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Auntie Anne's giving out free pretzels today to celebrate 30th birthday

In the mood for a yummy snack? You’re in luck, because Auntie Anne’s is giving away free pretzels to commemorate its 30th birthday.

The company announced the news this week, revealing that the big giveaway will happen Saturday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at participating locations.

Last month, the brand promised to hand out the baked treat for no charge if 1 million people RSVP’d online for its “birthday party.” Within just a few days, it reached its goal.

Now today, customers can munch on one original or cinnamon sugar pretzel during the allotted time. They can also follow and share the fun using the hashtag #HBDAuntieAnnes. 

McDonald’s puts Disney back into Happy Meals

Remember when you were a kid and you’d get the latest Disney movie memorabilia in your Happy Meal?

The memory will now be back for the latest generation of Disney fans. 

This week, McDonald’s and the Walt Disney Company announced that they’re partnering once again to bring the magic back to the Happy Meal.

>> Read more trending news 

The deal will put toys and promotions from Walt Disney animated and live action movies, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms back in the meals, according to a McDonald’s press release.

>>McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is back with an app

It will start with “Incredibles 2” which will be released on June 15, and continue with “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2” which will hit theaters in November.

In 2006, Disney had started linking the brand and characters with “more nutritionally balanced foods” and meals that promoted fruits, vegetables and whole grains while at the same time limiting calories, saturated fats, sugar and sodium levels, according to McDonald’s company officials.

Recently, McDonald’s announced adjustments in its products and now meets the guidelines including removal of artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets and making sure it’s serving chicken not treated with antibiotics.

>>No more cheeseburgers? McDonald’s to change classic Happy Meals

By June, all Happy Meals offered on the menus will meet Disney’s nutritional guidelines, McDonald’s company officials said.

Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

Do you love sipping teaBeware of the fruity flavors, because they could be bad for your teeth, according to a new report. 

>> On AJC.com: Drink up: Black tea helps you lose weight with gut bacteria

Researchers from King's College London Dental Institute recently conducted a study, published in British Dental Journal, to determine how certain foods and drinks can affect tooth wear. 

To do so, researchers examined a previous study that compared the diet of 300 people with severe erosive tooth wear with the diet of 300 people with healthy teeth.

>> Read more trending news 

After analyzing the results, they found that eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks, especially between meals, increased teeth erosion risk.

In fact, those who consumed acidic drinks, such as sodas, lemon water and hot flavored teas, twice a day were more than 11 times more likely to develop moderate or severe tooth erosion.

>> On AJC.com: The truth about green tea

Furthermore, scientists discovered that drinking hot beverages and sipping or holding acidic liquids in your mouth before swallowing can increase your chances, too.

While they noted some groups of people, such as wine tasters, are accustomed to swishing liquor around, the habit can still be dangerous. 

“It is well known that an acidic diet is associated with erosive tooth wear, however our study has shown the impact of the way in which acidic food and drinks are consumed,” coauthor Saoirse O’Toole said in a statement

>> On AJC.com: Cancer risk linked to hot tea among smokers, drinkers

Now analysts hope to continue their investigations to create preventative measures to combat the issue. In the meantime, they recommend a change in diet to delay teeth damage. 

“With the prevalence of erosive tooth wear increasing, it is vitally important that we address this preventable aspect of erosive tooth wear,” O’Toole said. “While behaviour change can be difficult to achieve, specific, targeted behavioural interventions may prove successful.”

Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees

If you like flavored coffee and Girl Scout Cookies, you might be in luck.

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that by Monday, Feb. 26, it will be selling three new flavored coffees inspired by Girl Scout Cookies.

>> Read more trending news 

Those flavors include Thin Mints, Coconut Caramel and Peanut Butter Cookie. These flavors will not just be limited to standard coffees.

Dunkin’ Donuts said in a Friday press release that iced and hot coffee, lattes, macchiatos, frozen coffee and frozen chocolate can all have Girl Scout Cookie flavors.

People on social media seem pretty excited about the news.

You’ll have to see for yourself if a Dunkin’ Donuts near you will be participating. If so, the coffees will be around through May.

