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All We are Saying is...Give Moldy Food a Chance?

By — One of many Nutrition blogs on

Welcome back to FitChatter - your weekly source for the latest news in diet and exercise! This week in the news:

Do you believe in second chances?

How about for moldy food?

Unfortunately, many food manufacturers do. It's called "reconditioning," and I'm warning you, this could get a little gross.

Last month, Washington school lunch supplier Snokist came under fire from the FDA for repackaging moldy applesauce into canned goods and fruit cups, causing illness in nine children. A disgusting enough event on its own, to be sure. But this week, it has come to light that this "reconditioning" isn't so much an isolated incident as it is standard industry practice - and it's legal.

All in the name of profit, many companies reuse defective food items. In some cases - such as the grinding up of misshapen pasta to form semolina, or even the mixing of defective blueberry ice cream with chocolate ice cream - it's not really a big deal. But in other cases, the resulting product, though edible, is not necessarily appetizing or safe. Usually the offending portion is cut off and the rest of the product is heat treated. This, in theory, renders it safe.

The problem? In many cases, such as with moldy food, the contamination can be so extensive that it's nearly impossible to make sure that all the toxins are removed. That's why the FDA is so up in arms about Snokist.

Personally, even if I could have absolute assurance that all the mold had been removed, I still wouldn't want to eat it, because, well...moldy applesauce.

But even in food that hasn't been reconditioned, the FDA has some standards that might make you lose your appetite. The Daily Mail recently reported that they allow up to:

Though it is undeniably gross, it is understandable that the FDA can't have a zero tolerance policy; that would be impossible to maintain, and most of these contaminants are not harmful to humans. But be that as it we really want to be eating this stuff?

What do you think? Should the FDA tighten up its regulations? Sound off in the comments!


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