The Ingenious Design of a Food Truck

The Ingenious Design of a Food Truck

Today’s food trucks bear no resemblance to the traditional food trucks at state fairs. They are mobile kitchens designed to please the most discriminating foodies. How can they deliver culinary feats in such tight spaces? With efficient layouts and the multi-faceted talents of the people who operate them.

Community fundraising events, such as the Eugene Food Truck Festival in Oregon, serve to expand the reach and popularity of food truck operations, while changing regulations and permit requirements pose a challenge in many locations.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, What’s in a Food Truck?, by B. Berkowitz, S. Blanchard, A. Steckelberg, and M. Ulmanu, May 14, 2018; and on the Daily Emerald article, Eugene Food Truck Festival attracts 12,000; raises funds for Eugene Mission, by E. Matlock, July 9. 2018, and the USA Today article, Regulations and permit headaches keep food trucks from cruising down Easy Street, by Z. Meyer, June 12, 2018. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Christopher Kerrigan.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the basic equipment requirements for a food truck?

Guidance: See the interactive graphic shown in the article: freshwater and wastewater tanks, freezer, refrigerator, generator to power Continue reading

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Made in China: From Scary Bad to Scary Good

Made in China: From Scary Bad to Scary Good

China has climbed the quality ladder. Once associated with cheap, poorly made goods, Chinese manufacturers are emerging as strong players in the production of quality electronics and garments.

Global competitiveness has spurred quality improvements in exports, but the rapid rise of a prosperous middle class in China has also driven Chinese manufacturers to provide local markets with the quality products they demand.

This post is based on the Quality Digest article, Made in China: From Scary Bad to Scary Good, by D. Dusharme, May 29, 2018.  Image source: cookelma/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What internal and external factors have likely contributed to the improved quality of products made in China?

Guidance: Factors for discussion include global competition (need to compete with Japan, EU, and US), technology (advanced manufacturing technologies have made it possible to meet high standards of quality), technological know-how (expertise acquired through outsourcing by US and EU companies), changing demographics in China, and a strong global economy.

2. The first part of the article addresses the challenges of overcoming a poor reputation for quality. Why does it take so long to change perceptions about quality? Is China experiencing the same problems?

Guidance: The Continue reading

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Recalls in the Food Chain

Recalls in the Food Chain

Problems in the delivery of safe food have been an issue this spring.  Over 200 million eggs were recalled in April over salmonella fears, and earlier in May, Kroger recalled over 35,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with hard pieces of plastic.

But we’d have to say that one item has gone to the head of the list: Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

The CDC has traced the problem to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona area.  The recall includes all kinds of romaine lettuce, whether chopped, whole head, or lettuce included in salad mix.

Basically, check that your romaine wasn’t grown in Yuma until the situation is under control.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, 22 States Now Affected by Dangerous Outbreak of E. Coli Illness From Romaine Lettuce, by Lena H. Sun and Joel Achenbach, April 27, 2018. Image source: (c) George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the characteristics that should drive a recall (especially one involving food)?

Guidance: Timeliness is important as people’s lives might be at stake.  Immediate information is important.  In this case contaminated food is a health risk. Continue reading

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