Last night’s menu was enchiladas – quick and easy. My family loves them and I know everyone will leave the table with full tummies. On my weekly trudge through the grocery store, I had bought three packages of Mission tortillas. I noticed the packaging had changed. No big deal.
I opened the first package and assembled a few enchiladas. There was something new in the package – an “oxygen absorber.” It was a silica pouch type thing – like what you find when you buy a new pair of shoes or a purse. This is what the Mission packaging says.
Please don’t eat it.
I opened the second package. The stench was unbelievable. It reeked of chemicals. The oxygen absorber was stuck on top of the first tortilla. I lifted it off and found this.
It went all the way through the 10 tortillas. All. The. Way. Through.
Had the contents of the oxygen absorber leeched out? Was it something else in the package? No idea. But it was beyond revolting.
Then I opened the third package. Again, a rotten smell. The oxygen absorber hadn’t turned the tortillas black, but there was a brown substance on the inside of the package that had turned the edge of the tortillas brown and grey and crusty.
I called Mission. The customer service representative was very professional and courteous, and she’s sending me some coupons to replace the damaged products.
I understand that things can happen on production lines. That mistakes occur. That machines break down. That products are sometimes faulty. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. But when it happens to our food – or what passes for “food” in the US – it’s frightening. Recalls happen all the time. Salmonella in spinach. E-coli in ground beef. Listeria in chicken. Foreign material in packaged foods. Our government and food manufacturers have a huge responsibility to keep food safe. And you wonder how “safe” food can be with all the additives, “natural” and artificial ingredients, GMOs, hormones and everything else that goes into what we put in our mouths. But I’ll let far more informed people write about that.
This is just the story of my Mission tortillas and the enchiladas that weren’t.
I’ll get my coupons in the mail, but I’m not sure I’ll buy anything with an “oxygen absorber” again.
And I wish I could get this smell out of my nose.