Valentine's Day 2018: 6 ways to eat for free or cheap

From flowers to a gift to dinner out, Valentine's Day can be an expensive holiday.

>> White Castle will offer romantic Valentine’s Day package, reservations again

To help you save some money, these restaurants are offering some cheap or free Valentine's Day meals.

Hooters

If you're without a significant other this Valentine's Day – or even if you've found a new sweetie and want to score some free wings – participating Hooters locations will help you shred your ex. Shred online and print a coupon to take to the restaurant or bring in a photo of your former love and let Hooters shred it. In return, you can buy 10 boneless wings and get 10 free – and maybe a bit of catharsis. Learn more at www.hooters.com.

Fogo de Chão

If you make a reservation and dine at a participating Fogo's location anytime from Feb. 10 through Feb. 17, you'll be able to save on a return visit. You'll receive a complimentary churrasco dining card that you can use next time you're in the restaurant. (As is usually the case, "certain restrictions apply.") Learn more at http://fogodechao.com. 

Qdoba Mexican Eats

Take advantage of the restaurant's "Qdoba for a Kiss" promotion, and you'll be able to buy one entrée and get one free at participating restaurants on Feb. 14. Bring your significant other to kiss, smooch a photo of your favorite celebrity on your cellphone or even pucker up to a burrito – anything goes! 

On top of that sweet deal, from Feb. 6-28, if you share a kissing photo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #QdobaForAKiss, Qdoba will donate $1 to No Kid HungryFor more information, visit www.qdoba.com.

Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse offers a Valentine's Day meal for two at participating restaurants from Feb. 12-16. For a special price (which varies by location), a couple can share a Bloomin' Onion, choose two entrees (center cut sirloin, grilled salmon or Alice Springs chicken), two sides, two salads and cheesecake for dessert. Learn more at www.outback.com.

California Pizza Kitchen

Enjoy a "Sweet Deal for Two" at participating California Pizza Kitchen locations from Feb. 14 to 18, and you'll get an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert from their special menu for $35. Choose from among three appetizers, 10 entrees or four desserts. As a further incentive, if you tag your sweetie or best friend in California Pizza Kitchen's Facebook post with the hashtag #CPKgiveaway, you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card. Learn more at www.cpk.com.

Waffle House 

Waffle House probably isn't the restaurant you think of when you're picturing a candlelit dinner with cloth napkins and tablecloths, but that's just what they're doing on Valentine's Day. You can enjoy alcohol-free champagne as the lights are dimmed, and choose from breakfast favorites or special offerings like ribeye and eggs. Many locations are participating, so check for your location's phone number and contact person for reservationsLearn more at ww.wafflehouse.com.

>> Read more trending news 

>> Table for two: Waffle House offers romantic dinner for Valentine's Day

Love chocolate? Cadbury is hiring 4 taste testers

If you love chocolate -- really love chocolate -- a job listing by Cadbury owner Mondelēz International looks like a sweet deal.

>> Read more trending news

The company is looking for four people as taste testers for its latest chocolate products, Birmingham Live reported.

Mondelēz International is seeking candidates to sample Cadbury, along with products like Oreo. Also, the taste testers will pass judgment on cocoa drinks, Birmingham Live reported.

This is not a job that takes up 40 hours. Testers will spend eight hours a week sampling chocolate so they do not suffer “palate fatigue.”

Last year, Mondelēz International hired one taste tester after receiving 6,000 applications, Birmingham Live reported.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 16. For details, visit the Mondelēz International website.

Applebee’s offering $1 Bahama Mamas all February

Applebee’s is kicking off February by offering $1 Bahama Mamas all month.

The restaurant chain said in a Thursday news release that the drink, called the Dollarmama, will be available from open to close at participating locations.

>> Read more trending news 

According to Applebee’s, the drink is made with white rum and a mix of lime juice, pineapple juice and orange juice, with hints of coconut and cherry flavors.

