POR QUE SE EMPOBRECE PUERTO RICO
RETAIL BUSINESS ALERT
The continuing growth (Invasion) of multi-national retail corporations has had and continues to have a significant impact on Puerto Rico’s locally (Home Grown) retail outlets both in the retail food industry as well as in the food service segments. The results of this apparent “take over” and “dissolution” of the efforts and companies founded and developed by enterprising Puerto Rican business people has resulted in a significant decrease in growth, sales and profits of locally owned companies that are disadvantaged in the buying, distribution and sales of retail products due to the power and often “sweet heart deals” permitted by government agencies at the expense of local businesses. A group of concerned Puerto Rican “corporate citizens” has produced a documentary to address the issues and alert Puerto Ricans to the impact of this phenomenon with an in depth economic explanation and a round table discussion of the topic. The pre-recorded documentary will be “aired” this Sunday, December 8, on Telemundo at 3:00 PM and on Canal 2.2 at 7:00 PM. Everyone involved in the retail business from distributors to transportation companies as well as the public in general, will have an opportunity to learn and perhaps be concerned about the long range impact of this topic.
SUPER/MAX SETS THE TONE …
… for this years Navidad “Musical”, pricing fresh pernil delantero at 89 lb. Remember they set the tone for Grade A turkeys this year at 85 lb. PUEBLO steers another course advertising fresh pernil trasero at $1.39 lb. avoiding perhaps temporally, a head to head collision with what has usually been the case, when the BIGGIES get down and dirty with kamikaze pernil deelantero special prices. In case you missed it, COSTCO distributed a one page (two side) mini Shopper on Wednesday with 10 specials valid from December 2 to December 8, including Choice Churrascos discounted at $4 whatever that means and Choice N.Y. Strip loin steaks discounted at $5. The real price (discounted) amounted to $7.99 lb. which is a great buy and the quality and quantity of steaks on display in a special section of the fresh meat case was impressive. This is the first time in recent memory that COSTCO has published a Shopper. Does that mean that their sales are suffering at a decrease of approximately 10% compared to last year? The 10% amount is the approximate average that all supermarkets are avoiding to admit with enviable agility.
WAL-MART & WAL-MIGO …
… do fresh pernil delantero at 98 lb. which is very similar to the way that they priced turkeys. The WAL-MART Shopper continues to be right on the money, with six colorful pages of great holiday food items complete with recipes. WAL-MART has the best holiday Shoppers this year for Thanksgiving and Christmas . . and that’s a fact Jack. Save the WAL-MART Shopper for “inspiration” and learn how to advertise FOOD, without “pissing” away profits. PLAZA LOIZA’S claim to fame this week is chuletas corte de punta at 85 lb. sticking it to SELECTOS chuletas corte de punta at 99 lb. It is sometimes more beneficial to advertise a volatile item like chuletas corte de punta on an interior page of a Shopper rather than risk being beat by 14 cents a pound by a competitor. SELECTOS does fresh pernil delantero on an interior page of their Shopper at $1.19 lb. which is similar to the strategy that they used for the early turkey special price, eventually going to 69 lb. for their Grade A turkeys. It will be interesting to see if they will follow the same course with pernil delantero. ECONO does Chipichapi Churrascos at $2.58 lb. with some great perishable specials on the two page center spread. The question that is on everyone’s mind is WHAT WILL ECONO DO? Stay Tuned.
PAUL KNAPP T/ 787 640 2694 … BLOG … HTTP://BOLETON.TUMBLR.COM
POR QUE SE EMPOBRECE PUERTO RICO
“KING NEPTUNE MARQUEZ” (PLAZA LOIZA) Made …
… BIG TIME WAVES on Saturday , 11/23 , with a full page color ad in EL NUEVO DIA, adverting FREE Grade A turkeys with the purchase of $100.00 and FRESH BUTTERBALLS at 99 lb. Did anyone see that coming when it appeared that the “Sea” of competition had settled down after all of the Dropping Of The Drawers by ECONO and RALPH’S and the last but not least advertising of PUEBLO Grade A and Butterball turkeys at $1.19 lb.? PUEBLO did their $1.19 lb. turkeys on Saturday and on Monday lowered the price to 85 lb. PUEBLO has several stores in KING NEPTUNE’S SEA. So we have a phenomenal 2013 Thanksgiving … with FREE turkeys, ECONO getting beat up by SELECTOS and the celebration of THANKSGIVUKKAH, which is a calendric phenomenon that has occurred for the first time since 1888 – and the last time for another – 70,000 years. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (Chanukkah) fell on the same day this year which several enterprising individuals regarded as a great merchandising opportunity when people would light candles and eat turkey and stuffing at the same time. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights when the Jewish brethren light a special menorah known as a Hanukkiyah for eight days. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second night and so on, until eight candles are lit. The holiday has become more festive and Christmas-like when Jewish children receive gifts, often one gift for each of the eight nights. Usually in “poor” “Poor” Rico Thanksgiving day is peaceful and quiet but at the end of the festivities we experience the chaos of BLACK FRIDAY which was recorded for TV viewers as hoards of poor, “Poor” RICANS, stormed the barricades at the WAL-MART stores in Mayaguez, Bayamon and Carolina, which begs the question . . where did they get the Gringo Lechuga to buy all of those expensive TV’s and other luxury items without the benefits of the late mandatory bonuses being distributed? It would be interesting to learn the amount of purchases paid for by Plastic. If you are wondering about the HANAKKUH bit … live and learn … and hopefully our Jewish brethren consumed Kosher turkeys for THANKSGIVUKKAH, that were “harvested” by a very well trained Shochet, with a high moral level of yira’at shamayim (awe of heaven). The Shochet (slaughterer)uses a perfectly sharp 6 inch knife to perform a very fast, continuous cutting motion to quickly sever the trachea, esophagus and major blood vessels in the neck. You want to learn more about being Kosher, read KOSHER NATION authored by Sue Fishkoff, Schoken Books a branch of Random House.
BLACK FRIDAY SUPERMARKET SPECIALS
MR. Special did a one day only fresh pernil special at 89 lb. which might not induce the hoards of WAL-MART shoppers rushing to buy a pernil??? SELECTOS has some very strong price points on the cover page of their Friday Shopper with 79 cents Coca Cola, frozen pork riblets and Kikiri Quirch fresh drums and thighs at 99 lb. ECONO goes with a one page color special on Friday with “Poor” Rican soul food … Chuletas (Cong.) Corte De Punta at 87 lb. valid until December 1. PLAZA LOIZA does their previous black and white page with frozen Legs WBP at 55 lb. and frozen pernil delantero, 89 lb. It is now time to review profit margins as we enter the season of pernil. Keep in mind that WAL-MART and WALMIGO maintained their original special turkey prices at 98 lb. and did not drop their drawers as they had done on previous years. Are we finally seeing some tentative potential profit strategies? How many supermarket companies have realistic and viable gross profit budgets that get “hammered” with special prices sold at levels well below costs?
