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Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Although frozen fruits and vegetables are not retorted as their canned counterparts (see canned food), they are blanched at 200°F prior to freezing. Some companies produce pasta and vegetable varieties in the same facility, presenting a problem with frozen vegetables over Passover. Other companies blend sauces with their frozen vegetables - which present an issue - although they are added after blanching and would not compromise the status of the blancher. 

The main issue confronting frozen fruits and vegetables is whether or not the system of producing them adequately addresses the prohibition of consuming insects. Vegetables such as corn, peas, green beans and beans do not present any infestation problems. Infestation occurs primarily with leafy vegetables such as spinach and cluster vegetables such as broccoli. Before produce is accepted for processing, all raw vegetables are checked for quality. If the lot is of poor quality or infested beyond the company’s infestation threshold, the lot is discarded. All vegetables are washed, cleaned, agitated and dried before blanching and freezing. Leafy vegetables are washed more aggressively than cluster vegetables, but all varieties are very clean before further processing. Nevertheless, no company will guarantee their product to be free of all infestation.  So, in general, it is better to avoid those frozen vegetables that have infestation problems.

A few examples

As above, broccoli and spinach are two vegetables which suffer from infestation.  Raspberries are known to be heavily infested. Similarly, frozen brussel sprouts or artichoke hearts are leafy vegetables that should be inspected leaf by leaf. If they cannot be easily pulled apart to be inspected they should not be used.