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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 11-02-2007, 04:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by willkat98 View Post
You want some free frozen pizza coupons?

I know a guy

Sure send 'em my way...I never quit drinking the tap water in Milwaukee during the crypto scare of 1993. What doesn't kill ya makes you stronger!
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Unread 11-03-2007, 11:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by backyardchef View Post
Bill--

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I think, in this case, the pizza maker isn't really the problem, but the people that made the pepperoni topping. Meat packers, produce packagers, etc...are being consolidated and that makes it easier for product to be contaminated along the way. One bad apple.....I don't think that can be so easily dismissed. I haven't heard anything to convince me otherwise-- meaning from other sources, not you Bill.

That being said, the major supermarket brand end users and packagers have much more of an incentive to be careful and are carefully regulated, as far as I know. They have much more at stake. Hormel, Sara Lee or Jeno's (or whoever may at this point own them) are very different from the people way on down the totem pole that are breaking down beef carcasses and pulling the spinach in the field.....Often, from what we've been seeing, that's where the problems really start. Once contaminated product enters the factory, there isn't much of anything Jeno's or whoever can do.
I agree Mark.

Having worked in a ketchup factory (and visited tomato and green bean canning plants a few Heinze plants too)for about 4 years I can speak from experience. The problems many times start with the harvesting of the ingredients, not necessarily with the production plants. The ketchup factory I worked at was a mass producer and we put 36 different labels on the same exact ketchup. The more mechanized the harvesting becomes the less selectivity there is and therefore more undesirable produce makes it through to the production plant. The general public most likely has no idea that there is actually an "acceptable" amount of mold for ketchup! This is because the mechanized picking of the tomatoes can't sort out the ones with bottom rot. The test for the mold is only done AFTER the ketchup has been cooked. I have seen batches that were over the threshold of acceptable mold so we split the 1500 gallon batch into 2 tanks and mixed in half a batch that we knew was under the threshold so we could effectively dilute the mold and salvage the batch.

The consolidation and centralization of the food products into the so called "mega-farms" is a MASSIVE train wreck waiting to happen in my opinion. This type of practice is exactly why we are seeing such astronomical numbers of products being recalled.

The "one bad apple" that you mentioned above Mark hits the nail on the head. One or two cows in a mega farm with Mad Cow can effectively wipe out a large portion of the beef supply in short order and when you consider how many different products that beef from the mega farm is used in it can have exponential effects on MANY different food products. Kind of like a spider web effect. Same with chickens and Bird Flu. We saw that recently. How may MILLIONS of chickens were disposed of because of these practices?

They could learn a lot from nature. Animals that are gregarious by nature have a similar problem. Ducks and Geese being two that come to mind when they are in their nesting grounds in Canada's pot hole region. It is a common problem that if a particular disease ( Leucocytozoonosis being a particularly nasty one) effects a few individuals that the entire flock is in danger and sometimes many thousands die from one small disease out break. Much the same principle for mega-farms.

There's a lot to be said of the safety and quality of locally raised produce and livestock on small family farms.

I try to buy this way if possible.

Just my .02 cents .......well...I guess it stretched into about .75 cents.....sorry
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Unread 11-04-2007, 04:54 PM   #18
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The reason I jumped in also, is I worked in a candy factory doing maintenance for a while. They would do a "light" cleaning once per shift, they were given 15 minutes at the end of the shift.... WOW, what can really be done in that amount of time....

Then about once a month, only because the crud was so think and the machines were so gummed up, they would do a thorough cleaning and scrub down....

My brother works at a citrus plant in FL. It has downsized so much in the last couple of years, and his pay has been cut as well. You should hear some of his stories about cleaning there....... you wouldn't want any more orange juice ever again......

Each company is different, and I am sure there a few good ones out there, but the few bad ones make a bad impression on them all....

Maybe some of these recalls are really a farce, just to drive the price up.... you is to say, that it isn't for sure. Recall it, repackage it and sell it again under a different name.... and if they do dump it, there is a shortage, and just another excuse to have to charge more.... supply and demand. Just my $0.02 worth on that one....

Bill
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