How to Really Diagnose Food Allergies: The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases released clinical guidelines for diagnosing food allergies that contend that skin or blood testing is not enough to be conclusive. Instead, they say a correct diagnosis comes from a combo of analyzing medical history, a skin-prick test, and, to be really certain, an “oral food challenge” where a patient is given the suspect food under medical supervision. via Wall Street Journal

Gyllenhaal Drinking the Alice Waters Kool-Aid?: Grub Street San Francisco reports that actor Jake Gyllenhaal has become an “ambassador” for Alice Waters’s Edible Schoolyard project. via Grub Street San Francisco

Cookbooks Get On the Tech Horse: Ten Speed Press and Clarkson Potter, both part of the Crown publishing umbrella, announced the release of 88 of their cookbooks in color, full-photo e-book formats for readers like the iPad and Nookcolor. They will be phasing in simultaneous e-book and print releases for their titles, with all titles being available in both formats starting in summer 2011. via Publishers Weekly

Big Stink Over Small Cheese: The FDA investigates small cheesemakers for stuff like listeria but doesn’t really find much. via Grist

A Good Read: SFoodie‘s story about Brandon Lee, the gay porn star–turned–private chef.

Deaths, Firings, Recalls, and Other Endings:

• An analysis of 10 random butter brands revealed nine sticks contained small amounts of a flame-retardant chemical called PBDE, with one of the sticks having “135 times” the level of the others. The chemical was from the wrapper.

• 72,000 pounds of Bumble Bee chicken salad was recalled for having plastic bits in it.

Elaine Kaufman of NY star-spotting restaurant Elaine’s dies.

Debuts, Openings, and Other Beginnings:

• 7-Elevens in New York and Philly are now selling vegan food options like lo mein and artichoke spinach noodles.

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