Paul Knapp T/ 787 640 2694 … BLOG … http://boleton.tumblr.com
TURKEY TACTICS … 2013
Let’s begin with the THREE “D” AWARD (DUH, DUH, DUH) and this year’s winner, the mighty ECONO, for publishing a turkey special price of 87 lb. in their Thursday Shopper, and on the same day in the same newspaper offering the same turkeys at 75 lb. with a full page color ad. ECONO rarely screws up but this year they really “done” it BIG TIME and to make matters even “worser”, they got their “YASSES” kicked BIG TIME by the also Mighty SELECTOS who did turkeys at 69 lb. with a $50 purchase. I am not a large supporter of “subsidized” specials but $50.00 at Thanksgiving is not a big deal and that price really made SELECTOS this year’s Thanksgiving BOSS, along with the guys and “LADY LAURY” in PALAUVILLE … SUPER PLAZA who did their turkeys at 69 lb. with a $ 50.00 purchase and fresh Butterballs at $1.18 lb. We also had the traditional “Dropping Of The Drawers” from RALPH’S who lowered the original special price for their turkeys from 85 lb. to 79 lb. along with PLAZA LOIZA lowering their original turkey special price from 98 lb. to 79 lb. but they also “sweetened the pot” with frozen pernil delantero at 89 lb. SAM’S CLUB did “fresh” turkeys No Grade/No Brand at 99 lb. on Wednesday. WALMIGO and WAL-MART maintained their original special turkey special prices as did SUPER/MAX at 85 lb., but SUPER/MAX has a very high price on Butterballs at $1.99 lb. Up in Cow Boy Country. SELECTOS Orocovis, Morovis and Manati, in addition to the 69 lb. turkeys and fresh 99 lb. pernil delantero, the Cowboys part time, “Head Honcho” who divides the time from his estate in Florida (USA) and the luxury accommodations in Dorado, created an in-store Shopper, including 69 cent Coca Cola, Jennie O half turkey breasts 99 lb. and S.B Costillas at 99 lb. as well as a $25 thousand REGALANDOTE LA COCINA concurso. MR.SPECIAL is right up their with 79 lb. turkeys. Anyone who lowers the drawers again is wasting time and money. On Friday customers began to buy turkeys aggressively. PUEBLO waited until Friday to advertise turkeys with a choice between Butterballs and Grade A’S at $1.19 lb. They also ran a whole bunch of half page ads (paid by suppliers) as “chum” but the bait on their “turkey hook” was based on a profit, which is what business is all about. So this year it’s SELECTOS and SUPER PLAZA as Numero Uno and ECONO in the “Dog House” which means I won’t get invited to any ECONO holiday activities, which I never get invited to anyway and which I probably wouldn’t go to if I was ever invited without being armed and with paid security companions. Oh and by the way, how can Butterballs be labeled as NATURAL, when they were “created” artificially?.
MEAT POULTRY.com . . .
… indicated on 11/21/13, a multi state outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to Foster Farms chicken products has grown to 389 cases in 23 states and Puerto Rico, the Atlanta – based Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported. What companies in Puerto Rico import Foster Farms chicken products? Are there any reported cases of the infection, or how would anyone know about or care about it based on the past record and apathy of the “Poor” Rico Health Department?
SO WHAT’S NEXT ????
Will ECONO react to the “embarrassment” of their “turkey fiasco” with some HOT STUFF pricing of fresh pernil delantero for Navidad? Will SELECTOS continue to be this years HOLIDAY BOSS? Will PUEBLO continue to go for the profit margins and possibly risk increased sales. STAY TUNED and enjoy your pavo or pernil.
Paul Knapp T/ 787 640 2694 … BLOG … http://boleton.tumblr.com
“THE SOUND OF THE SEA” …
… was the spectacular fresh seafood display created by Jose Jimenez Planas that was the Signature of the opening of yet another PLAZA LOIZA store in the Norte Shopping Center. The Cocktail event on Wednesday evening was attended by the creme de creme of the “Poor” Rico food industry in record numbers. Johnny “KING NEPTUNE” Marquez and Sons have created a new food awareness concept that will be difficult to duplicate by area competitors. The 16 feet fresh seafood display with an audio “SOUND OF THE SEA” and a TV monitor was just one of the many new and creative organoleptic enterprises including buying a live Maine lobster from a tank full of lobsters and getting the lobster steamed in eight minutes. A restaurant seating arrangement was in a very private “cozy” area adjacent to the Spectacular full service Deli where customers can create their own sandwiches and purchase a bottle of wine to accompany their creations in the “cozy” setting. There were many other innovations but the humongous throng of attendees made it virtually impossible to see all of them which will require another visit to the store and a guided tour by the Fashionable Ferdysac. One of the first indications of PLAZA LOIZA’S MEATABILITY was the large bunker case full of a great variety of frozen chuletas. Frozen tray packed center cut and boneless chuletas as well as bagged end cuts is the primary frozen meat category which is more often than not ignored by Wannabe Meat Heads. And their was a touch of Marquez class with a String and Accordion “orchestra” at the rear of the store and a “boom, boom” percussion group at the front end that had everyone bouncing to the “boom, boom” while enjoying a great variety of “spirits” provided upon request by some very attractive hostesses. It was a great event that will be the talk of the town for quite some time and could very well be a PITA for nearby competitors. If you don’t know what PITA means, if you sit on it for too long, you will get the feeling of what’s the que pasa. And it would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the private, voluntary limousine services provided by CARIBBEAN PRODUCE in a luxury vehicle chauffeured by Gualberto Rodriguez III (“G 3”) the president of the Island’s largest produce company. The “journey” was even more enjoyable with a favorite medley of holiday music titled A SMOKEY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS. Yoo JOO … it don’t “gets” no better than that.
TURKEY TERRORIST ACTIVITIES … 2013
It’s dejavu all over again just like last year with SUPER/MAX pricing Grade A turkeys at 85 lb. as they did last year and with ECONO going to bat again like last year with 87 lb. turkeys. SELECTOS did an interior page special in their Shopper with Grade A’s $1.19 lb. and frozen Butterballs, $1.49 lb. but those prices will not last. Look for SELECTOS to do a low ball Grade A turkey price with a significant purchase. And can you believe RALPH’S coming out of the weeds showing signs of testosterone for a change, pricing Grade A turkeys 85 lb.? WALMIGO continued with their 98 lb. Grade A’s but WAL-MART pulled their turkey special and returned to a difficult to manipulate eight page Shopper with limited amounts of non-consequential meat specials. Like Yogi said, “it ain’t over til it’s over” and it ain’t over. Still to be heard from is PUEBLO and MR. SPECIAL as well as several independents out on the island. Don’t expect ECONO to allow SUPER/MAX & RALPH’S to have a lower price, and when ECONO lowers their drawers to maybe 78 lb. like last year, look for WALMIGO and WAL-Mart to go to 77 lb. We will also see 69 lb. turkey prices with significant additional purchases, just like last year. And where are the fresh Butterballs this year? Stay tuned and find out in the next EL BOLETON.
