The Kraft Heinz company voluntarily recalled over 36,000 cases of Kraft Singles cheese slices on Friday afterten different customers came forward with complaints about a thin strip of packaging film that remained stuck to the cheese after the wrapper had been removed, with three cases reporting choking on the film itself. The recall includes all 3-lb. and 4-lb. sizes of Kraft Singles American and White American pasteurized prepared cheese product, with a “Best When Used By Date” of December 29, 2015, through January 04, 2016, followed by the Manufacturing Code S54 or S55.
This is already the second time this year that Kraft has issued a recall of one of their products. In March, Kraft recalled 242,000 cases of original flavor Macaroni & Cheese over concerns that some boxes could contain small metal pieces. While these recalls would probably mean death for some smaller companies, the price of Kraft Inc. stock has only gone up since March. However, chances are that, even if Kraft were to take a hit, they would still come out standing—the Kraft Heinz Company is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest in the world, with a total of eight billion-dollar brands.
The question then becomes, how much are we willing to forgive for the sake of nostalgia? Kraft, although by no means a stellar representative of good cheese, has been a staple cheese brand in America for decades. For years, lunch boxes have been filled with tupperware containers of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or saran-wrapped grilled cheese sandwiches made with Kraft singles. However, while buying cheese products like Kraft singles might only be a silly guilty pleasure for some, for others it’s an everyday matter of course. For many Americans, pricey cut-to-order cheeses may be inaccessible for daily and special purchases. The values behind locally sourced, artisanal food are good ones, but until we hold the bottom-shelf blue box to the same exacting standards as the lovingly hand-packed wheel of cheese, these recalls are as likely to make you chuckle instead of taking them seriously.