With the top reason for recalls being misbranding of ingredients on the label, it’s not uncommon for a food facility to receive a warning letter in which misbranding is listed as a violation. What is not so common – in fact, is rather unique, is the misbranding notice in a recent FDA warning letter received by Nashoba Brook Bakery.
Following its inspection of the bakery, FDA sent a warning letter listing a number of violations, including one for misbranding due to the inclusion of “love” as an ingredient on the company’s bread – stating that “‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient.”
The full Misbranded Foods signification violation notation was: "Your Nashoba Granola and Whole Wheat Bread (wholesale and retail) products are misbranded within the meaning of section 403(i)(2) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(i)(2)] because they are fabricated from two or more ingredients, but the labels fail to bear a complete list of all the ingredients by common or usual name in descending order of predominance by weight as well as all sub-ingredients, as required by 21 CFR 101.4. For example, Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient "Love". Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name [21 CFR 101.4(a)(1). "Love" is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient."
A follow-up article in the Washington Post stated that, with the numerous other code violations at the bakery, FDA said that “the use of ‘love’ as an ingredient was not ‘among the agency’s top concerns.’”
However, it is, perhaps, a warning to the industry that FDA is clearly going through labels with a fine-toothed comb, and dinging anything that is “out of code.”