PAUL KNAPP . . T/ 787 640 2694 … BLOG . . http://boleton.tumblr.com
YOUR THANKSGIVING TURKEY IS NO LONGER …
… a TOM turkey. Diligent “research” reveals the following about the name “TOM” and its relation to male turkeys. “Tom” is a term to define maleness as in “tomcat”. Male turkeys get the nickname “Tom” from “tomcat”, because they were wild undomesticated birds that were sexually promiscuous. The expression “tom” comes from a book written in the mid 1700s in England called “The Life And Adventures Of A Cat”. The “hero” of the book was a male cat who enjoyed the favors of many female cats was named Tom. The origin of the name Tom is a short form of Thomas. A mature male turkey is called a Tom, an immature male turkey is called a Jake. A person who exhibits characteristics of undomesticated male turkeys is called a Jerk. There is great Kentucky Bourbon (WILD TURKEY) the name originated during a turkey hunt where the bourbon was consumed. Side Bar … WILD TURKEY has produced a really great and easy to down “liquor” AMERICAN HONEY, which can be purchased at BOTTLES (when they have it). Todays male turkeys are no longer promiscuous or can they strut like a prancing drum major. All domestically produced turkeys (except heritage) are the products of artificial insemination. Male turkeys are genetically “engineered” to produce extra large breasts which results in a poorly developed leg structure. Tom turkeys whose semen is used to inseminate hens can “father” 1,500 poults (Baby Turkeys) during a 25 week breeding cycle. Each Tom can produce enough sperm cells to inseminate 30 hens. The average females begin to produce eggs around 28 weeks of age and will produce 100 to 130 eggs in a 26 week laying cycle. Semen is collected from male turkeys by abdominal massage followed by application of pressure on the sides of the everted cloaca. The semen is extended with a 1% saline solution. The hen is inseminated by everting the oviduct to expose the opening of the vagina. About .05 ml of semen is deposited into the vagina. This description is from a college animal husbandry text book and differs from the reality of turkey industrial artificial breeding, which is cited in many reports as cruel and inhuman. Terms like forced masturbation and rape are often used to describe the artificial breeding process in these reports. This differs widely from the collecting of boar semen and insemination in gilts and sows. As a student at Cornell University I worked for four years in the Swine Barns and collected semen from 400 pound boars who were quite “congenial” when lead to an artificial female structure. They seemed to enjoy the “experience”. The female term for Tom in Hebrew is Tammy. In Poor Rico maybe in the past, our “turkeys” could be defined as Mamitos.
IT ALWAYS STARTS OFF HIGH
WAL-MIGO and WAL-MART did the first special turkey prices on Thursday with Grade A’s at 98 lb. valid until 11/13/13. The 12 page WAL-MART Shopper with an easy to read format is really something to copy, with a great variety of holiday foods and spirits. It’s a “keeper” and should be filed for future reference. ECONO has some good variety and a WOW price (ANGUS BEEF CHOICE ) Biftec Machacado at $2.25 lb. What the hell does (ANGUS CHOICE BEEF) mean? They also do Fieldale or Sanderson whole fresh chickens at 98 lb. SELECTOS does House of Raeford Muslos Con Caderas De Pollo at 59 lb. (10 pound “block”) but fail to indicate if the product is Legs WBP. They also continue with their initial turkey special of $1.29 lb. This is just the beginning. Things will begin to roast within the next few days. Look for ECONO to lead the way.
WAKING UP WITH WILLIE NELSON
“I put on my robe, watched the ring on the stove turn red, stared hypnotized at a cup of coffee, put on my boots and made the bed”. Them “thars” down home lyrics.
Paul Knapp . . T/ 787 640 2694 . . BLOG . . http://boleton.tumblr.com
“SEVEN FACED BIRD” COUNTDOWN
Turkeys are relatives of the grouse family with a distinctive fleshy wattle or protuberance that hangs from the top of the beak (Nose) called a SNOOD. Male turkeys are called TOMS or GOBBLERS. Female turkeys, smaller in size and less colorful are called HENS, which is a form of turkey sexual discrimination. Wouldn’t it be great if female turkeys were named MARY … like TOM and MARY are on the menu for dinner. In Europe, the birds were identified as guinea fowl, turkey fowl, or turkey cock , because they were imported to Central Europe through Turkey. In Japanese, the turkey is called shichimencho, which literally means “SEVEN FACED BIRD” that reflects the birds ability, particularly the males, to change the form of its face depending on its mood. It gets more better when learning HOW COME male turkeys are called TOMS … stay tuned for next weeks lesson in TURKEYOLOGY as we enter the season of the ANNUAL DROPPING OF THE DRAWERS.
EARLY TURKEY PRICES …
… were published by SUPER/MAX on Wednesday … BUTTERBALLS, 10/16 pounds $1.47 lb. and SELECTOS on Thursday … Grade A , 14/16 pounds … $1.29 lb. This is SMOKE without fire because things, will get HOT, HOT, HOT next week as it did last year with ECONO “duking” it out with WAL-MART and WALMIGO with the lowest prices from the two DEEP POCKETS monsters, doing 77 lb. We are now in a “wait and see” mode but Gentlemen … Get Ready To Lower Your “ Calzoncillos” … (Drawers). With food sales eroding dramatically assisted by the dumb-ass government regulations and restrictions, supermarkets will be overly aggressive to attract new customers and maintain the loyalty of their current customers with well below cost special turkey prices .
WAL-MART DOES WHAT APPEARS TO BE . . ,
… an eight page color Shopper devoid of anything that’s perishable. The ad format is similar to try reading the N.Y. Times on a N.Y. City subway. SELECTOS in addition to 1.29 lb. pavos also advertised Sanderson Farms (Mini Pavos) 5/6 lbs. at 99 lb. (Really Are Chickens but very BIG). They also do three Choice Beef cuts at HOT special prices but that will be an impediment to any other Choice beef cuts like Masa Redonda $4.59 and $5.99 lb., compared to Biftec De Res $2.69 lb. and Choice Pepper Steak, $2.99 lb. SUPER/MAX does C.A.B London Broil $2.99 lb., Sandwich and Pepper Steaks $3.39 lb. and wisely advertises C.A.B molida de res $2.99 lb. ECONO is into Poor Rico Soul Food at 85 lb. (Chuletas Corte De Punta Cong.) and Chipichapi Churrascos $2.58 lb. SELECTOS PALACIO celebrates its first “ANNY” with fresh pernil delantero 99 lb. and includes the Levittown store in the celebration. Maybe PUEBLO and WALMIGO are out of the loop advertising previously frozen chicken breasts sin hueso. Several local government agencies are enforcing a ban of PVC products but only in certain regions and directed at specific supermarkets which “SUCKS”. PLAZA LOIZA does the back page of the two local FREEBEE newspapers celebrating their 26th ANNY.
Did you know that a pineapple is also known as a CAM plant, which is a plant that utilizes a photosynthetic pathway known as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism? (CAM). And, a Crown is a compressed stem or the vegetative apex of a pineapple fruit? (WOW).
Paul Knapp … t/ 787 640 2694 . . BLOG . . http://boleton.tumblr.com
The cover page story of the October 2013 edition of DISCOVER (Science for the Curious) magazine is titled “FOOD AT RISK”. There is a disturbing statistic that states that “46 percent of foodborne illnesses can be traced to produce; most of those cases are from leafy vegetables”. Another report from the August/September edition of FOOD QUALITY reveals that “during the last six months of 2012, there were 16 documented recalls of produce involving apples, cantaloupes, mangoes, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and bagged salads”. In the past, beginning with the January, 1993 –E.coli O157:H7 outbreak at Jack In The Box which was traced to undercooked hamburger meat containing E.coli O157:H7 served by the fast food chain that sickened more than 600 people in four western states as well as the deaths of four children diagnosed with (HUS) hemolytic uremic syndrome, there has been an overwhelming interest , concern in “meat safety” resulting in the implementation of the (FSIS) “Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) Systems” for meat and poultry facilities, in July, 1996. Most companies involved in the growing, packing, processing and distribution of USA fruits and vegetables have some type of internal traceability programs but these programs are not operated under any Federal mandate/regulation as is the HACCP program.
IMPORTING RISKS … 15 percent of foods consumed in the U.S. are imported, with approximately 50 percent fruit, 20 percent vegetables and 80 percent of seafood. Thousands of ingredients used in the preparation and processing of numerous food products are imported from all over the world with only a limited guarantee that the products have been produced under the same standards as products produced in the U.S. The amount of produce imported into the U.S. has grown significantly from major countries … Canada, Chile, China, Mexico and Peru.
