Denver salumeria, painted into a bureaucratic corner, to close
I favor some government agencies. FEMA — now that “Brownie” is long gone– responded quickly in the wake of a horrific storm. The National Guard stands at the ready in case of emergency. The Federal Aviation Administration whose air traffic controllers keep planes sale in the skies are examples. Others sometimes need to be reined in — the Transportation Security Administration for one. The Food & Drug Administration for another. Its overzealous obsession for “protecting” the eating public has deprived us of unpasteurized milk (unless we have a share in a producing cow) and so on. Among the so-on’s are traditional, artisinal sausages and cured meat.
But rather than whining about generalities, I’ll sorrowfully share a report by Lori Midson from Westword’s “Cafe Society” that Il Mondo Vecchio, a revered Old World-style salumeria in Denver, is shutting down at the end of the month. Founder/partner Mark De Nittis said that the little plant never had any violations since it was established in 2008, the USDA’s ultimatum was either to add nitrates, nitrites or other preservative to their exemplary dry-aged meat products or pay for extensive and expensive testing for pathogens. This was unsustainable for Il Mondo Vecchio and unconscionable by the USDA. The losers, of course, are local foodies.
Here’s the way Il Mondo Vecchio’s own website describes itself:
“Our production plant is USDA, FSIS inspected. An inspector is onsite everyday, we are in operation. Our facility has a fully implemented Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program, along with Standard Sanitation Operation Procedures (SSOP), which detail the cleaning, sanitation, and monitoring of all the equipment and the interior/exterior of our facility. Our facility has a complete Food Safety/Quality Assurance program in place. We perform numerous food safety audits on a daily basis. Daily operations do not start until a complete pre-operational inspection of all facilities and equipment has been completed. We perform numerous Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to further ensure food safety. Our facility conducts ongoing Food Safety training, stressing Good Manufacturing Procedures as well cleaning and sanitation practices. We have an intense microbiological testing program in place on product contact surfaces, non-product surfaces, facility environments, as well finished products to ensure wholesome environments and food products for consumer safety. We maintain an allergen control plan and all labels are approved by USDA.”
Future plans include “meat-centric” culinary classes — and perhaps (and this is only my conjecture) some as yet unannounced project with his fiancée, super-chef Jenna Johansen. Stay tuned.