“We’re proud to introduce our own unique twist on the popular Bahama Mama drink to our guests,” Patrick Kirk, vice president of beverage innovation at Applebee’s said in a statement. “We know Applebee’s fans are going to love the tropical fruit flavors of the new recipe we created just for the Dollarmama. For $1 you can experience the perfect winter getaway in a glass.”

Last year, Applebee’s offered its spins on a margarita for $1 throughout October and a Long Island Iced Tea for $1 throughout December. It appears the chain is offering a similar $1 drink deal every other month, so fans could expect another one in April.

Find out which locations are participating in the Dollarmama offer at Applebees.com.

Panera Bread recalls cream cheese products over listeria fears

Panera Bread has issued a recall of all cream cheese products from its U.S. bakery cafes over fears of listeria contamination.

The chain said the recall was out of "an abundance of caution" after samples of one product from a single production day showed positive for listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Exposure to the bacteria can cause fever and diarrhea, with particularly dangerous symptoms for pregnant women and unborn children. 

>> Read more trending news 

Products recalled have an expiration date on or before April 2, 2018. 

The recall includes all 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products

The associated facility stopped production, as well. 

According to the CDC, about 1,600 people become infected with listeria each year, killing about 260. 

If you have these products, discard them immediately and contact Panera Bread Customer Service at 1-855-6-PANERA from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST Monday through Sunday or visit panera.custhelp.com for a full refund.

Cheesecake Factory's famous brown bread is headed to grocery stores

Cheesecake Factory fans rejoice! Starting this week, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the restaurant’s staples in the comfort of your own home.

The chain has announced that it’s rolling out its popular brown bread to grocery stores nationwide. The bread will be available to customers for purchase in three different forms: an eight-pack of heat-and-serve dinner rolls, a two-pack with mini baguettes or pre-sliced sandwich loaves. 

>> Read more trending news 

The rolls and baguettes have a suggested price of $3.49, while the sandwich loaves are listed for $4.49.

The bread made from whole wheat flour is similar in calorie count to bread from other brands, coming in at just 110 calories per dinner roll and 80 calories per loaf slice.

People who have tried it reportedly have confirmed that it’s just as soft, chewy and slightly sweet as it is when you visit the Cheesecake Factory – just heat up the rolls or baguettes in the oven for five minutes at 350 degrees. Once they’re done, top them with butter or your favorite spread to add flavor.

The brown bread is part of the restaurant’s Cheesecake Factory at Home line, which includes several other products — cheesecake mix, coffee creamer and chocolates — that are available at grocery stores.

Chris Pratt loved and nuzzled his sheep. Then he ate him.

The sheep on actor Chris Pratt’s farm had a glorious life on his way to the menu.

“He was groomed and shorn, his hooves medicated, de-wormed, no antibiotics necessary,” Pratt, who has filmed movies including “Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2” and “Passengers” in Atlanta, said in a lengthy Instagram post. “Surrounded by laughing loving humans, including children to whom they provided such joy. Nuzzled, pet and loved every day.”

>> Read more trending news 

The sheep’s transition to his “final destination” as Pratt put it, was trauma-free: “Just a touch of a USDA certified wand to his head and he goes to sleep. The other sheep don’t even notice. It’s like unplugging a TV.”

Related: What time Chris Pratt showed up at a Fayette Kiwanis Club festival

The post has sparked impassioned responses from people who either applaud Pratt’s thoughtful approach to farm-to-table living or are totally freaked out that he plans to eat a creature he described in such tender terms.

“This absolute (expletive) literally just compared killing another sentient being to unplugging a TV,” one commenter posted. “You cannot justify the needless killing or unnaturally ending the life of an animal simply by saying ‘they had a good life.'”

Said another: “This is death. This is not food.”

A supporter posted, “It’s pathetic that people are commenting on here about how ‘terrible’ this is but it’s not affecting you! This is an animal from Chris’ farm and as a farm animal the cycle is a happy life then being used for consumption.”

Then a bunch of people started arguing over whether it’s healthier to eat meat or to consume only a vegetarian or vegan diet. Finally one guy introduced some levity by posting: “Poor Rocket!”

Here’s a previously posted photo; it’s not clear if the sheep posing for the camera is the one now on the dinner table.

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