Spoiled food products UNFIT for human consumption are getting reprocessed and resold across the US

Spoiled food products UNFIT for human consumption are getting reprocessed and resold across the US By Ramon Tomey for News Target

Expired food is getting reprocessed, repackaged, relabeled and resold to institutions, discount retailers and restaurants across the United States. Food that is otherwise unfit for human consumption is being reprocessed to become edible.

“With scant regulations in place for repurposed food and institutional purchasing specifications silent, food liquidators underbid their competitors and win contracts nearly every time,” wrote CovertAction Magazine‘s Lauren Smith. “In the secondary food market, you get what you pay for, and never had the saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’ been more appropriate.”

According to Smith, “no matter how much hot sauce or gravy is added as camouflage, spoiled food products are unfit for human consumption and cause food-borne illness.”

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She said “the reselling of expired food is a black market in broad daylight,” citing several examples of the practice. According to Smith, one example of expired food being reprocessed for human consumption is turning expired milk and eggs into dehydrated or powdered products.

The correspondent for CovertAction Magazine also mentioned two companies that engage in the business of re-processing otherwise expired food items – Lewisco Holdings and Natural Choice Foods (NCF).

On its website, Lewisco touted how it can take expired food “and make it treasure” thanks to its role as a buyer of expired food inventory. “We purchase these goods and then distribute them to discrete buyers throughout the continental U.S.,” the company added. Lewisco named correctional facilities and schools as among the buyers of its products.

Meanwhile, NCF touted its alleged certifications from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for repacking food products. It bragged of “trained staff” being able to repack “over one million pounds of food per month.” However, spokespersons for the two government agencies denied the existence of any certifications.

“We buy overstock food items from food companies all across the country,” stated NCF’s website. “We buy it, warehouse it safely, repack it for food service or retail and resell it to food service programs at colleges, nursing homes, correctional facilities and restaurants.” (Related: USDA recommends eating months-old food, using FoodKeeper app to reduce food waste.)

Michigan prison staff member fired for refusing to serve expired food

“Expired food products travel a conga line until the liquidator finds a buyer so desperate, inept or corrupt that it will purchase anything,” Smith wrote.

She elaborated that food rejected by restaurants and discount stores can be sold to schools. Those rejected by schools, meanwhile, can be sold to hospitals and prisons. If even prisons themselves reject the expired food, it is then sold to the military.

Smith also touched on the story of Steve Pine, a food handler at the Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan. Officials at the prison terminated Pine in August 2017 after he refused to serve rotten potatoes to inmates.

“It was the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in my life,” Pine told the Detroit Free Press. “They had about 100 bags of rotten potatoes. You could smell them, [and] they had black and green mold all over them.”

A corrections officer on duty agreed with Pine, but was overruled by a supervisor for Trinity Services Group, the company in charge of feeding prisoners at Kinross. When the staff member refused orders to have the inmates pick through the potatoes to find ones that could still be served, Trinity supervisors accused him of inciting a riot.

“They told me I was trying to start a riot,” Pine remarked. “I said: ‘No, you’re serving rotten potatoes. That’s going to get to the yard.’”

He justified his decision not to serve rotten potatoes to inmates by explaining that such an action leads to unrest within the prison system. Back in September 2016, inmates barricaded themselves in their housing areas, smashed windows and fixtures and set fires to protest the quality and quantity of food they were eating. The incident cost the Great Lakes State $900,000, according to the Free Press.

Learn More – News Target

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