For those of you who’ve fed babies I’m sure that in the beginning you had to coax the child to eat. I remember the airplane method where the spoon zooms around in the air all the while making a game of it with my kids telling them to “open wide here comes the airplane”.
According to a report from MSNBC, a Washington state fruit processor, Snokist, who supplies our kid’s lunch at school and a baby food maker, has been put on notice by the Food and Drug Administration. An FDA warning letter to the company concerns “reconditioned for human consumption” moldy applesauce and fruit puree which is repackaged and contaminated with several kinds of potentially dangerous multi-colored molds.
WHAT? Multi-colored molds, reconditioned for human consumption and repackaged? We’re talking about applesauce here that most kids consume on a daily basis. Babies eat this stuff! In all of my born days, I don’t think that I’ve heard anything so outrageous.
Evidently, the company, Snokist, has been taken to task several times about the moldy applesauce. FDA’s letter identified at least eight times last year that the company “reprocessed” the moldy applesauce into canned products for human consumption.
To add insult to injury, FDA identified problems during an inspection in June where large laminated bags of fruit products which were supposed to be sealed and sterile were instead broken open and “tainted with white, brown blue, blue-green and black mold. Some bags were bloated and one had a strong fermented odor.”
The company recalled products, 3,300 cases of canned applesauce to be exact, in May, and was blamed for illnesses of nine North Carolina school children after they got sick from eating the applesauce at school. The recall was blamed on faulty seals on the cans.
Of course there are always two sides to a story and out of “fairness” I have to let Snokist have its say. The company admitted that they “rework” some moldy food for future use. It claims that “if rework occurs” the thermal process used is “more than adequate to make the product commercially sterile”.
Snokist’s website says it’s a grower owned cooperative. I don’t think that the problems the company faces are a result of the fruit grown on the farm rather the problems appear to be occuring in the processing methods used and the decision to “rework” spoiled fruit.
I’m stymied here folks and think that I must be missing something. FDA is well aware of an “applesauce may be dangerous to your health” situation, the company has recalled product after making kids sick at school, an inspection revealed many violations of food safety, and yet……… Snokist got a “warning” letter in October saying that the company reprocesses moldy applesauce product and “the method is not effective against all toxic metabolites.” Oh, and by the way, “several foodborne molds may be hazardous to human health.”
Something else I learned is that FDA regulations allow companies to recondition” food.
There are all of these “re” words which are used to confuse people. I wonder if labeling regulations require the words reworked food, reconditioned food, and reprocessed food? Furthermore, all of these words make me think that the product is not worth the fancy repackaging that it’s in.
Our nation’s food is in serious trouble. We are given food to eat which most people wouldn’t feed to their own family if they only knew and I wonder if Snokist officials feed their product to their children. We can’t rely on FDA regulations to ensure that our food supply is safe. We can’t rely on food labels to ensure that the products we eat are actually what the label says it is.
The question comes to mind – What’s a mother to do? The word REject also comes to mind!