PRODUCE SAFETY STANDARDS … the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act ) enacted in January 2011, is the responsibility of the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to vindicate food safety problems scientifically using risk based techniques to oversee approximately 80 percent of the domestic and imported food supply, including establishing minimum produce safety standards with the authority to order mandatory recalls of suspected food products, conducting food facility inspections, establishing a product tracing system, requiring imported food products to the same safety standards of U.S. produced products and to implement hazard prevention control plans by food growers and processing facilities. This ambitious program has only a limited probability of initial success due to the lack of resources that are directed to imported food with only a “minuscule” cadre of 1,500 inspectors to screen approximately 2 percent of the food that arrives at U.S. ports every year for microbial pathogens or other disease causing contaminants.
PRODUCE INDUSTRY’S BARCODE OF APPROVAL … in 2007, the produce industry began the development of an external traceability program, the PRODUCE TRACEABILITY INITIATIVE (PTI) to assist government agencies in rapidly identifying the location of specific implicated products by lot or batch numbers for removal from the food chain. The plan is to adopt an effective chain traceability program for the produce industry using technology and common standards by applying barcodes on each case of produce, including produce items packed immediately in the field to be moved through the food chain. The common goal is to have systems in place when produce is suspected to be involved in a food safety occurrence. While this is an obvious “step in the right direction”, it does not resolve the problems of identifying and eliminating the causes of produce food safety irregularities.
MICOBIOLOGICAL DATA PROGRAM… Produce has become a primary cause of pathogen contamination, responsible (according to latest reports) for approximately 46 percent of food borne illness outbreaks. The problem is escalating because per capita consumption of produce has increased significantly with people eating more raw produce (uncooked) exposing a greater risk for foodborne illness. The Microbiological Data Program (MDP) was a national pathogen monitoring program from 2001 to 2012 under the jurisdiction of the Agricultural Marketing Service in cooperation with State agricultural departments and other Federal agencies. The program tested approximately 15,000 samples of produce annually resulting in 19 produce recalls between 2010 and 2012. The MDP program, which used to conduct 80 percent of all Federal produce testing for pathogens like Salmonella and Listeria, officially shut down on December 31, 2012. The produce industry lobbied to eliminate MDP, arguing that it did not benefit public health safety because the recalls were often announced after the product was expired or already consumed by consumers. According to an analysis published by FOOD SAFETY NEWS, though the FDA has jurisdiction over the safety of fruits and vegetables, the agency only conducts a fraction of the microbiological tests that MDP once did. Supporters of MDP question the wisdom of eliminating a layer of the food safety net, but critics of the program do not believe it would be much of a loss due to the structure of the program and the recall of suspect produce has either been eaten or past its shelf life.
FRUIT SAFETY NET … Fruits are an essential element of a healthy diet, being high in vitamin A and C, low in calories, and high in fiber. However, the rise in the incidents of contaminated fruit and vegetables should be a cause of consumer concern. While there may be regulations and detection capabilities along the food chain there are no apparent regulations or policies at retail store level where each and every day customers handle raw fruit during the selection process which is another dimension of potential contamination.
PRODUCE FACTS … (1) SHRINK … it is estimated that eight percent of produce delivered to supermarkets is not sold, resulting in a significant shrink and contributing to over capacity of landfills. (2) BRIX … a measure of sugar content in fresh fruit measured by a refractometer that determines the ratio of sugar to acid in the fruit. (3) PENETROMETER (Firmness Meter) used for monitoring fruit development determining when to harvest. (4) COFFEE … is one of the great social drinks of human culture. Coffee is a berrylike fruit derived from an inferior ovary, often referred to as berries/cherries. Virtually all coffee fruits are used to make the familiar beverage after being roasted at temperatures between 450 and 500 degrees F. Suffice to say, that since coffee is a fruit which produces an aromatic liquid it could be considered a “Juice”. (5) TOMATOE … is a fruit in the botanical sense, but a vegetable from a culinary perspective. Tomatoes are not appetizing when added to fruit salads.
The material for this article was derived from the text edition of INTRODUCTION TO FRUIT CROPS authored by Mark Rieger PhD and scientific reports and analysis from FOOD QUALITY publications.
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September 19, 2013
SATURDAY 10/19/13 FOLLOW UP COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS IN OCTOBER
At 10:30 AM on Saturday the Lechon was already roasted and ready to serve to the SELECTOS, Manati customers. Angel Rosado (Meat Manager) prepared the Lechon on the loading/receiving dock of the supermarket. Carlos Nieves (Charlie Snow) the Co-Owner and GM of the store gave his final blessing for the preparation of the Lechon to be served to the Selectos customers. The spirit and attitude of the store personnel was UP-BEAT because they were involved in an event that motivated their work and involved a form of customer inter-action and satisfaction. Between the traditional music and food, the Selectos in Manati was the place to be on “Saturdeee”. But “Don” go. The Selectos in Morovis was all set up to serve Pernil and accompanying “goodies” to the customers that were in a festive mood motivated by traditional music and a great, great Navidad decoration motif coordinated and directed by Tere Rivera. Still … “Don” go. It even got “more better” in Orocovis where Danny “Boy” Ramos had a live music group serenading the customers and a self serve table set up with pernil and arroz con gandules. It’s the first time in my ??? years in the supermarket industry that I saw almost every customer with a plate and fork walking the aisles eating some really great food. So what does this mean …Yoo Hoo … it means that there is a team effort in the “COWBOY’S” three stores managed locally and from afar, that makes LA GRAN DIFERENCIA. Ride Em Cowboy.
PUEBLO STANDS ALONE ON WEDNESDAY …
… with a great colorful Shopper and an outstanding organoleptic presentation of meat products and how about the egg special with a MEAL APPEAL presentation for morning breakfast. Sorry “bout” that, but PUEBLO’S Shopper’s cover page food presentations are the best in the market. PS … I “Don” do bizness with PUEBLO but you have to recognize excellence. Oh Yeah, SUPER/MAX did their usual black and white ad which makes PUEBLO’S presentation even more effective.
ECONO GOES BADDA BING ON THURSDAY …
… with a HOT … HOT special price of Legs WBP at 58 lb. If there is ever an ugly package of frozen Legs WBP it is the rectangular block of Raefords Legs WBP but who gives a damn as long as customers buy the product. This also goes for the Chuck Steak special at $1.98 lb. ECONO must do well with Chucks because they feature what one industry observer describes as DOG MEAT, but who gives a damn if ECONO customers buy the “DOG MEAT”. ECONO is also impressive with three different varieties of beans at 3 X $1.00. SELECTOS changes their cover page meat special to Puerto Rican (SOUL FOOD) Chuletas Bonefull Corte De Punta at 99 lb. But again, who gives a damn if customers like to “munch” on bones, fat and “lean in between”. SELECTOS also does BIG BIRD (5/6 lb.) Sanderson Farms whole chickens (Look Like Baby Turkeys) at 99 lb. PLAZA LOIZA does a nice color Shopper with fresh Mister Pollo Legs WBP at 85 lb. ECONO FROZEN 58 LB. YOOO HOO. And how about another PLAZLO first … USDA Choice Beef Liver. You learn something every day … since when does the USDA assign a Grade to Higado? Maybe it’s something I missed along the way. WALMIGO gets whipped by ECONO by advertising Legs WBP (Cong) at 69 lb. and by SELECTOS Harvest Creek Molida De Pollo/Pavo at $1.50 … SELECTOS $1.25. One of these days POOR RICANS will wake up to the facts related to AMIGO’S LOW prices.
