f. Abnormal. Abnormal is another term that is commonly used in a discussion
on deterioration and spoilage. Abnormal is a sensory evaluation term that refers to
those characteristics exhibited by a food item, which is judged to differ from the normal
characteristics; the food item does not lie within the permissible variations possessed by
high-quality like items.
(1) Knowledge of normal characteristics. Determining the normal
characteristics of a food item is an important and vital step in the inspection of
subsistence. Without knowing normal characteristics, it is very difficult to determine if a
product is deteriorated or spoiled.
(2) Permissible variation. An example of the permissible variation
possessed by a high-quality like item would be celery. Celery has a range of colors that
varies from light to dark green. All of these would be normal for the product. Abnormal
colors would be black, purple, or red.
g. Food Adulteration. Food adulteration is another term we commonly
associate with deterioration. A simple definition of this term is an act or process, either
intentional or unintentional, of making a food impure.
(1) Reference. A more complete explanation of what constitutes food
adulteration is found in Chapter IV, Section 402, of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Stated meaning. Adulterated shall mean the condition of a food:
(a) If it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance in a
quantity which may render it injurious to health.
(b) If it bears or contains added poisonous or deleterious substance for
which no safe tolerance has been officially established, or in excess of such tolerance if
one has been established.
(c) If it consists in whole or part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed
substance, or if it is otherwise unfit for human consumption.
(d) If it has been processed, prepared, packed, or held under
unsanitary conditions, whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby
it may have been rendered injurious to health.
(e) If it is in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal, or an
animal which had died other than by slaughter.
(f) If its container is composed in whole, or in part, of any poisonous or
deleterious substance that may render the contents injurious to health.