Peanut Butter and Jelly and Anchovies

The other day, I happened to read the label on our jar of strawberry preserves. That probably never is a good thing. But if there is a nutrition label nearby, I like to read the information on it, just to see how much sodium and cholesterol I might be getting.

On this particular jar of preserves, I read the ingredients:

Ingredients: Strawberries, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, pectin, citric acid

Which is all good. Especially if you like a side of sugar with your two kinds of corn syrup. Yum!

But then I noticed what was printed underneath the ingredients:

Allergy Warning: May contain traces of milk, eggs, anchovies, peanuts, wheat and soy.

Um, anchovies? Really? Why would they have anchovies anywhere near a production line for strawberry preserves? And why for that matter do they not even know whether there are traces of those other ingredients in the strawberry preserves?

That creates a mental image of a bunch of guys just sitting around throwing things into the jar as the jars move slowly down the assembly line belt. I can just hear it now:

“Oops! I missed a little with that one,” someone says.

His neighbor replies, “Oh, that’s okay, let the next shift worry about it. Eventually someone will clean it up.”

Hmm, maybe I should start canning my own preserves from now on. I can pretty much guarantee that there won’t be any traces of anchovies anywhere near the canning process. Chocolate might be another story, however.