Health Department Bizarrely Destroys Hundreds of Pounds of Perfectly Good, Licensed Food
Tribune reporter Monica Eng was hanging out at Kitchen Chicago last night, happily writing a story about how lovely and harmonious Chicago's shared professional kitchens are. Then, in a spectacular stroke of irony, the Health Department showed up to seize and destroy thousands of dollars' worth of fruit purees belonging to pastry chef Flora Lazar of Flora Confections. This despite the fact that both Kitchen Chicago and Lazar are fully licensed, and that the inspectors admitted that there were no health problems with any of the food.
Even more bizarre: When Lazar tried to save the Green City Market-originated produce by transferring possession to her son, the inspectors refused to allow it, going so far as to call the police to take the purees away. (They also denied a request to send the produce to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.) "This puts me out of business for six months," Lazar told Eng, estimating that the destroyed ingredients will cost her $6,000 in revenue. Also destroyed in the raid: "hundreds of pounds of local, organic, often unopened cheese, cassoulets, granola bars," and more, belonging to other users of the shared kitchen space.