The Food and Drug Administration showed no love for Nashoba Brook Bakery’s granola by sending a letter to the Massachusetts business instructing it to remove the word “Love” from its ingredient list.
Nashoba produces breads and granolas that are sold in stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Following an FDA inspection of a Concord, MA, manufacturing facility, the agency sent a letter to the company about insanitary conditions that included debris on two ceiling air-intake vents adjacent to the bread ovens and racks of ready-to-eat foods, and an employee’s blue plastic bracelet that came into repeated contact with the ingredients while the employee was working with raw dough.
During the visit, the FDA also obtained the labels for Nashoba Granola, which featured an ingredient list reading: “Oats, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and Love.” Despite the sentiment, the inclusion of the company’s feelings constituted a violation of federal labeling regulations, the agency said.
“Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name,” the FDA wrote. “‘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 FDA instructed Nashoba to correct the violations, and cautioned that failure to do so could result in regulatory action.
To read the FDA’s letter, click here.
Why it matters: Apparently, the feelings conveyed by Nashoba were not reciprocated by the FDA, which declared that the company “misbranded” its granola by including the word “Love” on the ingredient list. Nashoba CEO John D. Gates told Law360 he was surprised by the decision, as the granola has featured “Love” in its ingredient list for some time. While Nashoba intends to comply with all of the FDA’s instructions in the letter, Gates indicated the company hopes to qualify for a small-business exemption that would allow the company to continue making its feelings known by including “Love” on the ingredient list.