ARE YOU READY TO BET ON “TOYKEY”SPECIAL PRICES?
Will ECONO do 88 lb. to liquidate the rumored 100 trailers of frozen turkeys, or will SUPER/MAX drop their drawers to 85 lb.? Will SELECTOS do 99 lb. with a purchase of Big Bucks? Will COSTCO sell fresh B BALLS and make $$$? Get ready for the Annual Dropping Of The Drawers.
PAUL KNAPP … 787 640 2694 / EM ( IT’S BEEN HACKED ) BLOG http://boleton.tumblr.com
NOCHE BUENA EN OCTUBRE
It was Christmas Eve in October on Thursday (10/17/13) as the Edwin (Cowboy) Ortiz Family Dynasty gathered in the Morovis Selectos store to inaugurate and coordinate the annual Christmas in October event for the Morovis, Manati and Orocovis stores, supported by a Holiday Oja Suerta with fresh pernil de cerdo delantero as the primary meat special along with typical and seasonal foods highlighted by a GOYA FESTIVAL of products at special prices. Christmas decorations were in place to enhance the seasonal environment. The event was created and orchestrated by “Joseph” ( Ortiz) Carrion formerly known as Jose Carrion prior to his journeying to and residing in the promised land of Central Florida, USA. “Joseph” travels to Cowboy Country once a month to maintain the merchandising and operational standards that he had installed when he was the full time “sidekick” of the Cowboy. While enjoying the comforts of his Florida estate, Joseph continues to monitor operational and merchandising policies with at least two conference calls each week to the personnel involved in managing and supervising the three stores. Christmas in October is just one of the many “happenings” that occur under his direction which is one of the reasons why during the current negative economic situation in Puerto Rico , creative and aggressive merchandising and marketing events of this nature are the foundation for continuing growth within a very competitive environment that segregates excellence and mediocrity.
IT WAS PUEBLO AND SUPER/MAX …
… as usual on Wednesday. SUPER/MAX has a very aggressive special price on Tyson fresh drumsticks and thighs (87 lb.) knocking off SELECTOS’S Mister Pollo drumsticks and thighs priced at 99 lb. But that’s about all that SUPER/MAX has in the way of meat specials. PUEBLO continues to offer meat specials with more MEAL APPEAL than anyone else. They remain brand conscious, promoting CAB Churrascos and the TENDER CHOICE brand of Mixed fresh pork chops at $1.59 lb. and Center Cuts $1.99 lb. Take note of PUEBLO’S MEATABILITY as they continue to advertise ground beef which is a product that can be used to prepare many economical meals which is something that many other supermarkets fail to understand. It also eliminates trimmings in a profitable manner.
SELECTOS …WALMIGO … ECONO …
… are into Shoppers on Thursday while MR. SPECIAL and PLAZA LOIZA opt for black and white single page ads. WALMIGO continues its love affair with the To Ricos whole chickens and chicken breasts at $1.15 lb. along with Chipichapi Churrascos $2.98lb. ECONO has their Chipichapi Churrascos at $2.68 lb. and tube tomatoes at 65 lb. while SELECTOS has salad tomatoes at 79 lb. ECONO continues to be the leader in a good variety of produce specials attractively illustrated. SELECTOS prices Grade A turkeys at $ 1.39 lb. and has a great price (Copying PUEBLO) on N.Y. Strip Loin Steaks $2.99 lb. The color of the N.Y. Strip Steak on the Shopper’s cover page is great but the photo of the Mexican T Bone and Porterhouse steaks at $4.69 lb. is FEO. Gotta ask the question, Which will sell better … the Strip colorful boneless steaks at $2.99 lb. or the bone–in boundaried by fat non marbled Mexican steaks at $4.69? And YOO HOO everyone, be careful about advertising Previously Frozen poultry products or even processing those products. BIG BROTHER’S (DACO & AGRICULTURE) are no longer looking the other way. It’s more political than healthful.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
ASS HOLES …
… is the title of a book published by Constable & Robinson Ltd in 2008, authored by Kristoffer Darlington and Diane Law. It defines the words indelicately in biological terms and categorizes “them” in the areas of Politics & Religion, Media, Corporations, Film, Sports and Music. For the sake of propriety, the term will be symbolized in the following dialogue as AH’S. And how coincidental at the present time with the many Gringo AH’S politicians shutting down the U.S. government causing chaos and confusion in the world already beset with a multitude of issues, concerns and problems. But on the bright side, it is obvious that Puerto Rico does not have a monopoly on the amount of AH’S politicians who continue to screw up the economy of the Island Of Enchantment. We have government AH’S (Non Politicians) who are Certified by their stupidity. For example, who were the Department of Health AH’S in 1997 who mandated a regulation to remove all meat grinding machines from the low temperature 35/38 degrees environment of fresh meat coolers to meat processing areas that have temperature ranges from 55 to 70 degrees? And we have AH’S within local meat processors of frozen and salted products who place expiration dates on their products of 90 days or more, a factor that is ignored by the AH’S at retail level despite documented policies related to expiration dates. And on the subject of retail meat operations, there are far too many wannabe meat department AH’S managers who think it’s cute to place U.S. Choice labels on the questionable quality of Mexican T-Bone & Porterhouse steaks, which could result in a “multa” of $10 Thousand for each fraudulently labeled package. And finally, how about the alarming increase in meat department shrink (merma) which is conveniently ignored by AH’S who are responsible for supervising meat department operations.
IT’S PUEBLO VS SUPER/MAX …
… on Wednesday with SUPER/MAX offering fresh Pernil de Cerdo Delantero on their Shopper’s cover page at 97 lb. and pretending to have a fresh pork Festival which is a great merchandising tool if the Festival included lower priced special cuts and more variety. PUEBLO does “Old Reliable” To Ricos whole chickens at $1.15 lb. along with TENDER CHOICE boneless Chuletas De Cerdo $1.59 lb. and Biftec De Cerdo $1.99 lb. They also introduce Musillami Chuletas De Ternera … Round/Blade Bone at $2.39 lb. and Molida De Ternera at $1.89 lb. Good product mix in the PUEBLO selection of meat specials.
THERE WERE FIVE COLOR SHOPPERS …
… on Thursday. The WALMIGO & WAL-MART Shoppers have little to get exercited about. PLAZA LOIZA continues to do what they do best, advertising 18 Seafood items but the photo illustration of Filete De Res is ugly and unappealing. SELECTOS offers Muslos De Pollo on their Shopper’s cover page at 89 lb. but the product is really DRUMSTICKS not chicken legs. They also do frozen Pernil De Cerdo Trasero at $1.49 lb. which is becoming a popular special. ECONO is into frozen pork with Mixed Chuletas at $1.38 lb., Cerdo Rib Strips 98 lb. and well hidden but very profitable frozen Pernil De Cerdo Delantero at $1.18 lb. Could it be that ECONO is accumulating assets to lower the boom with a low ball turkey price for Thanksgiving?
Billy Crystal / When you’re young, all you ever think about is the next time you’re going to have sex; when you get older, you can’t remember the last time you had sex.
