Thinly sliced: Pillsbury recalls 12,000 cases of flour linked to salmonella

This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most noteworthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.

Meatless feast. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s public schools will observe “meatless Mondays” starting in the 2019-2020 school year, AM New York reports. The mayor cited health and environmental factors in his speech, while also expressing a desire to “create more balance” in the lives of students. New York is following the footsteps of other school districts that have already implemented similar menus, including Oakland andBaltimore, though those early adopters can’t claim de Blasio’s reach: The five boroughs are home to the nation’s largest school district, one that serves nearly one million students. Eat up, kiddos!

D’oh boy. Pillsbury just recalled 12,000 cases of potentially salmonella-contaminated flour. Wait, you thought salmonella was just for eggs and chicken? Nope—the pathogen can contaminate dry foods like cereal, cake mix, and flour, too. Quartz looks into how this tends to happen: As it turns out, salmonella is a highly adaptive bacteria that can learn to tolerate the “dry heat” it encounters during the manufacturing process. No illnesses have been reported in this incident, but it’s still another reason to skip the cookie dough.

Getting tested. Alabama Republicans have introduced a bill that would disqualify people who fail drug tests from receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), local NBC affiliate WTHR reports. Drug testing requirements have been struck down by the courts and the federal government in the past, but that didn’t stop Wisconsin from passing similar legislation at the end of last year.

Good luck with that. A new app wants to help conservatives find safe spaces to eat while carrying guns and wearing MAGA hats, The Daily Beast reports. Called 63red, the app asks users to rate restaurants on whether they serve customers of all political beliefs and also allow eaters to carry weapons. But what about other more important questions, like price and child-friendliness and happy hours? Maybe 63red will add those features once the attention cools down. For now, the app “may not load correctly” because of high traffic, according to its website.

Something smells. Smithfield Foods lost its fifth consecutive lawsuit on Friday when North Carolina jurors determined the company was responsible for nuisances to its neighbors, the Associated Press reports. This is the latest decision in a series of lawsuits brought by neighbors of the company’s hog farms alleging foul smells, clouds of flies, and annoyances that negatively impact quality of life.

Never gets old. We already knew Mitt Romney’s favorite meat is “hot dog.” Now we know his favorite cake is Twinkies. Today is Romney’s 72nd birthday and, in a tweet, the Utah senator shared video of a perfectly normal, not-at-all-awkward bit of office revelry: his staff surprising him with a cake made entirely of golden (and, FWIW, hot-dog-shaped) Hostess snacks, arranged in concentric circles. The entire thing is wonderfully uncomfortable and strange, and the delight of watching Romney’s unorthodox candle-blowing technique—like Twinkies themselves—seems to stay fresh forever.

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