What The Government Shutdown Means For Food

It’s no secret that the government shutdown has shaken things up quite a bit over the last week or more, and many might be surprised to hear that the implications of this shutdown stretch all the way into your kitchen. You guessed it – we’re talking about trouble for the food industry.

A recent Salmonella outbreak in chicken has sickened more than 300 people across at least 18 states and, unfortunately, a “skeletal staff”at the CDC is making it slow and arduous to identify the cause and severity of the outbreak. Without the staff necessary to run appropriate tests, our ability to prepare for and warn consumers about major health threats is reduced drastically.

Imported Seafood

With 45% of the FDA’s workers furloughed, the majority of inspections on imported foods including seafood, produce and packaged foods have been suspended. While the FDA normally inspects only about 1-2% of our country’s current import shipments, which is estimated at 12 million per year, with the government shutdown this goes down to nearly 0% and imports won’t be turned away because they won’t be looked at. If you’re interested in what some of those rejected imports are all about click here to see one described as “FILTHY.

So what can you do to protect your family from unsafe foods?

One great way to protect yourself is to avoid “The Ten Riskiest Foods” regulated by the FDA which includes favorites like cheese, tomatoes and some seafood items. Roughly 90% of all shrimp consumed in America is imported from other countries, most of which being Southeast Asian countries that rely heavily on antibiotics and have a less than perfect track record with the FDA. Opt for domestic seafood like those delivered by Passanante’s Home Food Services which are wild caught from the Atlantic or Pacific and exclusive to the U.S. or Canada.

At Passanante’s we are more committed than ever to the quality and safety of our foods. If we wouldn’t put it on our own dinner table, we wouldn’t consider delivering it to your door. If you would like to schedule a time to talk with one of our sales reps about our home food delivery service feel free to give us a call at 1-800-772-7786.

Recipe: Heavenly Tilapia

This crazy quick recipe for Heavenly Tilapia, aka Tilapia Parmesan, is sure to become one  of your go-to dinner options when you’re in a rush. Pop these filets in the broiler while you mix up a crunchy salad and simple pasta — this meal is ready in 15! Passanante’s Home Food Service has been supplying our customer with a huge selection of delicious and wholesome foods since 1916. Trust us to deliver tons of healthy, hormone-free meats and organic veggies to your family. Give us a call at 1-800-772-7786 today to schedule an appointment.

What You Need to Make Heavenly Tilapia:

  • 2lbs skinned tilapia filets
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup softened margarine
  • dash of hot pepper sauce (tabasco)
  • 3 tbs. mayonnaise
  • 3 tbs. chopped green onions (can use more)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

How To Make It:

  1. Place filets in a single layer on a well greased baking platter (Pyrex works great)
  2. Brush fish with the lemon juice
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl
  4. Broil filets about 4 inches from heat source for 4-6 minutes or until they flake easily when tested with a fork
  5. Remove from oven and spread with cheese mixture
  6. Broil 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

(makes 6 servings)

Introducing “Tuna Scrape”

Raw Tuna

In the wake of the recent Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 141 individuals, federal public health officials were able to determine the culprit – imported Tuna Scrape. You heard right, the latest food to be scrutinized in the media comes from the seafood industry and can be found in sushi rolls around the world.  Nakaochi Scrape, better known as Tuna Scrape, is the ground backmeat scraped from the bones of the fish. This most recent Salmonella outbreak led to the recall of some 58,828 pounds of the tuna product imported from India.

With all of the recent press surrounding Pink Slime, a beef product produced by collecting scrap meat from the cow carcass, separating meat from fat, grinding up the meat and connective tissues and finally treating the end result with ammonia, many people are questioning – is Tuna Scrape the new Pink Slime?

Depending on whom you ask, the answer is a resounding “no.” Many experts believe the comparisons between Pink Slime and Tuna Scrape are unfounded, as the fish product is not treated with ammonia or other harsh chemicals. The location of the meat on the fish simply requires manual removal unlike the more substantial filet cuts we are accustomed to purchasing for consumption.

As quoted in “What’s the Deal With Tuna Scrape” by Gretchen Goetz of Food Safety News,

“Just because it’s not part of the filet doesn’t mean back scrape is an inherently “worse” part of the fish, says Harry Yoshimura, owner of Mutual Fish Company, Inc., “Usually meat around the bone tastes very, very good,” he says. “And when you get a good fish, it’s really terrific.”

To concur with Yoshimura, as far as the FDA is concerned, Tuna Scrape does not pose any more of a health risk than consumption any other raw fish. The fact that this meat is collected from the backbone does not in any way impact the safety or nutrition of the meat.

The risks associated with your run-of-the-mill Tuna Scrape are the same risks you take every time you eat Sushi at your favorite restaurant. The real risk as far as any studies can hint at, is in eating imported raw meats including Tuna Scrape, which make up ¾ of all seafood in the United States… sounds inticing doesn’t it?

Who wants to worry about the safety of the foods they’re preparing for their family and friends? The quality seafood delivered right to your door from Passanante’s Home Food Service exceeds all HACCP standards and is delicious! Choose safety, quality and convenience over the imported grocery store imitations. Trust Passanante’s to deliver only the best foods for your family.