QUIRCH 2013 FOOD SHOW OF CHAMPIONS
The main event of the 12TH Annual Quirch Food Show began at 9:00AM on Friday, September 27, at the entrance to a large ballroom of the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood , Florida. The theme of this years Show was ALL STAR SAVINGS with significant displays of various sports memorabilia positioned throughout the show area. The opening “ceremony” began with a highly emotional “pep talk” by Jorge Roza to the large cadre of Quirch sales and support personnel who cheered their coach and Mauricio Quirch as they charged through a traditional sports banner at the entrance to the exhibit floor. But more about the “MAIN EVENT” later. The preliminary events (POWER BUYS) were conducted in another area of the Westin Diplomat on Wednesday and Thursday with 20 curtained individual Power Buy Booths, identified with the name of each of the Category Sales executives who were responsible for negotiating the many future and advance offerings within their respective categories. The POWER BUY BOOTHS were located on opposite walls with a buffet style of food and drinks (Sin Plomo) located in the center of the large room. Business was being conducted in the usual Quirch manner, friendly, relaxed but with a beneficial purpose for both the buyers and sellers.
COMBINING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE
The evening before the “MAIN EVENT” was a social experience held in a ball room that could have been occupied by two NFL football fields. It was huge and there was no standing in line for those in need a some “social stimulating juice” (With Plomo). There were numerous gourmet food stations serviced by professional chefs and areas to stand or sit at tables strategically located in the humongous ballroom area. The Quirch “family” with Guille and Mariana (Adorned In A Designer Original Colorful Sequinned Knee Length Blouse Coordinated With Matching Slacks And Sandals) held court in the usual Quirch informal manner. I would be remiss if I did not mention the other members of the extravagancies feminine Quirch magnetized “enclave”, the glamorous wife of Ignacio (Lelia) in a what had to be a designer red dress which competed with the violet ensemble that was modeled three years ago. And how about the glamor of Madeline Ojeda, the mother of Gustavo’s three “off springs” at the Friday Cocktail event. There is nothing about “QUIRCHLANDIA” that is not FIRST CLASS JAMES QUALITY.
THE MAIN EVENT ( CONTINUED)
There had to be at least 100 exhibits of food products being sampled and displayed by enthusiastic Quirch suppliers for the more than 600 buyers from all over the world including 25 countries … China, Australia. Europe, Asia and even YOO HOO Brazil. And meanwhile as the exhibits were busy so were the 24 round circle tables adjacent to the Show, where Quirch sales guys and gals continued to sell as did the many sales personnel who circulated the exhibits with customers. From the looks on the happy faces of the Quirch executives, this had to be the best of the best Shows ever. I heard some numbers (Confidential) that were well and above expectations.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
My association with the Quirch “Dynasty” began in 1968 when I was “exiled” to Puerto Rico by Grand Union to manage 13 supermarket meat operations. Oriente Comercial was then and continued to be the primary supplier of local and imported meat products. This relationship was manifested at the end of the Show, when Guille greeted my favorite daughter (Who lives in Fort Lauderdale) and was nine years old when they last met prior to Guille opening E&G Trading. The spiritual presence of Don Guillermo and Eddie was more than obvious to those of us who knew them. They would be proud of the accomplishments of Guille and the three Quirch Brothers.
A food contamination event often results in a food product recall that addresses an eminent threat to human health. According to the WIKIPEDIA Encyclopedia, “manufacturers or distributors of the product carry out most recalls of products regulated by the FDA voluntarily”. Food recalls are issued by manufacturers or distributors to protect consumers from potentially perverse effects of contaminated, adulterated, or misbranded product.
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES … Two government agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA FSIS ) share regulatory responsibility for food product recalls. Jurisdiction of product responsibilities differ between the two agencies. The FDA is responsible for domestic and imported foods. The USDA FSIS is responsible for meat and poultry. Responsibility for eggs is shared by the USDA and the FDA. The FDA’S responsibility is for egg products after leaving the processing plant. The USDA FSIS regulates pasteurized egg products (eggs that have been removed from the shells for further processing). On September 8, 2009, the REPORTABLE FOOD REGISTRY was implemented as part of the FDA’s Medwatch Portal, the agency’s new electronic system for collecting, submitting, and processing adverse event reports and other safety information for all FDA – regulated products. A Reportable Food is an article of food, other than an infant formula or a dietary supplement product, for which there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. The REPORTABLE FOOD REGISTRY, also requires that a Responsible Party must use the electronic portal to submit a report to FDA when it determines that an article of food is a Reportable Food. A Responsible Party, is a person required to submit a food facility registration under section 415 of the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act – i.e. the owner, operator, or agent in charge of a domestic or foreign facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for consumption in the United States , But Not A Retailer Or Restaurant.
CLASSIFICATION / DEFINITION/EXAMPLES OF RECALLS
(Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet AEX-251-02)
Class I … is a recall that involves a health hazard where a reasonable probability exists that eating the food would cause serious, adverse health consequences or death. (EXAMPLES … Meat contaminated with L. monocytogenes in a ready – to – eat food product; E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef; allergens such as peanuts or eggs , not listed on the label).
Class II . . indicates a potential health hazard where a remote probability of adverse health consequences from eating the food exists, or if the resulting condition is temporary or medically reversible. (EXAMPLES … Presence of FD&C Yellow # 5 dye in candy; Presence of dry milk, a Class II allergen,as an ingredient in sausage without mention of dry milk on the label).
Class III this type of recall involves situations in which eating the food will not or is not likely to cause adverse health consequences. (EXAMPLES . . A package containing fewer or lower weight products than shown on the package label or improperly labeled processed meat in which added water is not listed on the label as required by federal regulations).
INITIAL FOOD REGISTRY REPORT
The initial findings of the RFR in 2009 included 125 primary reports regarding incidents affecting food safety, according to an article in the August/September 2010 edition of FOOD QUALITY. Two reports identified as “notable” by the FDA resulted in a recall of products that contained sulfites but were not labeled as such and the other culminated in a recall of products that contained hydrolyzed vegetable protein that was not indicated on the label of the products, an action that prevented 177 contaminated products from reaching store shelves. The Percent Distribution of the 125 Primary Reportable Food Registry entries that presented food safety hazards are as follows … Salmonella 37 %; Undeclared Allergens/Intolerances 35 %; Listeria monocytogenes 13 %; Uneviscerated Fish 3 % ; E.coli O157:H7 2 %; Foreign Objects 2 % and Other 7 %. The incidents involving bacterial contaminations are readily understood and can be determined and controlled by improved sanitary practices. The incidents related to Undeclared Allergens / Intolerances however, are matters that are relatively ignored and not understood. It is a scientific fact, that a peanut speck that fits on the head of a pin – 1/1000th of a peanut – can kill a child. A kiss from someone who recently ate shell fish can lead to an immediate anaphylactic reaction. The trend of the number of people with food allergies and the number of recalls due to undeclared allergens is increasing significantly.
THE ALLERGEN PANDEMIC
An allergen is a substance that induces an allergic reaction. FOOD QUALITY, Nov./Dec. 2011 reported that “more than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions , and is estimated that 5 million to 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies. That corresponds to 4% to 8% of children and 1% to 3% of adults. An allergic reaction to food occurs when a person’s immune system attacks a food substance, usually a protein. The FDA estimates that 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,000 hospitalizations and 150 deaths occur from food – related anaphylaxis annually. The Food Drug and Cosmetic law which became effective on January 1, 2006 requires labeling of the eight major allergens, which combined cause 90% of allergic reactions to food in the U.S. The major allergens are Crustacean Shellfish, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts and wheat”. In the European Union, the eight major allergens listed by the FDA are regarded as allergens along with celery, mustard, sesame seeds, lupin, mollusks and sulfites. U.S. law requires allergens to be listed on the packaging in one of two ways. The first method of labeling for allergens is a “contains” statement that immediately follows the ingredient list. The second method lists the allergen in parentheses immediately after the actual ingredient that contains the allergen, except when the name in the ingredient list specifies the allergen or when the allergen is already listed in the ingredient statement. If you are not yet confused by this food technology “language” , it is an easy wager to realize that the average supermarket “Food Category Buyer” with little or a minimum amount or no knowledge of Food Technology / Engineering or expertise, of allergens or of the other seven categories of U.S. recalls is at a loss to comprehend the consequences of improper ingredient labeling of the products that are “committee” approved to sell at retail level, relying solely on the “responsibility” of suppliers , distributors and manufacturers to comply with ingredient regulations and food safety protocols associated and connected to the policies and protocols of the FOOD REGISTRY REPORT system.
