Fail: Frozen food trucks in Taiwan

The Consumer Protection Committee (CPC) under the Executive Yuan said yesterday that 73 percent of frozen food trucks failed to meet standards based on the result of random inspections of logistics companies.

taiwan-food-11This situation was first discovered in July, when the temperature in one frozen food truck reached 33 degrees Celsius, which is grossly in violation of food safety laws. Therefore, the CPC decided to cooperate with local health and transportation authorities to inspect additional logistics companies.

The CPC inspected 35 companies and 80 vehicles including 48 frozen food trucks. The results revealed 35 out of 48 frozen food trucks did not keep sufficiently low temperatures during transportation.

300 sick from pesticide in frozen food in Japan

More than 300 people across Japan have fallen ill after eating frozen food products contaminated with pesticide.

Shoppers have reported vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms of food poisoning after eating food produced at a plant in Gunma, north of Tokyo, according to surveys carried Maruha Nichiroout by the Asahi Shimbun and other local media.

The plant, run by a subsidiary of the nation’s largest seafood firm Maruha Nichiro Holdings, is at the centre of the nation’s latest food poisoning scandal.

Japanese police have launched an investigation into the company after it revealed last month that some of its frozen food products were tainted with malathion, an agricultural chemical often used to kill aphid in corn and rice fields.

35 now sick from E. coli O121 linked to Farm Rich brand frozen food

A total of 35 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from 19 states.

82% of ill persons are 21 years of age or younger.

31% of ill persons have been hospitalized. Two ill people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been farm.rich_.frozen.pizza_-300x175reported.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state public health officials are interviewing ill persons to obtain information regarding foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before illness.

Information available to date indicates that consumption of Farm Rich brand frozen food products is one likely source of infection for the ill persons in this outbreak.

The outbreak strain of STEC O121 has been identified in two different Farm Rich brand frozen products collected from the homes of two ill persons in Texas and New York.

On April 4, 2013, Rich Products Corporation expanded its recall to include all Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan’s brand frozen food products produced at its Waycross, Georgia plant between July 1, 2011 and March 29, 2013 due to possible contamination with E. coli O121.

The recalled products had “Best By” dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014.

Consumers should check their freezers for recalled frozen products and not eat them.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are currently conducting investigations to determine the source of product contamination.

Frozen food gets ready for its image upgrade, and Michael Pollan did not invent cooking

I’ve always been a fan of the frozen food.

With four kids to feed, it was convenient, and if you want to eat local, get the fart-inducing cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli doug-tom-fieldand the always popular bok choy from the freezer section.

Chapman mentioned a road trip we took about a decade ago with the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (that’s in Canada) where we saw the amazing lengths farmers and processors go to keep frozen and canned product safe.

I remember walking into the IQF (individually quick frozen) unit that was freezing corn: it was cold.

Now, with its pulse on a changing nation, state-sponsored jazz, otherwise known as NPR (National Public Radio) is reporting the frozen food folks are tired of being left in the cold.

“What we call fresh in the supermarket is really better termed raw,” says Kristin Reimers, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition for ConAgra Foods. “A lot of times, those vegetables have been transported for days, and then sit. It could be a matter of weeks between when they’re picked and consumed.”

Frozen vegetables, she says, are “probably more nutrient-rich than many of the raw vegetables in the produce section.”

According to NPR, the frozen food industry just hired two big ad agencies for a $50 million campaign to convince us that frozen food is good.

ConAgra is one member of the new Frozen Food Roundtable, along with General Mills, Heinz, Kellogg and other big manufacturers. They have ordered up a campaign “designed to change the way consumers think and feel about frozen food by promoting positive messaging regarding the benefits and attributes of frozen food,” according to Ad Age.

Sure, but don’t make consumers sick with frozen  pot pies, and then blame consumers. Frozen and safe. It’s a slogan. Publish the data and market it.

And as noted by NPR, stay away from the meals – too much fat and salt. But I always have a bag of frozen berries, even though I grow my own, because farming is hard, and if someone had to rely on my skills jauce.jordan.nov.12for food they would be hungry. And a variety of veggies. Little kids love frozen corn and peas. Sorenne is four, but will still munch on the ones she doesn’t spill  on and into the couch.

Frozen and safe.

Oh, and Michael Pollan did not invent cooking with the family. See that pic of me and Sorenne on every blog post? I did that with all the girls, and the oldest is about to turn 26. Hanging out with the 23-year-old last month (that’s her, right, with her boyfriend who stole my hair style from a decade ago to apparently impress my daughter; nah, it’s not that, she thought I was a dork), we mainly talked – and did — cooking. For those in North America, the Pollan bit from Colbert last night starts about the 15 minute mark on the video at I’ll post the clip when it’s available.

Charles Birdseye, science, freezing, and the joys of frozen food

Frozen fruits, veggies and meat are a fabulous invention.

Clarence Birdseye is the man credited with inventing frozen food.

NPR reports that Mark Kurlansky, known for his histories on eclectic topics such as Salt and Cod, has written a new biography about Clarence Birdseye. He joins Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin to talk about the book, called Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man.

On Clarence Birdseye’s outsized curiosity:
"He was somebody who just wanted to know about everything. He wanted to know why people did things the way they did, and couldn’t they be done better. He was very interested in processes. He was very curious about nature. He had a nickname for a while — other kids called him ‘Bugs.’ He was interested in all these slimy little things."

On his time living in Newfoundland (that’s in Canada), the setting for his great inspiration:
"This was just really the wilds. There wasn’t fresh food, and so he became concerned about his wife and baby. He noticed that the Inuits would catch fish and they would freeze as soon as they were out of the water. And what he had discovered was that if you freeze very quickly, you don’t destroy the texture of food. It’s something salt makers knew for centuries — that in crystallization, the faster the crystals are formed, the smaller they are. And the problem with frozen food is that they were frozen barely at the freezing point, and they took days to freeze, and they get huge crystals and they just became mush."

On Birdseye’s entrepreneurial mindset:
"He set up a company in Gloucester, Mass., but he wasn’t so much interested in having a seafood company; he understood perfectly well that there wasn’t much of a market for it. What this company was to do was to develop machinery and ideas and patent them, and sell the patents to people with big money. … The decade before he was born, Bell invented the telephone and Edison the phonograph and the light bulb was invented, and [Birdseye] very much had that idea in his head, that that’s what you did — you came up with an idea and you started a company based on it."

On the source of Birdseye’s passion:
"One thing that was very clear about him was that, in his way, he was a real foodie. … He would go out to farms and talk to farmers about how they could make their processes and their product better suited for industry. Just the reverse of what food lovers think about today … [in] the locavore movement. He was trying to correct the locavore movement."

On Birdseye’s personality:
"He was a very garrulous, likable person and an absolutely brilliant salesman. When he was trying to get investors, he would send entire dinners of frozen food to their Manhattan apartments. He really had a confidence in this product that if people just tried it, they would love it."