DailyDirt: Food Forensics For Fighting Fraud

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The global food supply chain generally delivers products that are safe to drink and eat, but every so often there are some stories about unscrupulous distributors who try to sell knockoff items that aren’t exactly what they say they are. The infamous 2008 scandal in China is probably the scariest example where melamine was added to infant formula to make it look like the milk had a higher protein content. Less dangerous tricks involve deceptive food labeling practices, and it can be extremely difficult to detect food fraud when it’s not so egregious. Here are just a few links on identifying authentic foods.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Food Forensics For Fighting Fraud”

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DB (profile) says:

You mentioned “Angus Beef” ™

That is purely a marketing name. There is an Angus breed, which came the Angus region, but that has little to do with the name. Pay the trademark holder money and you can use the name on just about any meat product.

Several contaminated hamburger recalls involved products with name such as “American Chef?s Selection Angus Beef Patties” and “Range Fed Angus Beef Burgers”.

The big 2007 hamburger recall resulted in a USDA investigation, and FOIA requests by the New York Times revealed what those products are. If there is any Angus breed beef in the burgers, it’s a coincidence. The ‘America’s Chef’ product come from at least four different facilities. It was mostly ‘retired’ dairy cattle, with fat from trimmings of better cuts and ammonia treated carcass scrapings (pink slime). It took weeks to track down where the various sources for a single batch of hamburger.

But back to the real point: if it says “Angus”, it’s probably the lowest grade meat product with a marketing spin.

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