Food & Drink

Ready to learn canning?

Don’t be afraid of canning: This is your chance to learn.
Don’t be afraid of canning: This is your chance to learn. Christopher A. Record/Observer files

As part of its yearlong Sustainable Living Series, the Mecklenburg Family and Consumer Sciences program has several canning classes coming up. But you have homework first: In order to register, you have to watch a webinar and complete an evaluation.

The webinar is $5, but it will allow you to sign up for three hands-on sessions this summer: “Juices and Simple Syrups,” May 8; “Pickles & Relishes,” May 22, and “Pressure Canning,” June 12. All those classes are 12-2 p.m. and cost $18. Register online at, or call Kristin Davis, 704-336-4006 for details.

News from the grocery shelves

▪ Kraft will remove artificial preservatives and synthetic colors from its original Kraft Mac & Cheese Dinner by the end of 2015, replacing food dyes with paprika, annatto and turmeric. The issue of artificial colors gained attention with a 2013 petition started by Charlotte-based food activist Vani Hari of, although Kraft says it was already working with consumers on the change.

▪ Trader Joe’s announced a voluntary recall of A Dozen Sweet Bites, which includes chocolate/coffee opera cake, raspberry cake and caramel/chocolate cake, because of undeclared coconut that isn’t on the label. The cakes are made by Prolainat and sold at Trader Joe’s nationwide.

▪ Texas-based Blue Bell Ice Cream has voluntarily recalled all of its products because of a possible risk of listeria at all of its facilities. The recall, which started in March, now includes all ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks. Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.

And in beer news . . .

Three breweries picked up awards at Battle of the Brews Saturday in SouthEnd: D9 Brewing picked up $1,000 and the title belt for first place. Second place went to Heist Brewery and third went to Ass Clown.