RECOGNIZINGPUERTO RICO’S FINEST
Fortunately there are many Puerto Rico manufacturers, distributors and food suppliers that have “STATE Of The Art” protocols and policies to abide by FDA and USDA FSIS FOOD REGISTRY REPORTING policies.
The following company’s provided information regarding their recall policies and protocols:
TO-RICOS Pilgrim’s … Yaritza Ramos (Quality Assurance Manager ) indicated that a Recall Team assembled by the General Manager, Pedro Del Valle included the Quality Assurance Manager, Sales & Marketing Manager, Processing Manager, IT Coordinator (Information Technology), and Human Resources. If there is a recall corporate headquarters has to be immediately advised and the Recall Team has to be notified and convened, to identify the nature of the recall and specify the origin of the product that is suspect. An assessment of the impact of potential quantities that are subject to recall is implemented and proper agencies are notified. The USFDA FSIS District Office must be notified of the recall within 24 hours. Utilizing traceability procedures suspect product is identified, located and segregated. Recall effectiveness is measured by % of recovery of identified product.
QUIRCH FOODS … according to Howard Tenen, QA Director, the Quirch Recall Team is assembled with members from purchasing, sales management, IT Director, Quality Assurance Director, compliance legal and warehouse management. When the severity of the recall is determined, proper notification is made to the Reportable Food Registry, all customers that are involved, as well as the tracking of all returns and the disposition of the product based on the instructions of the federal agency that is responsible for the protein involved. Quirch protocols are a part of their compliance to FDA and USDA guidelines, and encompasses any specific requirements of individual states including Puerto Rico. The use of Quirch traceability capabilities are integral in the process and the entire protocol and recall procedures are managed by the Quality Control Team.
CARIBBEAN PRODUCE … has a Recall Team and Protocols under the guidance of Dario Beltran the Quality Control Manager. Caribbean Produce is extremely proactive in their recall procedures. Many of their customers (clients) require Caribbean Produce to make unannounced mock recalls in which they have to demonstrate the ability to identify and remove products from the stream of commerce within a given number of hours, defined by customer parameters. They have also trained more than 40 managers and supervisors in product recall management under the guidance of a world expert who has been involved in more than 3,000 product recalls many of which have been global in nature. Their “credo” is that both preventative and reactive food safety systems distinguish them as leaders in food safety compared to local and stateside competitors.
PACKERS PROVISION … Pedro Catoni is Packers (In-House) USDA specialist as well as SVP Operations / Processing Plant … Trafon Group /Star Meat. Product recall is activated when a product may represent a health hazard to consumers. Procedures are implemented that effectively remove the product from circulation to prevent consumption. Packers recall program includes a Recall Procedure, Recall Committee, and Alternates, Recall Plan, Recall Flow Chart, Notification Forms, Recall Product Information Records, Recall Alert, Recall Summary and Evaluation, Recall Procedures Checklist, Press Release and Recall Review. Once product is removed from commerce, the recalled product may be subject to testing, corrective action to ensure product compliance, or destruction, depending on the nature of the adulteration.
PLAZA PROVISION … are distributors with internal procedures to assist in product recalls which are primarily a manufacturers and brand owners responsibility to notify and control communications with government agencies, retailers and the general public. There are internal (confidential) procedures / protocols in place in the event that there is an advisement of a product recall either by a supplier or manufacturer.
BUT … WHAT … ABOUT … RETAIL ???
The are no legal recall requirements for established policies or protocols in restaurants or retail food outlets (Supermarkets). This situation could be a crisis waiting to happen in the areas of food preparation when it comes to ingredient labeling of “Carne Preparada” or in Allergen Cross Contamination in supermarket meat and produce processing areas where there are more than numerous questionable food handling practices that challenge FOOD SAFETY, primarily due to a lack of knowledge related to proper food handling techniques and procedures.
This article could not have been written without the cooperation and support of To Ricos, Quirch Foods, Packers Provision, Caribbean Produce and Plaza Provisions. Their continued support for this and previous articles related to FOOD SAFETY are an indication of their transparency in providing information and guidance to the food industry.
Paul Knapp … July 17, 2013
EM … email@example.com
BLOG … http://boleton.tumblr.com
OSCAR SUPER CASH & CARRY
The demise of the traditional Cash & Carry marketing concept does not apply to OSCAR SUPER CASH & CARRY, located in Caguas. While many Cash & Carry’s have the appearance of old obscure, scruffy, poorly maintained (dirty) exteriors and interiors, the OSCAR facility is SUPER clean with shiny smooth floors, well maintained racks of dry goods, a Five Star Cava, a refrigerated perishable salon with meat, produce and dairy products, supported by OSCAR’S 135 employees. But that’s only the base of the CAKE. The “icing” on the Cake occurred on September 3, with the first of its kind FOOD and TRADE SHOW with 34 major suppliers offering products at reduced costs valid until September 30. The “SHOW” attracted 125 “small business” buyers resulting in sales that surpassed 7 ($,$$$,$$$) figures with each sponsor (suppliers) realizing a healthy return on their investment. The SUPER CASH & CARRY is currently undergoing an upgrade with a new refrigeration system, new check-out counters and a new ventilation system by “BIG ASS FANS”. Another layer of “icing” is the U.S.D.A. (FSIS) meat packing plant located within the SUPER Cash & Carry facility.
IT’S PUEBLO FACING SUPER/MAX ON WEDNESDAY …
… with PUEBLO presenting a first class superior color format compared to the poorly colored separation of the Chuck & California steaks on the cover page of the SUPER/MAX Shopper. SUPER/MAX continues to go down hill in ad formats and meat special selections. The colors of beef and pork cuts on the second page of the SM Shopper are all the same. And surprise, surprise the CAB “Filetito” unless it has been put through a Jaccard will not be at the level of a real filete. Not a great way to garner consumer confidence in SM meat departments. Only good thing within the meat specials is the ground beef at $1.97 lb. PUEBLO advertises a great brand of fresh pork Cargill’s TENDER CHOICE which made history when it was exclusive in GRANDE.
WALMIGO, ECONO, SELECTOS & PLAZA LOIZA …
… “do” color Shoppers on Thursday with WALMIGO copying the SELECTOS concept of advertising To Rico whole chickens and chicken breasts each for $1.15 lb. PLAZA LOIZA continues to “thrive” with an eight pager Shopper excelling in a center page presentation of their dominance in the seafood category but they are also smart enough to advertise 9 produce items which is something that many other supermarkets fail to do, although it is a trend to promote healthy food as well as enhancing the profitability and popularity of the produce category. ECONO’s claim to fame this week is Biftec Machacado de Res at $2.38 lb. and a great variety of 12 produce items including the ever increasing popularity and demand for the CACIQUE FOODS Viva/Fresh fruit variety, which is also on special this week in PUEBLO and WALMIGO. SELECTOS is apparently bound on beef with four rather high priced Choice Beef special, once again minus a special price for ground beef. They also advertise a new NUMEAT product … 9 oz. boneless Jamon Para Cocinar (2 X $4.00 ) … hopefully the packages will have sell by dates.
