Bad news for anyone having a barbecue today: Kraft has issued a Kraft Singles recall due to what they're calling “spoilage concerns.” Cheeseburger fans? You might want to start scrounging around in your fridge for some alternatives. Just sayin’.
According to a bulletin released by the FDA on August 29, nearly 8,000 cases of the ubiquitous cheese slices have been recalled. The bulletin noted that “a supplier did not store an ingredient used in this product in accordance with Kraft’s temperature standards”; as such, it’s possible (although “unlikely,” states the notice) that the affected slices could either spoil before their sell-by date or become a vehicle for food borne illness. As of right now, there haven’t been any illness complaints, so, y’know… at least there’s that.
Four different varieties have been recalled; you can check out the details, including the package and case codes, on the FDA’s website, but for the curious, they all have a "Best When Used By" date of February 20 or 21, 2015. Me? I’m actually not all that worried about it — I’ve never been convinced that Kraft Singles aren’t actually plastic, so I choose to stock my fridge with something a little less processed. I mean, I know Kraft Singles aren’t plastic; but given the choice between a fabulous wedge of Gruyere I can slice fresh myself or something I have to peel off a piece of cellophane like a Fruit Roll-Up in order to eat? I’ll take the Gruyere every time.
That said, though, I do still have an appreciation for the
invention of the stuff in the first place. Today I learned, for example, that James
L. Kraft, the former grocery clerk who founded Kraft Foods, received a patent
for “process cheese” in 1916 — which pretty much revolutionized the industry.
According to the New York Times, it took a whopping 15 years for James L. Kraft
and his brother, Norman, to perfect the technology necessary to create what
would become known as Kraft Singles; it involved running liquid, pasteurized
cheese through something they called a “chill roll” (basically a huge, cold
rolling pin) to create a giant cheese ribbon. From there, they could slice the
ribbon into squares, stack them on top of each other, and package them
together. Voila! “Kraft De Luxe Process Slices” were born. They finally hit
grocery stores in 1950. The individually wrapped version known as Kraft Singles
came along in 1965.
In the meantime, allow us to fill the Kraft Singles-shaped hole in your life with every single burger recipe you could possibly need. After all — it’s not Labor Day without a cookout, right?