Bakery Giants In The US warned by FDA to Not Label Allergens When “They Don’t Have It”

Bakery Giants In The US warned by FDA to Not Label Allergens When “They Don’t Have It”

Federal food safety authorities issued a warning to a major American bakery on Tuesday, stating that the products should not be labelled with potentially harmful allergies when they don’t.

Inspectors from the United States Food and Drug Administration discovered that Bimbo Bakeries USA, which makes buns and rolls under trademarks like Sara Lee, Oroweat, Thomas’, Entenmann’, and Ball Park, included components like sesame or tree nuts on labels even though those ingredients weren’t present in the products.

In a warning letter delivered earlier this month to authorities at the company’s Horsham, Pennsylvania, headquarters, FDA officials stated that such items are “misbranded” according to FDA regulations.

Officials declared, “Food labels must be truthful and not misleading.” Inspections conducted at the end of the previous year at Bimbo factories in Topeka, Kansas, and Phoenix, Arizona, which produce Sara Lee and Brownberry breads, led to the warning.

Furthermore, allergen labeling is “not a substitute” for avoiding cross-contamination in manufacturers, according to FDA authorities.

Food Allergy Research & Education, a nonprofit organization, and its advocates claimed that this kind of labeling “does a disservice” to the 33 million Americans who are thought to have food allergies. According to Sung Poblete, CEO of FARE, those customers need to be continuously informed of foods that may result in potentially fatal allergic responses.

Poblette stated via email that “our community depends on accurate product labeling for their health and safety.” “These discoveries regarding the products of Bimbo Bakeries erode their confidence and further restrict their options.”

The food conglomerate Bimbo, with its headquarters in Mexico City, describes its American business as the biggest commercial baker in the nation. Company representatives stated in an email that they are in contact with the FDA and that they “take their role in protecting consumers with allergen sensitivities very seriously.”

A regulation that went into effect in 2022 and added sesame to the list of serious allergies that need to be declared on packaging sparked concerns about labels at Bimbo and other companies.

Some companies started including small amounts of sesame into products that didn’t previously contain the ingredient to reduce liability and costs because it can be challenging and costly to maintain the ingredient separate in one area of a baking facility from another. FDA representatives stated that was against the letter but not the spirit of government regulations.

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