THE PRODUCE “BEET”
Definition … STONE FRUITS … A group of fruit crops belonging to the genus Prunus and having the fruit type of drupe. Examples: peach, plum, cherry and apricot. Betcha ya’ll didn’t know that.
“Falling In Love , Falling In Love, She was Dancing To The Music While I Was Falling In Love”
HAVE YA’LL HAD YOUR OVARIES AND FLOWERS TODAY?
Before ya’ll get discombobulated and you macho’s get “ovary” aroused, be advised of the definition of FRUITS … according to Mark Rieger PhD, author of “Introduction To Fruit Crops”, … “Fruits are matured ovaries, plus any associated flower parts, that contain the seeds of the plant. The major fruit types in commercial fruit crops are Pome (Apple/Pear), Drupe (Peach/Mango), Berry (Grape), Hesperidium (Citrus), Aggregate (Brambles), Accessory (Strawberry), Multiple Fruit / Syncarp (Pineapple, Mulberry). The flavor of fruit is a function of the amounts and ratio of sugars and organic acids found in the pulp … (The edible or juice-containing portion of the fruit). Sugars increase and acids decrease as fruits ripen. Warm weather environments during the ripening process increases sugar accumulation and organic acid degradation, which makes fruits sweeter and richer in flavor. Cooler and less desirable temperatures render fruits watery and tart. In the wine production industry the term “vintage”, refers to grapes with optimum sugar levels and/or with a desirable sugar-acid ratio that occurs with sunny warm days and cool nights during maturation to obtain maximum sugar content and the proper sugar/acid ratio. If the weather environment is too cool during late summer and early fall, the wine will be acidic and dry and possibly low in alcohol levels because the grapes never achieved an optimal sugar level and or sugar/acid ratio. Sugar levels in fruits are objectively indicated with the use of a refractometer which resembles a telescope that uses a speck of the fruit’s juice to measure the Brix . . a measure of sugar content in juices. One Brix is the same as about one percent sugar (weight per unit volume). The higher the Brix level, the sweeter the fruit. CACIQUE FOODS, measures the Brix level of all fruits that are processed for their VivaFresh processed fresh fruits. If the Brixlevel is not at the required standards the fruit is rejected.According to information from the Internet, Wegman’s, a U.S. supermarket chain, provides Brix levels on various fruit displays. Does anyone in Puerto Rico do that? That practice would enhance a produce quality image and competitive advantage for any supermarket company that provided that information at the point of sale.
THE FIVE MOST PROMINENT USA BEEF BREEDS
ANGUS …The Angus breed was first introduced in Victoria, Kansas from Scotland in 1873 and is now the most prominent beef cattle breed in the USA. Angus and Angus–cross cattle make up more than 60 percent of the commercial cowherd. To qualify to be Certified Angus Beef, animals must meet 10 strict requirements, including hide color, marbling and rib-eye size.
HEREFORD . . Hereford cattle were imported from Herefordshire, England in 1817 and became popular for its early maturity and efficiency and remained the dominant breed through the 1960s.
GELBVIEH . . The German breed was first imported to the USA in 1971 with a stringent selection process, using conformation, carcass quality, and milk production in the progeny-testing system.
LIMOUSIN … The Limousin is native to central France with an emphasis on a deep chest, strong topline, well placed tailhead and strongly muscled hindquarters, resulting in an efficient, hardy, and adaptable animal well suited for meat production.
SIMMENTAL . . Developed in Switzerland, in 1806 and first imported to the USA in 1971, this breed is second only to Brahmas among all cattle breeds worldwide. Thanks to expansive with-in breed blending, the American Simmental produces outstanding performance and productivity.
F O O D F A C T S
One of the most abused and less than intelligent (DUMB) practices in the retail food industry in Puerto Rico is the illogical and potentially dangerous use of expiration dates on fresh and frozen meat as well as dairy products. There seems to be a shared belief by too many people who should know better, that assigning “long term” expiration dates on frozen meat products is the solution to maintaining full displays of products. The correct amount of time to sell a frozen meat product is 30 days from the date of processing/packaging. If the product doesn’t sell within the 30 day time period, it means that the product was over produced and over displayed or that the product just doesn’t have the proper demand to maintain a position in the meat case. There are local “manufacturers” of frozen pork products (Chuletas for example) who place a 60 to 90 day expiration time period because the Dummies at store level allow them to over extend the time period. Most frozen meat products and store processed or packed seafood items will become freezer burned (dehydrated) if displayed in Multi Deck frozen cases for more than 30 days and most frozen packages will lose their “integrity” due to the rigors of being buried on tablillas or manhandled by shoppers. Eggs for example, are not dairy products but are actually classified as meat by-products. If eggs are maintained in a refrigerated environment, they are still in edible condition 3 to 4 weeks past the SELL BY DATE. And did you know that Avocados are grown in California, where 90% of the world’s crop is grown? Fresh Avocados last for three to four days of being purchased, stored at room temperature, but will last for seven to ten days when refrigerated. Have you ever heard the term “wound pathogens”? When citrus fruit is not harvested and handled properly, it becomes susceptible to decay pathogens … blue mold and green mold. And do you know how to determine if an egg is good or bad? Very simple … it’s called the Egg Float Test. Submerge the egg in water. A good egg will sink to the bottom and stay there on its side. If the egg floats or hovers, then bacteria has broken down proteins in the egg white and crated gasses, an indication that the egg is probably unsafe to eat. Enough already about FOOD FACTS … it’s time to review this weeks Shoppers.
WHAT’S THE “QUE PASA” WITH SUPER/MAX?
This week’s SUPER/MAX Shopper “ain’t” at the level that it has been in the past. They “fraudulently” advertise fresh Tyson Muslos Con Cadera De Pollo (10 lb. bag) at 75 lb. as the primary cover page special … but … but in reality the “Chicken Legs” are LEGS WBP. And don’t go the Ay Bendito route about someone made an error in “goofing” the ad. The POS signs above the displays of the Tyson product fail to mention that the product is Legs WBP. And to make matters even more questionable about the quality image that SUPER/MAX has previously projected, they advertise U.S.D.A. Inspected “Angus” Churrascos at $3.97 lb. PUEBLO does it better with CAB (Certified Angus Beef) Churrascos at $3.99 lb. There is a huge difference in eating quality between CAB and a no grade “Angus Beef”. And finally, SUPER/MAX is weak, weak, weak in the produce category compared to ECONO and SELECTOS. PUEBLO has taken the lead in projecting quality while SUPER/MAX “glorifies” 150 specials and 2,500 lowered prices. Is this a change in direction for SUPER/MAX and why? SELECTOS does To Rico whole chickens and breasts at reasonable special prices but forcing Mondongo and Cuajo in to the stores isn’t an indication of MEATABILiTY. ECONO does USA Churrascos at $2.68 lb. (YOO JOO “MAXY”). Both ECONO and SELECTOS have acceptable and sufficient Produce specials. AMIGO does Choice Churrascos at $3.98 lb. and VIVA FRESH mixed fruit variety, 10 oz. at $2.50 pqt. No one is giving anything away, an indication of a Tough Times economic environment.
WAYLON & WILLY /”One night of love don’t make up for six nights alone” (Country Romance)