A US company got ahold of a load of tuna and wanted to sell it for people. Unfortunately, it didn't make the grade, so it was canned and labeled as catfood.
Then they found out that Canada had looser standards when it came to tuna, so the cans were sold and shipped up there.
Unfortunately the company who bought it got lazy and slapped the tuna fish label over the catfood label. Somehow some cans were sold to a US retailer and the FDA started to get calls from people who got a big surprise when they were peeling the labels off their cans of tuna and found a catfood label beneath it!
It's not just stolen food. There are entire industries for:
1) Acquiring and "reprocessing" expired food.
2) Smuggled food from overseas. Mainly for avoiding taxes.
3) Buying uncertified or unregulated goods (e.g. directly from farmers or uncertified factory)
It ends up being a painstaking process to make sure all our partners comply with regulations and quality standards.
Aged "many years" cheese is normal (for some hard cheeses), but its only allowed to age a couple months in a fridge.
Potato chips if sealed from air won't go rancid.
Chocolate is eternal unless contaminated and even if its bloomed it can be remelted and re-tempered.
Honey is also eternal. Ditto syrups. And yes its illegal to sell food without an expiration date so even honey has an expiration date laughably. Crystallized honey can be fixed by 20 minutes of heating.
Salt has an expiration date. No kidding. For that pink Himalayan salt (or more likely fake made with food coloring) its 15 or 20 years I don't remember which.
I think many nonperishables with expiration dates (distilled water etc.) have to do with degradation of the container.
terrorism |ˈterəˌrizəm| (n)
the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
I mean we're talking about physical goods here, in relatively large quantities, that are moving about at relatively slow speeds -- seemingly within very trackable regions. I understand "going after the big boss" -- but, at some point, it seems like stopping the issue "on the ground" may be the better & more effective way to curtail the issue.
It really just sounds like the free market (read: the producers, transporters, and [mostly] the insurers) don't deem the issue worthy of the expense to curtail it.
yes, it's true, any office with a handful of experienced engineers should be able to put together a GPS food tracker using a budget of only $100,000 and in just six months... in 1997.
Today, any hobbyist can assemble one for $100 in marked-up hobbyist parts and in an afternoon, or, if that's too much work, buy one for $30 that works out of the box.
And where are you going to put your GPS device such that the thieves won't immediately discard or disable it anyway?
"Aha, according to the ratios of Chromium(II), Chromium(III) and the isotopes of Iron, this was packaged at the Chickenorium factory in Chicago during the first week of December 2016!"
Some independent ethnic market, or a restaurant, well, all bets are off, but they're a very small part of a very huge industry.
Most of the anecdotes are variations on very old insurance ripoff schemes which is why they're getting caught. The concept of ripping off an insurance company is not new nor specific to food and they're pretty good at figuring it out.
The guy who sold $32K of stolen shrimp gets to do that once in his entire life... meanwhile the regular seafood guy who was selling legal shrimp is pissed off and motivated to rat out the thief, so the problem is kinda self correcting. Remember that the average small business restaurant goes out of business in three years or less unlike the supply companies who have been around forever. The restaurant has no loyalty to the supplier, but the supplier has no loyalty to the restaurant.