National Restaurant Association Notification Tool, which helps employers meet the exchange notification law requirements from the ACA with notice templates from the U.S. Department of Labor and the ability to track employee health care law verification records
  • Latino Health Solutions resources and tools for Latino/Hispanic owners, operators and employees through UnitedHealthcare’s PlanBien® program
  • Lower-cost “preventive” medical plans that meet minimal essential coverage requirements for the Individual Mandate under the ACA for self-funded groups with 100 or more eligible employees

The NRA and the FRLA chose to work with UnitedHealthcare because of its wide range of innovative products and services to address the diverse health care needs of hospitality industry employers, employees and their families.

UnitedHealthcare offers access to its expansive network of health care providers and services, online tools, and a range of wellness programs. In addition, voluntary benefit programs are available for dental, vision, life and disability insurance products.

This UnitedHealthcare alliance program is designed exclusively for the hospitality industry to meet your health and wellness needs.

Interested in learning more? Visit www.uhctogether.com/frla.

Some restrictions apply; and discounts may vary by location and group size.

Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through a UnitedHealthcare company.