USDA calls French fries fresh vegetables

June 16, 2004, as reported by Batter-coated French fries are fresh vegetables according to a ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Federal District Judge Richard Schell said it was right to consider batter-coated French fries as fresh vegetables under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, arguing that the potato in a batter-coated French fry is still considered fresh as it has not been preserved, reported the Associated Press.

The USDA was quick to point out that the classification applies to commerce and not to nutrition, where a batter-coated French fry would be classed as a processed food.

The USDA’s proposal to classify batter-coated French fries as fresh under the commodities act was challenged by bankrupt food distributor Fleming. Under certain bankruptcy rules creditors who sold fresh fruits and vegetables to the company are required to be paid in full, while other creditors might only receive partial payment.

According to the company’s lawyer, Tim Elliott, Fleming plans to appeal against the ruling, reported AP.

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