Entrepreneurs

FDA scolds small bakery that used 'love' as an ingredient on its labels

Woman in a grocery store
Getty Images | ullstein bild
Woman in a grocery store

Apparently the federal government does not want you to know your granola was made with love.

In a warning letter issued to the Nashoba Brook Bakery in West Concord, Mass., on Sept. 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration scolded the small bakery for including an unconventional ingredient on its label, reports legal blog Law360.

"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," the FDA says in the letter.

"'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 Nashoba Brook Bakery was opened in 1998 by two friends, Stuart Witt, who had previously worked at an artisanal bakery, and John Gates, who had just finished law school at the University of Virginia, according to the company's website. The bakery currently has more than 50 employees and 275 wholesale accounts.

And, according to the company's social media presence, the bakery takes care to appreciate its employees and has a bit of fun at work.

The FDA, however, was not entertained by the bakery's jovial list of ingredients.

"I really like that we list 'love' in the granola," Gates tells Bloomberg. "People ask us what makes it so good. It's kind of nice that this artisan bakery can say there's love in it and it puts a smile on people's face. Situations like that where the government is telling you you can't list 'love' as an ingredient, because it might be deceptive, just feels so silly."

The FDA's letter to the bakery included a myriad of other, potentially more consequential reprimands.

For example, the FDA regulator said a bowl was not perfectly cleaned. "On May 26, 2017, remnants of Pepper Jack dough (dairy allergen) were observed on the inside, the lip, and the outside edges of the '(b)(4)' stainless steel mixing bowl that an operator stated was cleaned, sanitized and ready for use prior to the production of non-dairy Sourdough dough," the letter states.

And there was a bug. "One approximately 1" long crawling insect underneath exposed ready-to-eat foods in the pastry area, including focaccia breads, 7-Grain rolls, and brioche rolls," the FDA says.

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