R.I.P. Rest In Pizza: The Great Michigan Pizza Funeral of 1973
Trigger warning if you're a fan of pizza and hate to see it wasted.
Back in the '70s, a man in Michigan had to hold a funeral for nearly 30,000 pizzas, we'll get to that in a minute.
Food Recalls Are Not Uncommon - Even Ones This Big
We often hear about food recalls from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the FDA, producers recall their products from the marketplace when the products are mislabeled or when the food may present a health hazard to consumers because the food is contaminated or has caused a foodborne illness outbreak.
Some of the biggest recalls in U.S. history are
Wright County/Hillandale Farms Egg Recall
This recall in 2010 involved more than half a billion eggs and infected 1,900 people. Fortunately, no one died.
Menu Foods Pet Food
In 2007 Menu Foods opted to use a Chinese supplier and as a result batches of their dog food ended up tainted with melamine, which leads to kidney failure when ingested. 60 million bags and cans of pet food were recalled after 14 cats and dogs died.
ConAgra had to recall over 19 million pounds of beef in 2002 after 19 people got sick after eating the company’s ground beef, which was reportedly made from contaminated beef trim.
Topps Meats Frozen Ground Beef Patties
In 2007 thirty people across eight states became seriously ill after eating frozen ground beef patties made by Topps Meats. 21.7 million pounds of patties had to be recalled.
Peanut Corporation of America
From 2007 to 2008, the Peanut Corporation of America shipped peanut products across the US and Canada that they knew were contaminated with a viral strain of salmonella. Over 3,200 different products had to be pulled from store shelves and eight people died as a result.
in 1997 over 25 million pounds of ground beef processed by Hudson Beef was recalled due to being contaminated with E. coli after more than 16 people got sick from eating it.
Pilgrim’s Pride Frozen Turkey and Chicken
Pilgrim’s Pride issued a recall of over 27 million pounds of cooked turkey and chicken in 2002 due to listeria, which can be deadly to children, pregnant women, elders, and those with compromised immune systems. The contamination caused 46 people to become ill, a total of three stillbirths and miscarriages, and seven deaths.
Cargill Ground Turkey
Cargill recalled 35 million pounds of turkey in 2011, Following the death of one person and at least 75 others becoming ill after eating ground turkey that was contaminated with salmonella.
Sara Lee Deli Products and Hot Dogs
Sara Lee had to take 35 million pounds of products off the shelf in 1998 after it was found that a listeria outbreak had occurred. Over 100 people were sickened and 21 died.
Westland/ Hallmark Beef
Westland/Hallmark Beef was forced by the USDA to recall 143 million pounds of beef in 2008, which equaled two years' worth of processing and production. The USDA was pressured to act after the Humane Society released an undercover video revealing horrid practices at one of the company’s meat processing plants.
There's a good chance you've heard of some of those major recalls
but I bet you never heard of a major food recall that happened in Michigan back in 1973.
The Great Michigan Pizza Funeral
Back on March 5, 1973, The Great Michigan Pizza Funeral was the ceremonial disposal of nearly 30,000 frozen pizzas.
The FDA ordered Mario Fabbrini to recall the pizzas after initial tests suggested botulism was present in a batch of canned mushrooms. He decided to ceremonially dispose of the pizzas to demonstrate accountability and receive publicity.
The pizzas were tipped into a deep hole in the ground before a crowd of onlookers. Later tests by the FDA ruled out botulism.
The picture of them dumping the pizzas into the hole is crazy!
What a waste of perfectly good pizza!