FDA Makes a Federal Case out of Local Food Product Mislabeling in New Jersey
Any product manufacturer has a strict responsibility to create products that are safe for consumer use. Even inherently-dangerous products, such as chainsaws and other power tools, must carry clear instructions and warnings of their potential dangers to provide users the information they need to use the products safely. Such requirements extend to food product labeling as well, as illustrated by a recent case involving a NJ bakery that mislabeled the contents of some of its products.
The bakery learned this lesson the hard way after under-reporting the sugar content of supposedly sugar-free products in addition to failing to meet other requirements on its nutrition labels. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) brought a federal complaint against the bakery and its owner because it bought and sold products across state lines. The court acted swiftly to shut down the bakery until it comes into compliance with the law. In March 2013, Food Safety News reported the conditions the bakery must meet before they can resume operations, including the following:
- Working with a consultant with no personal or financial affiliation to correct the issues
- Developing written quality, production and process controls
- Creating accurate product labeling
- Retaining an FDA-acceptable laboratory to conduct tests and report test results to the FDA
- Agreeing to periodic bakery inspections that can continue on a quarterly basis after the bakery resumes operations
The mislabeling of food products can pose serious health risks for certain individuals. For examples, diabetics who regularly consume sugar-free baked goods that actually contain sugar can face any number of immediate and delayed consequences, including stroke, heart disease and amputation. Anyone injured by the consumption of faulty food products should seek immediate support from a product liability attorney who can help hold manufacturers accountable for their negligence.