Is Raw Food Inherently Safe?

Here’s a “name-calling,” “evidence-posting” attempt to inform you that raw foods aren’t always safe, and minimally processed foods aren’t either.

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To the best of my knowledge, these bars are being co-manufactured – meaning the brand owner, is hiring a third-party to make them, which in this case is because of the size and scale of the customer base.

I’m not 100% certain who is manufacturing them, but sometime ago, it was a really reputable firm. That said, anyone can have a bad production day, but lately I’m seeing too many examples like these and I’ve been tempted to document this previously and talked myself out of it…

The bars were originally labeled as “raw,” and I loved them back in the early days.  Unfortunately, they were very well received and lots of people loved them and they found their way into national chain stores.  With the trappings of success, either the production demands or the requirements of the corporate customers brought an end to that “raw” labeling.  (That’s my theory, not a description of known facts.)  Since we know there’s something involved in processing that means they’re no longer “raw,” I’m really frustrated to see the packages inflated like this.  In case you wondered, they’re not pressurized by nitrogen…this is naturally occurring CO2, which is coming from dying microorganisms.  Prior to mass-production, I never saw this.  Now that they sell them everywhere, it’s all too common.

Raw foods aren’t a guaranteed safe-food.  Minimal processing doesn’t guarantee an improvement over good manufacturing practices (the raw ones were never inflated).  Ultra-processed foods can still make you sick.  The conclusions and take-aways are this: don’t buy bulging cans, inflated packages, etc. because those microorganisms might be pathogens that can make you sick, and there’s no substitute for hygienic practices including hand-washing, manufacturing sanitation, and attention to detail.

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DrDIY is a food-safety professional with an extensive sanitation background within the food & beverage manufacturing industry. He consults on food-safety - from hygienic-design to integrated pest-management through microbiology support, quality improvement audits, total-process management philosophy, CIP optimization, and lean-six-sigma project participation.

Overcoming an extended disability through a complete overhaul of diet and nutrition, DrDIY embraced traditional naturopathy and combined the wisdom of nature with the principles of modern sanitation to help build more sustainable systems within the food industry. He continues to study and practice holistic nutrition, food-safety, detoxification, and self-improvement and this site represents personal experience and opinion - and does not reflect the position of any employer past or present.

His posts have always been a 'stream of consciousness' montage with occasional ventures into Christology and pop culture, just to keep things interesting.

Please take note: Great conversation involves many ingredients - including disagreement or healthy-conflict. I may delete comments that are illegal, offensive or off-topic, obscene, fraudulent or misleading, deceptive or property of others. Respectfully articulated differing perspectives are always welcome.