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When you walk past those canned-food collection bins that are suddenly ubiquitous this time of year, have you ever wondered either how the foods got in the can or what you could do to turn those canned goods into an exciting meal?
First, some history. Up until the late 18th century, food preservation was largely limited to a few methods including sun drying, salting, smoking, freezing and pickling, none of which kept the food safe and edible long enough to reach Napoleon Bonaparte’s far-flung armies, according to Canned Food UK and other sources. Napoleon offered a prize to the person who could come up with a better way to preserve food, and eventually awarded it to Nicolas Appert, a confectioner who discovered that sealing food inside glass jars and exposing it to high heat kept it from spoiling. (read more…)
Made with organic ingredients. 100% organic. Gluten-free. Processed on equipment that processes tree nuts. May contain peanuts. All-natural.
The claims foodservice companies make about their products — based on FDA and USDA regulations or not — can be confusing at best, both for consumers and commercial foodservice operators.
As members of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative’s Nutritional Attribute Requirements Task Group, we at Compass Group and the other companies and dietitians involved know first-hand the confusion these claims and labels cause in the marketplace. Our main work involves assisting in the development of an online database for nutritional, allergen and other foodservice product information that restaurants and other foodservice operators as well as dietitians, nutritionists, purchasers and foodservice managers can use to research products, develop their menus and determine the nutritional and allergen content of their food. In GS1 Standards terms, we call this database the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). (read more…)
The world’s never going to be a totally safe place and sometimes there’s just no avoiding danger. That said, we still need to set high standards and hold producers accountable when it comes to the safety of our food supply.
This week, Bloomberg Businessweek ran a long and pretty scary story about problems with the current system of third-party audits of food producers. The U.S. had 37 fruit and vegetable recalls last year, some of which were at farms and food production facilities that, just days before, had been certified clean and safe, according to an August 2012 study titled “Audits and Inspections Are Never Enough.”
One of those was Jensen Farms in Colorado, whose tainted cantaloupes led to a listeria epidemic that killed 33 people last year and led to a 17-state recall that came not long after Jensen’s third-party auditor awarded the company a top safety certification that meant its melons could be sold at Wal-Mart Stores and Wegmans. (read more…)
As food allergies continue to become more prevalent, it may come as a surprise that there is still inconsistency among food manufacturers and restaurants regarding the way they address allergen labeling. In a session at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo titled “Food Allergy Nation and the Role of RDs,” Joe Baumert, an assistant professor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Junehee Kwon, an associate professor from Kansas State University, discussed the discrepancies often seen in food labeling and what foodservice professionals can do to assist consumers with food allergies.
Despite the increasing number of people with food allergies and intolerance, some media outlets continue to portray food allergies as less serious than they actually are, Baumert said. Stories that say parents are overreacting to their child’s peanut allergy or downplay the seriousness of diseases such as Celiac can perpetuate insensitivity toward people with food allergies and cause foodservice outlets to use less caution when it comes to making sure allergens are properly labeled and handled. (read more…)
The safety of the nation’s food supply has been an increasingly hot topic in recent years, and one that heats up further each time there’s an outbreak of E.coli, salmonella or another food-borne illness. Last year, researchers found that U.S. consumers are willing to pay more to increase their chances of avoiding getting sick, Occupational Health & Safety reported.
While it may seem like the ability to stave off a bad case of food poisoning might just be something most consumers consider priceless, the study actually found that consumers would be willing to pay about $1 more per person annually in exchange for a 10% decrease in the likelihood that the burger they buy in the grocery store and cook at home will make them sick, said co-author and Ohio State University professor Brian Roe. Unlike Department of Agriculture estimates that seek to calculate the total cost of getting sick from pathogens in food, the study sought to determine how much more people would pay for meat that’s treated and perceived as safer. (read more…)