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FDA warns top U.S. bakery not to claim foods contain allergens when they don't

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses a warning issued by U.S. federal food safety regulators to Bimbo Bakeries USA, a major U.S. bakery company, for using labels that claim their products contain potentially dangerous allergens when they do not.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Federal Regulators' Warning to Bimbo Bakeries USA

1. What did U.S. federal food safety regulators find during their inspections of Bimbo Bakeries USA plants?

  • FDA inspectors found that Bimbo Bakeries USA listed ingredients such as sesame or tree nuts on labels even when they were not present in the foods.
  • This labeling practice makes the products "misbranded" under FDA regulations.

2. What did the FDA warn Bimbo Bakeries USA to do?

  • The FDA warned Bimbo Bakeries USA to stop using labels that say its products contain potentially dangerous allergens when they don't.

3. How did the FDA characterize the importance of accurate allergen labeling?

  • The FDA stated that "Food labels must be truthful and not misleading."
  • The FDA indicated that allergen labeling is not a substitute for preventing cross-contamination in factories.

[02] Implications for Consumers with Food Allergies

1. How did advocates from the nonprofit group FARE respond to Bimbo's labeling practices?

  • FARE said Bimbo's labeling "does a disservice" to the estimated 33 million people in the U.S. with food allergies.
  • FARE's CEO stated that consumers with food allergies "rely on accurate product labeling for their health and safety," and Bimbo's findings "undermine their trust and further limit their choices."

2. What led some companies, including Bimbo, to start listing allergens as a "precaution"?

  • A new law that took effect in 2022 added sesame to the list of major allergens that must be listed on packaging.
  • Some companies began listing allergens like sesame on labels as a "precaution" in case of cross-contamination, even if the allergen was not actually present.

[03] Bimbo Bakeries USA's Response

1. How did Bimbo Bakeries USA respond to the FDA's warning?

  • Bimbo officials stated they "take their role in protecting consumers with allergen sensitivities very seriously" and are corresponding with the FDA to resolve the issue.

2. What is the deadline for Bimbo to address the FDA's concerns?

  • Bimbo has until July 8 to identify steps taken to remedy the issue or explain why the labeling does not violate FDA standards.
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