Plastic anyone? Yeah, we didn’t think so. No one wants to take a bite of their sandwich and choke on a piece of plastic, yet that’s exactly what’s happening to people across the country.
Last week, Kraft issued an expanded recall its Kraft Singles American cheese slices because they pose a choking hazard. Here’s the scoop on the situation and some suggestions for avoiding such hazards in the future.
The skinny on Kraft Singles
On September 3, 2015, the Kraft Heinz Company issued a press release announcing an expansion of the voluntary recall of individually wrapped American cheese slices. According to the company, a thin strip of the plastic can remain on the cheese slice, posing a choking hazard. Kraft initially issued a recall of 36,000 cases on July 31, 2015, but has since expanded the recall to include another 335,000 cases, in light of customer complaints about the nuisance packaging.
The recalled Kraft Singles American and Kraft Singles White American cheese include one-, three-, and four-pound packages with manufacturing codes of S54 or S55. Packages printed with “best when used by” dates ranging from 12 DEC 15 to 2 MAR 16 are included in the recall.
The Kraft Heinz Company states that customers should not eat any recalled items. They should instead return them to the store from which they were purchased and request a refund. If your family eats Kraft Singles, you might want to check the deli drawer in your fridge just in case.
What to eat instead
Want to avoid cheese slices that could end up killing you? We recommend trading plastic-wrapped processed cheese products for organic cheese. If you eat dairy products, organic cheese offers a wealth of nutrients that aren’t present in processed varieties.
People have been making and eating cheese for thousands of years, and for good reason. Cheese acts as a way to preserve milk for later consumption, and in its natural state presents a great source of high-quality amino acids and protein. Cheese also provides us with health-boosting omega-3 fats, and vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B2 and B12.
Processed cheese, like Kraft Singles, has been modified in such a way that the cheese loses the majority of its nutritional value. While natural cheese is a fermented dairy product with minimal ingredients, processed cheese is pasteurized and includes ingredients like sodium phosphate, sodium citrate or coloring agents. As a good rule of thumb, any cheese that doesn’t require refrigeration is one to avoid.
We find that just about any grocery store with an organic or natural foods section carries a couple of varieties of organic cheese slices, or consider buying cheese produced by local farmers. It’s a great way to avoid both treacherous plastic bits and the chemicals and additives in most commercial sandwich slices on the market.
Tell us about your favorite organic cheese. How do you like to eat it?
– The Alternative Daily