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Florida creating standards on honey


Sweet! Florida consumers can be assured the honey they're buying isn't watered-down or tainted with pesticides under new state standards that took effect July 14. Florida is the first state to regulate honey, prohibiting additives and chemicals as well as requiring specific sugar levels.

The standard instituted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also includes label definitions for terms like "comb honey." Producers, processors and retailers could face fines of up to $500 per violation for manufacturing or selling non-compliant products.

Beekeepers nationwide, alarmed at an influx of honey from foreign countries, several years ago began pushing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate honey. But so far, no standards exist.

Tampa Wild Oats now totally Whole Foods

Tampa's Whole Foods Market will hold a grand reopening of its Tampa store on Saturday. The former Wild Oats (1548 N Dale Mabry Highway; (813) 874-9435) now has an expanded cafe, more prepared foods, an expanded meat department with 30 types of in-house, hand-made sausages, kebabs and gourmet burgers, and a full-service coffee and espresso bar.

Free continental breakfast will be available in the parking lot at 8 a.m. Grand reopening activities will continue throughout the weekend and following week with special free product samples and cooking demonstrations. Details will be available in the store and at

The Vine opens in Lutz

A wine bar/restaurant with a conscience, the Vine, has opened in the Van Dyke/Dale Mabry area at the site of the former Uncle Burly's barbecue.

All meats and fish are hormone- and antibiotics-free and naturally raised. Most of the produce is organic. On the menu are 15 tapas, 42 wines by the glass and 250 by the bottle. But what has us amped is Meyer Natural Angus beef, Vande Rose Farms Duroc pork, American Cedar Springs lamb, among other offerings. The Vine is at 17667 N Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz; (813) 964-8463.

They want you to come for dinner

Chili's Grill & Bar is taking a rival chain's deal a step further with a new promotion offering a three-course meal for two for $20. Like Applebee's Grill & Bar's popular 2 for $20 deal, Chili's promotion includes a shared appetizer and two entrees, but adds a shared dessert.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro has just launched its first kids' menu across 190 restaurants. Starting immediately, Chang's will offer the following child-friendly entrees: Kid's Chicken, Kid's Lo Mein, Kid's Chicken Fried Rice and Baby Buddha's Feast, along with a variety of games and puzzles to keep kids entertained throughout their family dining experience.

m Tell Alton how much you love him

Are you a huge fan of Good Eats? If so, the Food Network wants to hear from you. The most creative among you will get to meet host Alton Brown and be part of the Good Eats 10th anniversary special shooting Aug. 29.

To enter, upload a photo or one-minute video that expresses how much you love Good Eats. Do you look like Alton? Share a picture. Want to do a tribute to the science-meets-cooking show? Show them what you've got.

The Food Network will choose six contestants to join Brown in Atlanta for the anniversary taping.

Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster, though you won't get the up-close-and-personal treatmet. Check out for more info:

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Florida creating standards on honey 07/28/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:30am]
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